Over 300 school librarians converged in Buffalo May 4-6, 2017 to attend the state’s annual school librarians conference. Thirty-nine vendors were available to discuss databases, continuing education programs, cataloging systems, and books that support learning standards as well as popular fiction. Co-chaired by Pioneer school librarians Maria Muhlbauer and Tina Pierce, this year’s theme Make. Learn. Inspire. was a hit!
Make. Learn. Inspire. offered professional development workshops specific to the needs of the school librarian. Keynote speaker Gene Luen Yang, a former high school teacher, has been a recipient of several national book awards. Yang’s engaging style, peppered with humor, brought attention to using comics in education and the importance of representing diversity through the comics medium. Yang’s message was fitting in that it supports the current initiative by CA BOCES’ Brendan Keiser and Cece Fuoco in building graphic novel kits for classroom use next school year.
Thirty-six workshops were made available including“Fostering Civic Engagement Through Archival Research”, “The Differentiated Makerspace”, “Sensory Storytime”, “Game Design”, and “Genrefying Your Library”. One workshop held by Scio librarian, Mary Zdrojewski, had a packed room of 75 attendees who came to learn about using a Breakout Box to teach library skills. Bolivar-Richburg librarian, Karen Fox, (see photo) presented to over 50 attendees on “21st Century Toolbox for the School Librarian”. Fox capitalized on skills she learned as an employee of Apple and Starbucks to streamline the process for managing her library resources and tracking students.
Librarians also enjoyed hearing CA BOCES’ S.T.E.M. coordinator, Clay Nolan discuss using common fiction stories to create S.T.E.M. activities to support ELA standards. After introducing the book Timing Races: Measuring Time by Dianne Irving, Nolan challenged participants with Zometools to create an object that could spin and outlast others (see photo). It was a fun activity and participants’ phones were busy capturing the learning and competition taking place.
Returning to their schools across the state, librarians left inspired to make new learning opportunities for students.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources