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Van Alstyne Library News & Notes

Last week, I had the great privilege to attend the annual conference of the Texas Library Association. TLA is the largest state-level library association in the country. With more than 300 exhibitors, this conference rivals the size and quality of the American Library Association’s annual conference. This is a librarian’s best chance to network with colleagues, meet authors, find out about new books and other library related products and services, and obtain continuing education in our field.

One of the new products I learned about at TLA is a new genre of fiction that was launched through the self-publishing industry; it is called “new adult” fiction. For reasons unknown to me, the phrase “young adult” in libraries generally refers to teenagers. “New adult” is now the phrase for those who are twenty-something or maybe as young as 18-19. They have aged out of reading the books where the heroine is 16 years old and dealing with a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. However, they are not really wanting to read the books about middle-aged women whose marriage is falling apart and whose children are going astray. The regency mysteries do not appeal to them either as the “new adult” in those stories is generally in a sheltered world of a benevolent older relative or becomes a governess for the children of a widower.

The characters in this new genre are people in college, trying to figure out why the world treats them as if they should have their life planned for the next 10 years and be organized and moving forward. What most of them find is they are just trying to make it to class or work each day, figure out why they seem to have a job instead of being on a career path and do not really feel like an adult in the way they think of their parents as adults. I was able to get my hands on some of the books in this genre and will be adding them to our collection and looking for more if they prove to be popular.

If you have not noticed, repair work has begun on the Community Center. This means the Friends of the Library First Saturday Breakfast should be able to restart by June or maybe even May. Keep an eye on our sign on the east side of the library building as well as this column for the start date. I will also post it on various Facebook pages, also, including the Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce Page.

Teen Council has two events coming in May. Their 11th annual Art Contest in memory of Colson Owens is May 9 at 5 p.m. The contest is open to all middle school and high school students (including home school students) in Van Alstyne, Howe, Melissa, and Anna. An entry and registration form must be submitted to your art teacher or the library by 6 p.m. on May 6 along with a $3 entry fee. Prizes will be award in each age division, and professional judges will provide a personal critique of submitted work on request. The art will be on display May 7 - 8 during the library’s business hours.

May 30 is Teen Council’s Anime Convention. Watch this column for more details as plans develop.

Hope to see you around the Van Alstyne Public Library.