Blogger Lisa Taylor

Putting it all together

Other than a few favorite story times that I repeat yearly, I always like to try something new. Similarly, I’m always interested in learning something new.  In February, I put it all together – mixing things that interest me with several of the library’s most wonderful assests –  technology, diversity, creative space, and kids.

I offer you the ingreadients for “Read, Reflect, Relay: a 4-week club”


  • 1 part knowledge from ALSC’s online class, “Tech Savvy Booktalker”ALSC Online Education
  • 1 part inspiration from ALSC’s online class, “Series Programming for theElementary School Age”
  • 1 new friendship spawned by networking and a love of nonfiction books
  • a desire to participate in the #weneeddiversebooks campaign
  • computers
  • books
  • school-aged kids#WeNeedDiverseBooks
  • space and time to create

Each club participant read a Schneider Family Book Award winner of her choice.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Schneider Family Book Award, I’ve linked to its page. Winning books embody the “disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

I asked each of the participants to distill the message of her book into a sentence or two – something that would make a good commercial.  Then I gave them a choice of using Animoto, Stupeflix, or VoiceThread to create a book trailer or podcast.  All three platforms were kind enough to offer me an “educator account” for use at the library.  Other than strict guidelines on copyright law and a “no-spoilers” rule, each girl was free to interpret and relay the message of her book as she pleased.

Coincidentally, after I had planned the club, I was chatting online with Alyson BeecherWe were both Round 2 judges for the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction CYBILS Awards.  I had no idea that she is also the Chair of the Schneider Family Book Award Committee!  When I told her about my club, she immediately offered to Skype or Hangout with the club members.  We hastily worked out a schedule, and Alyson’s visit on the last day of the club was one of its highlights!

The girls ranged in age from 10 to teen.  I think you will be impressed with their creativity.

WordPress does not allow me to embed the actual videos and podcasts, but you can access them via the links below – or visit them on Alyson’s site where she was able to embed them.  Enjoy! 🙂

·        Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (2012 winner, Middle School)

·      After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (2011 winner, Middle School)

·    Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2010 winner, Teen)

·      Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2010 winner, Teen) (another one)

·      A Dog Called Homeless by Sara Lean (2013 winner, Middle School)

If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to see my video booktalk (or adapt) my video advertisement for the program, just leave a message in the comments.  I’ll be happy to respond.

 *All logos used with permission and linked back to their respective sites.


  1. Peg Glisson

    This is a wonderful idea, a true melding of school library assets! As a former Schneider Committee member and a retired elementary library teacher, I commend you for highlighting this aspect of diversity with your students and hope others follow your lead. I shared your post with Dr. Katherine Schneider, founder of the award, who thought it “very cool.”

  2. Lisa

    Thanks, Peg. Actually, I’m a public librarian, not a school librarian, but I agree that this would be a wonderful program in a school setting.

  3. Cheri Crow


    Would love to talk with you more about this project, as Montgomery County has a mini-grant for Schneider Family Books used in a book discussion. We are also having Jordan Sonnenblick at 18 of our public libraries this summer. Since it sounds as if you are close by (phillies fan and all), please email me if you would like dates and information or if you can publicize his visits to your patrons.

  4. Lisa

    Cheri, I can’t see your email, but you can find me easily enough. I’m shelfemployed on Twitter and gmail. I’d be glad to chat about it. 🙂

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