ALA Midwinter 2014

Inspiring Discussion at the #alamw14 Morris Seminar!

Yesterday I was honored to participate in the Morris Seminar and my brain is still recovering from the mental workout! As Abby wrote in her post, we spent the day listening to thought provoking speeches and having rapid fire book discussions, which is what I want to focus on in this post.

Each small discussion group was made up of 8-10 people and a moderator. The seminar attendees were such a diverse group of kid lit lovers of all ages, from public, as well as school backgrounds. Consequently, the groups were a brought a wonderful variety of perspectives.

At first, I was nervous. Would my notes be detailed enough? Would I have anything intelligent to contribute? What if everyone hated the book I loved or vice versa? My fears were quickly swept away as our discussion began and I realized I was among friends. Really smart and articulate friends!

I found I had plenty to say because I was triggered by the comments of others. It was gratifying when someone else shared similar thoughts or concerns. And exciting when someone brought something I hadn’t noticed to light. Many times I developed a greater appreciated for the titles we discussed because of the insightful comments of my group members.

This supportive community developed so quickly. In part this can be contributed to using the CCBC Book Discussion Guidelines, but I think it was also due to the passion of the participants and their ability to open their minds to other view points and ideas.

The best way to develop your book discussion skills is to practice and you don’t have to go the Morris Seminar to do that. Join a book discussion group in your area or better yet, start your own!


  1. Abby Johnson

    Wasn’t the Morris Seminar fantastic? I got so much out of our discussions and I think you’re absolutely right that others’ comments sparked my thinking and got me even more engaged.

    1. Amy Musser Post author

      Thanks, Abby! I’m so glad we were in the same group and that we got to share our thoughts!

  2. Pingback: Morris Seminar 2014: keep questioning | ALSC Blog

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