On May 4th, thanks to our SAMMIE scholarship, I got the opportunity to attend the What’s New In Children’s Books Bureau of Education and Research Seminar in St. Cloud, MN. The day was jam-packed with the best new titles to use for instruction and reader engagement in all genres across the board. Our presenter, Deborah Ford, is an award winning media specialist and was so generous in the amount of additional tools she put together for us to access. The seminar equipped us with a resource handbook with personal reviews by Deborah. One of the greatest takeaways from her presentation was the LiveBinders website tool that gives you mountains of media resources for every title in the handbook. Examples of resources included online videos with related content, quick link access to Newsela.com news articles where you can adjust the reading level to fit your reader, and creative extension activities.
Other topics of the day included tips for fundraising for books and the importance of keeping your collection current and representative of your readers. In working daily with youth at the library, I now feel more equipped to recommend quality titles in the fantasy and non-fiction areas to my readers in the 3rd through 5th and 6th to 8th grade ranges. We also had great discussions about strategies for handling books with sensitive or mature content