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2019 Annual Fall Conference: School Libraries Are Game Changers!: Concurrent Sessions

Download the Day's Agenda

Concurrent Session I 11:00 - 11:50

Truth Be Told: Using Biography and Nonfiction to Engage Inquiry (ALL) 1st Floor Press Conference Room                                   

John Florio

Vashti Harrison

Deborah Heiligman

Ouisie Shapiro                                    

Barry Wittenstein                                                                                                                

Kendra Tyson, Moderator                                                                                                                                                            

The genres of biography and nonfiction ignite imaginations and catalyze children’s passion for learning and wonder. When introducing nonfiction and biography in the library, children can invariably make connections between what they already know about the topic and what they are eager to learn more about, creating the perfect conditions for successful inquiry. Learn from five authors how you can teach students to get the most out of these genres and about how students can gain a deeper understanding of nonfiction and biography.


Letters From Anne and Martin (ALL) 4th Floor Auditorium                        

Alexandra Gellner

Maureen McNeil

Wesli Spencer

Nancy Churnin                         

Letters from Anne and Martin is a theatrical presentation that highlights the parallels between Anne’s thoughts and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring the words of her diary and his Letter from Birmingham Jail. It serves as a great teaching tool for not only WWII and Holocaust education but also lessons on the Civil Rights Movement. After the performance, the actors, an educator from the Anne Frank Center, and Nancy Churnin, author of Martin & Anne: The Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank, will engage with the audience on the parallels they see between the two figures and their moments in history and how we can learn from their example to combat intolerance today. 


Creating Social and Emotional Change Through Storytelling  (ALL) 4th Floor Porsche Room 201

Rachael Harrington                                                                                               

Live oral storytelling in the school library is a powerful tool in creating positive social-emotional changes in school culture and students’ lives! In this energetic workshop, librarians will get on their feet to become storytellers, learning lively stories that encourage self-awareness, empathy, and responsible decision making in students. Participants will explore how storytelling and dramatic play bolster social and emotional competencies in children of all ages, and how to implement these strategies in school library programs. Participants will leave the session with a pocket full of big-impact stories that are easily unfolded and brought to life at a moment’s notice!


Using Participatory Budgeting in NYC to Raise Funds for Your Library (ALL) 4th Floor Porsche Room 204

Judith Dahill

Lesedi Mataboge                                                                                           

Participatory Budgeting is taking over the country. It is a chance to reach out to the community both at school and in your location as a leader. I have been successfully working on winning projects for two years at my school raising over $1100. The Civics Government classes have been invited to participate and the curriculum has been developed with the librarian as the leader. It is a game-changer! Check out


The Re-imagined Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC)  (ALL) 4th Floor, Porsche Room 212

Melissa Ahart

David Ceci

Olga Nesi

Christine Poser                                                    

Get an overview of the re-imagined ESIFC and hear from four middle school librarians on their experiences using the ESIFC in their schools. Participants will be able to determine how they can use the graphic organizers in the revised ESIFC to collaborate with a variety of colleagues in the implementation of the four anchor standards. This workshop is a hands-on exploration, so be prepared to walk through some real-life scenarios and solve some problems!


Learn.Think.Do – A Simple Framework for Meaningful Engagement (ALL) 4th Floor, Porsche Room 231                        

John Myers                                                                                                                        

Every year educators from around the country are beginning their journey on re-thinking what their learning environments might look like and how they might support new ways of teaching and learning. Learn.Think.Do is a simple framework by which we can communicate how a given space or multiple spaces might support the various learning modalities such as lecture, group work, and the discovery of hands-on work.


Building Literacy and Community through Food (ALL) Delta Sky - 1st Base (Left)

Andrew Barrett

Gillian Engberg

Marissa Finn

June Jo Lee

Philip Lee                

Cheryl Wolf                                                                                                           

Connect good reads and good eats! Food literacy is an exciting way to grow students’ knowledge across subject areas, improve health and learning outcomes, and engage the whole school community. In this session, school librarians, publishers, an award-winning author, and a school garden innovator will share creative tips for bringing popular food-literacy programming into your library. Projects include following food journeys “from the soil to the belly” to author visits and community events that explore our diverse food cultures.


A Practical Guide to Author Visits (ALL) Delta Sky, 1st Base (Right)        

Jessie Janowitz

Rebekah Shoaf                                                                                

Connecting authors with students, either in person or virtually, is a wonderful way librarians and media specialists can inspire and deepen a love of reading. In this workshop, author Jessie Janowitz and educator and founder of Boogie Down Books, Rebekah Shoaf, will provide a practical how-to guide on bringing authors to schools and making the most of those experiences.


Perma-Bound Collection Development Services  (ALL), 2nd Floor, Delta Sky 3rd Base (Left)

Don Hayes

Ken Kuckel                                                                                         

We will discuss several different Perma-Bound collection development services.  The discussion will include the following services: Customized Bibliographies; Filter By Collection; Optimizing Website Searches; Series Tracker; and Series Gap Analysis.


Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote  (ALL) 2nd Floor Delta Sky 3rd Base (Right)

Christopher Zarr                                                                                                    

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage, participants will explore documents, photographs, and other primary sources related to women's history from the National Archives through our award-winning educational resource DocsTeach. Instructional strategies will be shared on how to incorporate these primary sources into the classroom.

Concurrent Session II 12:00 - 12:50

Planting the Seeds of Picture Books: Why & How Picture Books Support Literacy (ALL) 1st Floor Press Conference Room

Ruth Chan

Anika Aldamuy Denise

Doug Salati

Salina Yoon                                                     

Susannah Richards, Moderator                                                                                                 

Ruth Chan (The Great Indoors), Anika Aldamuy Denise, (Planting Stories: The Life and Storytelling of Pura Belpré), Doug Salati (Lawrence in the Fall) and Salina Yoon (Kiki & Jax: the life-changing magic of friendship) will share how they create picture books that young children will want to read and listen to over and over. The panel will focus on what makes a good story, identifying and creating stories with text and images, and the role of images in supporting literacy development. 


Engaging Middle School Readers (MS) 4th Floor Auditorium                                                              

Donalyn Miller                                                                                               

Many of the conditions, rituals, and instructional methods that support elementary school readers disappear in middle school. Adolescent readers still need meaningful opportunities to choose their own books, carve out time to read, share with peers, and learn from reading and writing mentors. In this workshop, Donalyn Miller, award-winning Texas teacher and author, will share the practical strategies and resources that engage middle school readers. Workshop includes a sneak peek at Scholastic Book Fairs new Middle School Book Fair experience.


Research is FUNdamental! (MS/HS), Porsche Room 201

Bethany Martin

Karyn Silverman                                                                     

In this workshop, we will share the evidence for and value of using games for research instruction. Participants will hear about and examine ways that gaming can create positive emotional connections between students and research. We will share our experiences with research games developed by other librarians as well as the process we used to develop our own research games. We will provide tips for both using and creating analog games for instructional purposes. Demo copies of all games discussed will be available for participants to view and handle.


Top Tips from School Library Journal on Professional Reviewing & Book Evaluation (ALL) 4th Floor Porsche Room 204

Kiera Parrott                                                                                                                       

The SLJ review director, who assigns, edits, and oversees the production of thousands of book reviews each year, will offer information and tips on how to write book reviews, the criteria the editors look for in each review, what it takes to get a starred review, and how to become a professional reviewer. 


The Re-imagined Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC) (ALL) 4th Floor Porsche Room 212

Melissa Ahart

David Ceci

Olga Nesi

Christine Poser                                                   

Get an overview of the re-imagined ESIFC and hear from four middle school librarians on their experiences using the ESIFC in their schools. Participants will be able to determine how they can use the graphic organizers in the revised ESIFC to collaborate with a variety of colleagues in the implementation of the four anchor standards. This workshop is a hands-on exploration, so be prepared to walk through some real-life scenarios and solve some problems!


Uniting Reluctant-readers & Avid Readers on Common-ground Material(ALL) 4th Floor Porsche Room 231

Torrey Maldonado                                                                                            

Why aren't young readers reading? Are kids who love book getting what they need? The upper elementary, middle, and early high school years can be filled with new anxieties about who kids are and how to navigate complexities and relationships. How can writing give young readers tools that help plus “un-put-downable” reading? This panel is facilitated by a teacher who has taught for 20 years and authored three hit Penguin books. He will discuss his book, Tight—a Washington Post Best Book of 2018, Christopher winner, and ALA Notable and Quick Pick. He will show how it unites readers to love literacy and address persistent issues. Exclusive sneak-peek reading of his May release, What Lane?


Celebrating Love & Resistance with Stonewall Resources at NYPL (ALL) 2nd Floor Delta Sky - 1st Base (Left)

Caitlyn Coleman-McGaw                                                                                  

The New York Public Library recently celebrated the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with an exhibit highlighting some incredible materials from the past 60 years of the LGBTQ+ movement. Many of these archival resources - all available online - were used to create exciting programs for young people in New York City. This workshop will go over a short history of Stonewall and in addition to highlighting many resources available at the public library, will discuss books and programs that focus on LGBTQ identity.


Empowering and Engaging Multilingual Students and English Language Learners with Buncee (ALL) 2nd Floor Delta Sky - 1st Base (Right)                                                                    

Francesca Arturi

Hilary Spitalieri                                                                        

This workshop will introduce Buncee, a web-based creation platform, as a tool for encouraging 21st century skills in multilingual learners and ELLs. Participants will see how they can easily incorporate Buncee into their libraries to empower students as multimedia creators to communicate and demonstrate their learning. We'll share lessons implemented with Buncee that educators have used with their language learners to strengthen literacy skills, enabling students to create and publish their own multimedia work, shareable to authentic audiences within or beyond library walls. Participants will leave with ideas for implementing Buncee to achieve their learning goals in reading engagement and to support language acquisition.


Reinventing the Book Fair for School Communities (ALL) 2nd Floor Delta Sky - 3rd Base (Left)

Stephanie Davern                                                                             

In this interactive session, participants will gain an understanding of how Follett Book Fairs has reinvented fairs to make them simple, fun, relevant to today's families, and offer flexible profit options that fit school needs.


Making Your Children’s (or Teen) Library a Welcoming Place (ALL), 2nd Floor, 3rd Base (Right)

Janice Davis                                                                                       

School libraries are important places for the children and teens in every NYC community, and also where childhood literacy starts.  First, though, children and teens have to want to walk in the door!  Giving youth rooms a welcoming environment is an excellent place to start.  This workshop will give tips on how to best accomplish the goal of making school libraries (or classrooms!) inviting places to be:  environments that create enthusiasm without over-exciting, where children can feel they are in a fun space just for them.  The creative solutions are within reach, whether a budget is tiny or ample.

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