"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Highlights from WLMA 13

My highlights  from the WLMA (Washington Library Media Association) Conference held in Yakima, Washington on October 17-19, 2013.

Arrival, pick up registration, visit the on-site bookstore, walk through the exhibitors mall, purchase book earrings, visit with friends and colleagues, dinner at a Mexican restaurant, fish tacos. Yum!

Book earrings made for this event by one of the officers. Proceeds to go to library advocacy.

Friday Breakfast: Unearthing the Hidden Story with Ruta Sepetys.
  • Super excited. Ruta Sepetys wrote the book Between Shades of Gray inspired by her own familiy's history in Lithuania under Stalin.
  • Sandy and I actually bumped into Ms. Sepetys in the Inklings bookstore on Thursday when we got to town.
  • Her story and how she conducted her research is fascinating and jaw-dropping.

Ruta Sepetys speaking at the WLMA High School Author breakfast
Keynote: Preparing Students for Jobs Unknown with Richard Byrne
  • With the pace of technology development most students we have today will have jobs we can't even envision.  How do prepare them for this?
  • Richard was very personable and funny. He had us participate by posting answers to his questions on todaysmeet.com. It added a fun element to the address.
  • Teachers should use this phrase when teaching: "Today we will explore..." since we are all content producers.
  • A cool project that shows the global community we live in: Project Noah, which is people taking pictures of nature in their neighborhood. Fabulous photos.
  • I want to find out more about Haiku Deck which will soon be functional and an alternative to PowerPoint.
Session 1: Putting Novels to Work with Ruta Sepetys
  • My favorite sessions at WLMA are the ones where I get to be up close and personal with my favorite authors.
  • In this session Ruta Sepetys gave lots of ideas of how to use her book Between Shades of Gray to enhance or introduce historical topics.
  • Everything about this session was amazing: how she conducted her initial research; how she met up with relatives she didn't know in Lithuania; her night in the haunted prison; ties to art, music, sports, and other projects.
  • I am really, really hoping that her presentation will be linked to the WLMA website. I didn't have any paper to take notes and there is so much I want to share with my history teachers. I'll link it here if I can get my hands on it. in the meantime here is Ruta Septyes website. 
    I'm a rotten photographer,as I'm sure you have noticed. I won't be surprised at all if Ms. Sepetys contacts me and asks me to take down my photos.

 Luncheon: Honoring a long-time friend and colleague: Andrea Hynes.
  • Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend this event because I didn't attempt to buy my ticket in time. But lots of my friends and colleagues did attend. Congratulations Andrea on this honor. Enjoy retirement.
Session 2: Newly released books your students will love (MS and HS) with Leslie Bermel from junior Library Guild
  • Love Junior Library Guild!
  • Wrote myself notes of books I want to get. Pondered if I should add another level or two. Currently I get four JLG levels. It seems like I switch levels every year and then wish I hadn't.
  • One a pair of socks in the final drawing. they say: Librarians Rock. We do!

I will wear these things when I need the reminder that Librarians Rock!
Session 3: Sex in the library with librarians Mary Jo Heller (school librarian) and Aarene Storms (public librarian)
  • Racy title. Geared more toward middle school librarians.
  • I grabbed this off their website: "Books for teen readers about SEX: sexual decision-making, sexual preferences, sexual identity, birth control decisions, abstinence, and personal responsibility. Do these books belong in your library? Decide for yourself!" Sex in the Library
  • They have published a book by the same title. Take a look at it here: Sex in the Library: A Guide to Sexual Content in Teen literature
  • Unfortunately when I was searching for their website it wasn't the first one to pop up in Google.  Hmm!
  • Mary Jo (left) and Aarene (right). This photo from their website. Apparently I didn't take a photo during the session, you can tell by the good quality of this photo.
 Saturday Breakfast: "Why it took me only twelve years to sell a book" by Jay Asher
  • Super-duper excited.
  • Thirteen Reasons Why was published in 2007 and it has been popular in my library ever since then. The library has multiple copies and they are always checked out. I used to exact a promise from my readers before I would check it out to them that they would agree to read the book all the way to the end. I was worried that they would stop in the depressing middle. I no longer have them take such a pledge because of the book has such a good reputation.
  • Jay Asher seems like a regular dude. I loved his story about how he finally came around to writing Thirteen Reasons Why, his attempts at getting it published, what he wanted the title to be, etc.
  • During the breakfast I sat next to Terri Grief the American Association of School Librarians President-Elect. She is also a high school librarian, so we swapped stories.
    Jay Asher letting us in on why it took twelve years to get a book published (it was worth the wait!)
Book signing: Jay Asher
  • Fortunately I had the insight to purchase Thirteen Reasons Why from Inklings Books on Thursday night because they ran out of them.
  • You can see the scrap of paper I gave him with the message: For the Students of GKHS.
  • Thank you, Jay, for writing a fabulous book!
Jay Asher, book signing

Thanks to the organizers of WLMA 13. It was a fabulous conference.

When I got back to the library after only one day away: our district server was (and still is) down. No books have been checked in for days including all these books on the carts.



  1. It sounds like a great conference with good food, good speakers and books. What more could you ask for!

  2. Sounds like great conference.

  3. I love teaching French, but my wish was to become a librarian. It sounds like a wonderful conference.


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