The theme for this year’s Spring Assembly was “Community Pride” and I don’t think it was possible to listen to the day’s guest authors speak without feeling a whole lot of Kansas pride.

Kansas writer Clare Vanderpool’s dream was to have a book published. She never imagined she would not only attain that goal, but would soon after receive a phone call telling her the book was selected as the 2011 Newbery Award winner. Clare’s presentation for NEKLS was touching and also informative. It gave readers of her book insight into its creation and inspired those of us who had not yet read it to do so soon.

Tom Averill’s edited collection What Kansas Means to Me was selected as the 2011 Kansas Reads title. Since that selection, he has been busy traveling to libraries and communities throughout the state. Many in the Spring Assembly crowd had heard Averill speak at previous events, but as one commenter said on an evaluation form, Averill is “always wonderful.” Another commenter said that Averill, “makes me proud to be a Kansan.”

Thanks to both of these inspiring individuals for sharing their time and talents with our group.