Mississippi Library Commission Conference – Thursday, November 20, 2008


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Friends:

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of being a featured speaker at the Mississippi Library Commission conference. The conference was for children’s librarians in Mississippi public libraries. It was a fun busy conference! The conference was held at the Cabot Lodge Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi.

When I arrived, I was immediately invited to join the librarians for dinner. They had a buffet of fajitas set up. Yum! Afterwards, I joined the librarians for a YA movie night. We watched Juno. Following that, I met another client for a cocktail! It was a busy night.

I rose early Thursday morning and had breakfast with the group. Then I attended Vicki Cobb‘s presentation. Vicki is the children’s book author of many wonderful non-fiction science books, books that get kids excited about science. Vicki was a fabulous presenter, providing many hands-on science activities for the librarians, who loved every minute of it! Here is Vicki demonstrating a science principle of wind using a leaf blower and toilet paper. How fun!

Vickie Cobb demonstrating wind with leaf blower & toilet paper - 11-20-08

Vickie Cobb demonstrating wind with leaf blower & toilet paper - 11-20-08

When Vicki’s presentation was finished, there was a fun game. Each table of librarians was a team. Each team had a “sculptor.” I was the sculptor for my team. Using Play Dough, we had to sculpt for our team using clues we were handed on a small piece of paper. Can you guess what book this was supposed to be?

Play Dough Game - 11-20-08

Play Dough Game - 11-20-08

If you guessed, “Harry Potter,” you are right! See the sorting hat, golden snitch, and the Nimbus 2000 broom?

My two presentations were both scheduled after lunch. My first workshop was “Tell Along Tales,” in which I taught the librarians how to tell audience participatory stories. I also taught them important audience management techniques.

Dianne instructing MLC librarians - 11-20-08

Dianne instructing MLC librarians - 11-20-08

Here we are doing some “hands-on” audience participation, doing the chorus for my story, “Pulling Up the Sweet Potato.”

Dianne teaching audience participation - 11-20-08

Dianne teaching audience participation - 11-20-08

It was tons of fun! Thank you, Vicki, for staying for my Tell Along Tales presentation!

This is a picture of Jamie Elstrom. She worked at Jefferson Parish Library, my local library, years ago when I first got my start in storytelling. Jamie likes to say that she saw me “grow up.” It’s true! Jamie is so tech savvy that she booked me right on the spot using her laptop during a break. I’ll see you in Summer 2009, Jamie!

Jamie Elstrom, former Louisiana librarian now turned Missippi Librarian - 11-20-08

Jamie Elstrom, former Louisiana librarian now turned Mississippi Librarian - 11-20-08

After Tell-Along Tales, I did my “Story Fest” workshop, instructing the librarians how to use story theater in the library. This is a picture of a group doing some role playing warm-up exercises. They are portraying a bus driver on a bus with a group of very naughty children. OMG! The bus driver is blind-folded! Hahahaha!

Story Fest Group role-playing bus driver with bad kids on the bus - 11-20-08

Story Fest Group role-playing bus driver with bad kids on the bus - 11-20-08

This next group is role-playing a Mardi Gras parade. They had to portray a float, the parade king, and the Mardi Gras revelers. Can you tell who is who?

Story Fest role-playing Mardi Gras parade - 11-20-08

Story Fest role-playing Mardi Gras parade - 11-20-08

We had so much fun in my workshops. These librarians were enthusiastic, lively, and one of the most fun groups I’ve worked with. They even gave me a beautiful gift at the end of my presentations – a standing ovation! Wow! I was so honored. A special thank you to Kathy Buntin for inviting me to participate in the conference.

After my workshop, I went to my room to rest for a while. Then, as if the full day’s activities weren’t enough, I joined a group of librarians to see the midnight premiere of Twilight (I read all 4 books by Stephenie Meyers). We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. (Mara, I can’t sit next to you anymore! Mai Tai! still LMAO)

Mississippi Librarians, thank you so much for having me at your conference. I can’t wait to see y’all again!

Until next time…

Warmly, Dianne