This year’s Minnesota Library Association annual conference, which took place mid-October, had some fantastic sessions for librarians serving children and young adults. Here’s a re-cap:

Keynote Speakers

The conference opened with Anita Silvey as the keynote speaker discussing the findings of her book Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book, a book that I look forward to reading! This address focused on the right book for the right child at the right time and the amazing impact this can have on a person’s life.

The second keynote address came from Scott Nicholson, author of Everyone Plays at the Library who discussed gaming, the act of playing games, in libraries, which has given me some great ideas for enhancing our lessons with more creative play in the future!

The closing keynote address came from Minnesota author William Kent Krueger who inspired us to “Go Forth!” and to keep doing what we do in libraries – sharing our love of stories of all shapes and sizes with students of all ages.

Conference Sessions

• One session I attended focused on finding books at just the right reading level for students by using Lexile levels to help match reading level with each student for better comprehension and growth.

• I learned more of the behind-the-scenes information about the online resource AskMN for students (and non-students!) to receive help from a librarian anytime, day or night.

• Another session discussed intellectual freedom and online resources for librarians to use and share for handling situations where materials in the library are challenged, or a privacy rights are infringed upon at a public institution – fairly heavy information at times, but really interesting.

• The breakout session that I really took to heart was a presentation by two librarians at the newly- remodeled Roseville Public Library. These women discussed how they have brought nature and the environment into their story times and how they are using the outdoors to promote and enhance reading and research experiences with their patrons.

They brought in some wonderful examples of nature-focused stories for children and nature boxes (filled with “nature-y” items brought in by the staff) for on-site exploration. This has inspired me to look into bringing more of nature into the library and trying to bring story-time outdoors on occasion!

I’d like to leave you with a quote :

“It’s never too late to have your life changed by a children’s book.”  – Anita Silvey, author

Happy Reading,


P .S. The “New Books in the Gandhi Library” blog just published another post! Be sure to check out what’s new in our library each month.

child reading
Happy reading!