BookExpo America (BEA) has made its biennial return to New York at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, beginning yesterday and lasting through Sunday – and librarians are a noticeable presence. BEA officials said that librarian pre-registrations topped 3400, an increase of more than 30 percent over total librarian attendance for BEA 2006 in Washington, DC, and the record 2,242 librarians who attended the 2005 show in New York City, as well as nearly double the 1800 who attended in Chicago in 2004. "In the past, most librarians who attended BEA were collection development officers from large libraries, or local librarians who toured the exhibits for just a day," wrote Cleveland Public Library’s Cynthia Orr in a special edition on BEA in Libraries Unlimited’s Readers’ Advisor News. No longer, however, as "every year BEA is increasing their efforts to reach out to librarians."
Among the many highlights of this year’s show floor are pavilions dedicated to African-American, religion, travel, and art titles. (The Spanish Book Pavilion is hosted by LJ sister publication Críticas). Google has a shiny big booth, and major publishers, of course, have robust presences. Author signings have been proceeding at publishers’ booths (list available on BEA web site). Yesterday, Library Journal hosted its popular Day of Dialog, with discussions of And Tango Makes Three, the most banned children’s book of the year, hot picks from editors, YA crossover, and romance. Library Journal‘s BEA preview, New York Expo’d, appeared in the May 1 edition.