"Motivating Johnny to Read" - Conference Materials
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Mary M. Silgals, MLIS

I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Education where I received my elementary certification for teaching K-8 grades.  My affiliation with Trident Academy began as a mother of a first grade student in 1993.  Since I was an avid reader, I found volunteering in the library a pleasant diversion in between the hours waiting and driving the 50 miles to and fro from school each day.  After several years of volunteering, I was asked to come aboard as a parttime librarian.  I enjoyed the work so much, I decided to return to college and work towards earning a masters degree.  I attended the University of South Carolina College of Library and Information.  ( I have to give USC its due praise.  The college is ranked second in the nation for its school library program.  I met some wonderful professors and fellow students during my training).  I graduated in 2004 with a Master of Library and Information Science degree.  I am in my seventh year at Trident Academy, and this year, I also teach a 4/5th grade social studies class.

I am beginning my third year as a member of the South Carolina Association of School Librarians' Young Adult Book Awards committee.  This committee, after its members read from a list of approximately sixty titles, nominates a list of twenty excellent books that they recommend high school students read.  These are the books that the committee considers the best Young Adult books published during the last two year period.  Books are read from the list by public and private school students, teachers and librarians throughout South Carolina.   Participating librarians and students, after reading a minimum of three of the nominated titles, may vote for their favorite title. The recipient of the award may appear at the annual SCASL conference to accept the award. Serving on this committee has been a very rewarding experience and has helped me stay attuned to what our teenagers are reading. 

A photo of Flat Stanley and me in Sweden

Flat Stanley

If you want to get children interested in reading about other places, get involved in a Flat Stanley project!


Here's a list of some of my favorite books:

All of Jane Austen's titles, but Pride and Prejudice is at the top of the list.
Young Adult titles:
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - who would have thought I would like vampire stories?
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - great thought-provoking, futuristic series.
Godless by Pete Hautman - did not make "the list" last year.
TBA 2008-09 Titles

Traveling is my favorite pasttime.  Here's a list of some of my favorite places I have visited:

Venice, Assisi, St. Petersburg, Ring of Kerry, Ireland, Cotswald, England, Paris,
Vilnius, Rome

Here are the professional organizations to which I belong:
American Library Association (ALA)
AASL (American Association of School Librarians)
YALSA (Young Adult Library Service Association)
SCASL (South Carolina Association of School Librarians)
      YA Book Award committee member
      Special Schools committee member
International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE)
South Carolina Branch National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

Mary M. Silgals, MLIS
Last updated March 10, 2008