Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Ambassador Wendy

Who knew talking about romance novels would make me so darn popular?

I gave my romance novel presentation for the second time yesterday - this time to a group of librarians from different libraries within the county where I work (not just my library system). I was a big hit - again. Most of the comments I heard were, "What a lovely overview! Now I know at least a little bit." Or "I wish we had one of these for every genre."

I might end up giving this talk up to 3 more times. The head of children's services where I work wants me to talk to the children's librarians plus, there's talk of me giving this presentation to our library paraprofessionals (those people who help aid librarians but do not have a library science degree). Also, one of the librarians at yesterday's meeting expressed interest in me speaking at her library. A coup since they aren't within the library system where I work.

So what have I been discussing? Well I give a basic overview of the genre (What is a romance? Why are they sneered at? etc.), discuss the sub genres (historical, paranormal, contemporary, romantica etc.), what's hot right now, what's not right now, then a brief discussion on the RWA conference and the online romance community.

So far the favorite part of this presentation has been when I explain what TSTL stands for. That usually draws a big laugh. I also provide a list of handy web sites and even plug some area bookstores that are "romance friendly."

In other public speaking news - I'm without a children's librarian for the next two days. That means I had to do preschool storytime today (the kids must have had bags of sugar for breakfast) and a school visit of 60 grade schoolers tomorrow (I'm thinking of shooting myself this afternoon).


Teresa said...

Besides your brilliant discourse (which I'm sure would make a discussion of tooth enamel interesting) do you get any sense of why these talks are such a hit? Like is there a huge void of knowledge about romance that has just been waiting to be filled?
Actually, I don't remember talking about popular fiction at all when I was in library school--so maybe there is a gap there.

Teresa said...

Oh--and sympathy on the children's library gig. Hope you're able to have some fun with it.

Wendy said...

Well the school visit was cancelled because of rain (the kids were walking). So that made my life a tad easier.

I suspect my presentation has been well received because of "void of knowledge." I know I didn't have a good handle on the genre until I started reading it - and I think many of the librarians I've talked with have either 1) never read a romance or worse 2) haven't read one since 1984.

The genre has evolved just a bit.

I'm not sure how much popular fiction is discussed in library schools - but I suspect not much. In my misguided youth I had plans to stay in academics and that's what all my course work reflected.

Charlie Horse said...

I would love to hear one of these lectures. Do you go over the historical evolution of the romance novel industry as well? I'd like to know how the novels have evolved over the years.