So, it has been a few days since the NJASL conference and therefore, probably a good idea to finally mash out my findings here. Unfortunately, my friend's roommates are far too loud to have allowed me proper sleep to go on Friday, so I can only report my findings from Thursday. First of all, I heart free pamphlets and these people, they know that. I have more pamphlets than I think I will ever be able to read in my life, let alone my career, sitting in two bags in the backseat of my car. Joy. I only got to three programs, and two of them were practically the same! Those tricksters.
The first version was with Kevin Kammeraad and his puppet Jacob (coloring-book-tastic version shown here). First of all, his puppet is fantastic and can do the best one handed handstand I have ever seen. Five points. Kevin's presentation was lively and filled with singing and dancing. I even got to perform one of his poems (And got to be the bad guy!! Which fits because, well, I'm pretty much hardcore). Seven points. He provided excellent materials to expand all of his texts and worked through a bunch of them to showcase the enthusiasm that should explode from one when doing said activities. Two points. Overall, excellent workshop and definitely worth checking out if you get a chance. Unless, of course, you don't give a ---- for the whole state of Michigan; in which case, he insults the Buckeyes and is probably worth -99 points to you.
Kevin ended his presentation with a video reading of Dan and Kim Adlerman's Oh No Domino! The very next presentation that I went to was given by the Adlermans. And they read Oh No Domino! They also sang songs and had a gay ole' time, just like Kevin. And while I was nervous that I had chosen to go into the same program twice, it worked out in my favor. The differences were subtle at first, but very enjoyable. For one, being read the actual book gave a completely different feel than the video. Don't get me wrong, the video was totally cool, but there is just something about the actual text and pages that gets my heart fluttering (reason 8756 why I should have always known I was destined to become a librarian). The Adlermans passed out musical instruments and I had the delight of morracking out with my bad self. In the latter half of the presentation it became even more evident that they had their own awesome agenda. I learned how to make a harmonica out of tongue depressors and a rubber band. You're jealous-- it's okay, I would be too. They also demonstrated how various different small items placed in plastic eggs can make excellent storytime supplements. I am sold.
Lastly, I attended a workshop on religious books in schools. Ordinarily I would have forgone the theology debate for something with a bit more jazz; but we just recently discussed Dewey and his inane religious categorizations in my Materials for Children course. When I returned my books to the library for my portion of the Dewey assignment, I realized that the Milltown Public Library doesn't even have a religious section. It jumps from the 100's over to the 300's! Clearly there was something to this "God books" debate that I didn't realize. I just assumed that as long as it didn't promote that religion as the one and only way to save one's soul from eternal damnation, you're set. Clearly I am more enlightened than some. One woman in attendance removed all of the books on witchcraft before even having a challenge! What the? I may not be entirely up to code on my ALA ethics, but that seems like censorship to me.