What I loved about the past three days at the SLJ Summit in Arlington, was the blend. The discussion was reading, and we discussed reading in all its glorious traditional and emerging formats.
Forward-thinking practicing librarians interacted with other reading passionate stakeholders–an array of authors, illustrators, researchers, publishers, distributors, developers, content aggregators, school administrators, and more.
Looking back, here are just a few examples of what will stick beyond this week. (Please think of this as an overview. I’ll be returning to Summit ideas often in future posts.)
1. Brian Selznick’s beautiful opening speech described the creative process. Brian treated us to a fascinating behind-the-scenes peek at the making of Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese.
And he fully illustrated the inspiration, the arduous research, and intriguing backstory behind the birthing his new title, Wonderstruck. We all received autographed copies and I can’t wait to dig in. When I picked up that beautifully chunky title, Brian words replayed in my mind:
I am a bookmaker and I like to make books. I like my books to be held. I like the bookness of the book. The very object in your hand is part of the plot you are reading.
Brian reminded us that a book is a technology and pointed us to one of his inspirations, Remy Charlip’s essay, A Page is a Door.
2. In an artist improv style, three graphic novelists–George O’Connor, Jarrett Krosoczka, and Eric Wight engaged us in ComicsJam, collaboratively creating a graphic story about a panda librarian in a desert. I learned one seriously helpful insider tip: draw the bubble after you create the text. Seriously, you had to be there.
But wait, here’s a fuzzy clip of the fun.
3. Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, discussed three revolutions:
- Internet and Broadband,
- Wireless Connectivity,
- Social Networking,
as well as a number of shifts in the reading landscape–reading is real-time, reading is raw material, reading is a social-contact sport. He believes new literacies are being elevated. And Rainie gave me a way to describe the syndrome many of us feel when we disconnect: FOMO, or fear of missing out.
4. Delightfully clever author James Kennedy (Order of Odd Fish) shared his 90-Second Newbery project and his own contribution to the cause.
(“A Wrinkle In Time” In 90 Seconds from James Kennedy on Vimeo.) Catch this year’s full Festival live at the New York Public Library on November 5th, and in Chicago at the Harold Washington Library on November 16th. Consider creating your own 90-second masterpiece next time around!
5. The What’s Appening session demonstrated what is now possible in a newly stretched notion of the book. I fell in love in new ways with Random House’s interactive version of Pat the Bunny, and Penguin’s media-enriched version of Kerouac’s On the Road.
6. Hardworking trailer curator, Teresa Schauer announced the 24 finalists in our Trailee (book trailer) Awards with an Animoto preview. (I am afraid I am not allowed to influence you with the two that really blew me away.)
7+. On Thursday afternoon and on Friday morning we heard many of our own colleagues who are reporting on the ebook and reading situations on the ground from a variety of perspectives. I hope we will be able to gather their slides because I cannot do their talks justice by merely listing them. But because I am running out of steam, here’s a list:
Transliteracy & the Young Child
- Moderator Buffy Hamilton, School Librarian, Creekview High School, GA
Panelists Laura Fleming, School Library Media Specialist, Cherry Hill School, NJ
Andy Plemmons, Media Specialist, David C. Barrow Elementary, GA
- What is an EBook? The Current & Future State of Digital Reading
Rachel Chou, Chief Marketing Officer, Open Road Media
- Networked Librarians Take Reading Promotion to the Next Level
Shannon Miller, District Teacher Librarian and Technology Integrationist, Van Meter Community School, IA John Schumacher, School Librarian, Brook Forest Elementary School, IL
- EBooks—Building Level Wendy Stephens, Librarian, Buckhorn High School, AL, and SLJ Reviewer
- EBooks—County Level Connie Dopierala, Media Services Coordinator, Charleston County School District, SC (Connie is a force and a masterful storyteller and I would love her to be my Media Services Coordinator.)
- Ebook Models on a District Level: Richard Hasenyager, Director for Library Services, North East ISD, TX
- Ebooks Regional & State Models: Kristin Steingreaber, Media Specialist, Great Prairie Area Education Agency, IA (Who among many other things, described her use of QR codes to lead learners from dated print content to more recent ebook content.)
- Ebooks—Regional Models: Christopher Harris, Director, Genesee Valley School Library System, NY (Who in a passionate plea for equity and more powerful purchasing punch, urged us, Don’t buy ebooks!)
More to come in separate posts as I pull my notes together.
Thanks to Brian Kenney and the whole SLJ team, as well as our wonderful sponsors for an event that will resonate with me for a very long time.
Check out some of our Flickr pics.