Start Planning Now for Pre-Conference Experiences

There’s something for everyone when considering your preconference options at the AASL National Conference & Exhibition. Arriving in town just in time for dinner but not really sure where to go or who to go with? “Dinner with a Local Librarian” is a fun option. If you’ve never attended, it’s an opportunity to enjoy an informal networking opportunity with a local librarian at one of their favorite restaurants, and we’ve kicked it up a notch this year and invited some of our favorite and local authors.

Invited authors include Brooke Bessesen (Zachary Z. Packrat Backpacks the Grand Canyon), Bill Konigsburg (Honestly Ben), Mary E. Lambert (Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes), Tom Leveen (Hellworld), Lisa McMann (The Unwanteds series), and Janette Rallison/CJ Hill (My Unfair Godmother/The Slayers series). Jack Gantos (Writing Radar: Using Your Journal to Snoop Out and Craft Great Stories) will also be invited to attend as an official “adopted local” for the dinner. Add a local librarian to the mix, and you have a recipe for some great conversation!

As if these fabulous librarians and authors aren’t enough, these dinners will be located at some of Phoenix’s finest restaurants, and most of them are within walking distance. Cornish Pasty Downtown has been a long-time valley favorite, and this location is brand new. Vegetarians will have numerous options as the vegetable pastry menu is almost as long as the regular menu. Cucina Cucina is modern Italian and economical as well. Mancuso’s is classic, old-world Italian and is located across the street from the convention center. And while Mancuso’s is the closest to the bustling convention center, it is surprisingly quiet inside.

Canyon Café is “Sonoran” Mexican – Mexican food with a Southwestern influence. No matter what you choose to order, you’ll want to add an order of fresh guacamole. Blue Hound and the District are both upscale, all-American fare. Blue Hound is also a popular cocktail destination. An iconic downtown landmark, Arrogant Butcher is a place to be seen. It’s known for its “butcher’s platter,” which is perfect for sharing with someone at your table. Looking for creative and fun? Match is a new restaurant at a new hotel, just a couple of stops up the light rail from the convention center.

If you’re interested in attending this event, sign up using the clip boards with the author/librarian/restaurant that will be placed at the registration desk. (NOTE: This dinner is NOT available for advance registration.) We will meet at the restaurant on Wednesday, November 8, at 6:30 pm. Dinner will be Dutch treat. Hope to see you there!

Author: Lisa Lynn Morris-Wilkey

Categories: AASL National Conference, Community

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