Today was such an amazing day that I am asking you to please indulge me. I want to file two reports but the first one needs to be from a gushing fan; the more informative report will come later over the weekend.
I started this blog with the express purpose of meeting other fans of Louisa May Alcott. I have met some wonderful people on this blog and I love our interchange together. It has been stimulating and fun and I have learned a lot as I continue to work through books about Louisa’s life and her own works. I hope you have too.
Today, I believe, was a watershed moment. I got to sit in a room with 60 librarians and scholars, all passionate about Louisa May Alcott. I got a chance to listen to, and then meet, some of the major heavy hitters in Alcott lore (and got a couple of my books autographed). And this blog, in a sense, got legitimized.
We all met at the Omni Parker House in the heart of Boston, around the corner from Louisburg Square (where Bronson passed away 123 years ago today [March 4]), and Roberts Brothers (now Houghton Mifflon, which has since moved), the original publishing firm of Little Women. The name of the room where we gathered? The Louisa May Alcott Room (and the ALA, which arranged the accommodations, swears they didn’t know :-))!
Sixty-plus women and men (librarians and scholars), all there because they are passionate about Louisa May Alcott and all her writings, not just Little Women. Heaven!
The ALA (aka The American Library Association), in cooperation with the NEH (The National Endowment for the Humanities) has awarded $2500 grants to 30 deserving libraries so that they can put on extensive programs about Louisa and her lesser-known works. The program is inspired and based upon Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women documentary (produced and directed by Nancy Porter; produced and written by Harriet Reisen) and the accompanying book by Harriet Reisen.
Porter and Reisen made a presentation showing clips from the documentary and reading portions of the book. They were followed by Daniel Shealy (as mentioned in the previous post, one of the most highly regarded Alcott scholars known today). Jan Turnquist from Orchard House made an appearance as well. The rest of the day was spent in stimulating group discussions.
I was a dignified participant, and I was an unabashed fan, getting my Alcott in Her Own Time signed by Professor Shealy, and Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women signed by Harriet Reisen. 🙂
Today my networking opportunities with the blog exploded wide open with opportunities galore to help support a worthwhile program for the public by providing a forum where Louisa’s works can be discussed. Several of the librarians and scholars expressed interest in this blog and wish to spread the word. This little hobby is really growing!
I drove home exhausted but exhilarated. I felt totally at home with librarians and scholars, indulging in my favorite passion. 🙂
Over the weekend I’ll provide a more detailed (and dignified) report. But today I was just too excited to do that. 🙂 Thanks for listening.