10 May 2023
Jodi Wortsman was the winner of a 2023 My Library Is… Grant for School Libraries

Everyone's a reader. That is the message I want to send to the students at Medinah Middle School. Last year I purchased celebrity READ posters from the American Library Association for all of the teachers in the school in order to promote reading in all disciplines. It was fun to see how the posters reflected the teachers’ personalities and interests. I wanted to take this idea further and have students and staff see themselves as readers reflected in the hallways and classrooms of the school. I was thrilled to receive the RAILS My Library Is grant, which enabled me to purchase the READ Design Studio software from the American Library Association, as well as a poster maker and supplies to make personalized READ posters for students and staff.

I introduced the project by making posters for teachers and administration. Our principal was the most excited - he wore his favorite hockey jersey and brought his hockey stick to pose with his favorite book, My Leafs Sweater (he’s a die-hard fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs). Our social worker supported neurodivergent learners by holding How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine. Students were excited to see their teachers as celebrities and wanted to get in on the act. They started requesting posters for themselves and really enjoyed picking out their books. “Can I make a poster with that basketball book?” asked one student, referring to his favorite book, The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. “I can’t decide which book to hold. Can I hold the whole series?” asked another student who loved the Legend series by Marie Lu. Lots of Harry Potter posters adorn the classrooms as well. It’s so much fun to see kids and teachers decide on their favorite books and pose with them. Their smiles are genuine and contagious. The best part is seeing the diversity of my students reflected in the posters I created. I am sending the message that they are important and that we are all readers at Medinah Middle School!

Now that I have all of the software, equipment, and supplies I need, I will continue to create fun posters next year and in the future. Thank you RAILS!

Today's blog is by Jodi Wortsman, Librarian, Medinah Middle School 


Showcasing readers

Well done, Jodi! I like how you're picking up the ALA Graphics slack in releasing new celebrity READ posters. This is another case when what our students SEE is as important as what we SAY to them. They are seeing their classmates, their teachers, and themselves as readers.