Before the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, I presented multiple book talks a month to Westerville City School students in grades 2-6. At each book talk, I talked about library services, upcoming programs, and 6-8 books appropriate for the age I am visiting. I presented to 20-100 students at a time depending on the school.
While we couldn’t visit students in their classrooms, book talk services continued, though they look a little different. I created 10+ virtual video book talks each month on the Westerville Library YouTube channel. Some of these videos can be found here:
Every book I recommend to students is done intentionally. I have always read every book I recommend in a structured setting or on a printed booklist. When selecting materials for book talks, I make sure to include:
- Diverse main characters
A mixture of fiction and non-fiction
- A mixture of female and male main characters
- At least two graphic novels
- A mixture of genres
- A mixture of reading levels to reach struggling readers and students reading well beyond their grade
When presenting to a class, I use a PowerPoint to show images to advertise library programs and to help students see the covers and illustrations of the books I am discussing, particularly when talking to large groups of students. The PowerPoint allows all students in the room to see the book covers and layouts of images in visual texts. I never read from the PowerPoints or distract students with extra text, but use these to enhance my presentation and to better keep the attention of all students.
Take Home Bookmarks
After a book talk, each student receives a bookmark showcasing the books, programs, and services I discussed.