Thursday, September 10, 2015

State Book Award Promotion

With the new school year upon us, we have new lists of state award books to promote. All four sets of titles can be found on this blog when you access the State Awards tab at the top; you can find book lists along with background information about the awards themselves.

But how do you go about promoting the books, creating excitement about reading them, and getting the word out about voting eligibility? As a K - 7 librarian, I promote the Goldfinch, Children's Choice, and Teen Award books in a variety of ways. With my K - 2 students, I read the Goldfinch books after we come back from the holiday break. My colleague and I work on pairing the books and finding trailers and other online support materials, as well as engaging activities to do after the read alouds. This is a great time to reach out to other state librarians or authors of the books to schedule Skype or Google Hangout sessions. Looking for other ideas? Try our very own IASL pop-up PD related to this very topic, and feel free to add to the presentation!

Promoting the Children's Choice Award is something my colleague and I do in the fall of the year. That gives our students time to read two or more of the titles, and often their classroom teachers choose a Children's Choice nominee to read aloud in their rooms. One activity that has been successful for us is a scavenger hunt-like activity; you can see last year's copy here. IASL also has a pop-up PD related to this group of nominees:

Promoting the Iowa Teen Award books often means some kind of online presentation tool to use with students in my middle school library. Sometimes an existing presentation is usable, like last year's list of nominees found on Prezi. This year, we used a ThingLink presentation related to the titles, and many TLs are using QR codes linked to book trailers to garner interest in the titles. Throughout the year, we revisit titles with bulletin board displays, Google surveys, or bookmarks.

It's still early in the year, so students have plenty of time to read nominees on the lists so they can vote later in the spring. How will you promote the state award books this year?