I attended Spotlight on Books on April 8th & 9th, 2016, in Walker, MN. Spotlight on Books is northern Minnesota’s best kept secret! I highly recommend that everyone attend this wonderful author event. You will be able to hear and interact with many, many authors that will educate and inspire you.
The main authors we attended were Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann, and Anton Treuer. There was also a regional author showcase. Candace Fleming’s books include The Family Romanov, The Lincolns and Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, the bestselling picture book! She says her publisher asked her who she wanted to write for and she replied “all ages!” She gets inspired by many subjects and doesn’t want to stick to one genre. Eric Rohmann is a Caldecott Medal winner for the picture book, My Friend Rabbit. He is the author and illustrator of many books for children. He and Candace have collaborated on several books. Anton Treuer is a professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and the author of 14 books including Everything You Wanted To Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask. He speaks Ojibwe and gave us many insights into Native Americans and their history. There many books available by all the authors that could be purchased and autographed by the authors that were there.
Another highlight of the workshop was the Lightening Round on Friday evening. Each person sharing had seven minutes to present their latest project or idea for other librarians. This was a great way to inspire us without letting any one speaker get carried away! We also had library trivia questions that each table tried to answer correctly. Unfortunately, our table was not the overall winner! But we did go away with many great ideas and possible projects for our own libraries. My favorite was probably a passive program that a Fergus Falls librarian shared. It was a STEAM program for children. Everything was put on a book cart including instructions. Anyone could do the simple project while in the library. All the materials were on the cart with simple directions. The program changed every month. One program that she shared pictures of was building with red solo cups!
This is a conference for adults focused on youth literature. I feel that everyone who attends this conference would be happy with the information they receive and the books and ideas that were shared. Another perk is the beautiful location of the hotel, Chase on the Lake, on Leech Lake in Walker, MN.