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  • encouraging diverse points of view.
  • continuous reflection and on-going improvement.
  • collegial relationships and ethical leadership.
  • independent education options for families.
  • promoting the independence of our schools.
  • quality standards without standardization.
  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

NWAIS Conferences, Workshops and Events

Librarians Conference

Date: Friday - March 13, 2020
Time: All Day
Location: Portland Jewish Academy

Moved to Virtual Meeting, In-Person Event Cancelled



Librarians Conference

March 13, 2020 - Portland Jewish Academy

Update: Based on recommendations from King County Public Health, The Librarian's Conference will now be held virtually, rather than in-person. We will still have our guest speakers presenting and will still have time to connect with and share ideas with fellow school librarians. Zoom meetings are easy and the next best thing to being together. The sessions will be recorded for those who would like to view it in the future. Registrants cancel by Monday, March 9, 2020 and receive full refund. If you would like to participate or would like to have access to the recorded sessions, your school will be credited back half your registration fee. If you have already cancelled, and you would like to attend virtually, just let us know!

Registration is Open!

This half-day virtual gathering will bring together librarians from across the NWAIS region, for a day of inspiration, networking, sharing of best practices as well as a peek at the future of our independent school libraries.

Abbreviated Zoom Conference Agenda


1:00-1:15        Welcome, Zoom Orientation  


1:15-1:30         Introduction Activity  


1:30-2:10         The Genrefication Experimentation Conversation  


2:10-3:00          Diversity within Diversity: Balancing Collections, Book Lists, and Recommendations with Laura Simeon is the Young Adult Editor at Kirkus Reviews


3:00-3:45          Author Session Author of Mr. Wolf’s Class, the graphic novel series by Eisner Award winning cartoonist and elementary school teacher Aron Nels Steinke.  


3:45-4:00          Thank you’s and goodbyes


Speakers and Sessions


Diversity within Diversity: Balancing Collections, Book Lists, and Recommendations

Most librarians are now persuaded of the importance of building diverse collections but frequently struggle with locating these titles, determining which ones to purchase, and ensuring that the books circulate and are used by students and teachers. Additionally, all too often, collections may appear diverse by the numbers, but diverse materials are segregated in certain sections of the library or inadvertently reinforce stereotypes. This session will help librarians look critically at the collections they build, the book lists they create, and the titles they recommend to teachers for curriculum support, with the goal of greater inclusivity, as well as offering tips for promoting diverse materials.


Presenter: Laura Simeon is the Young Adult Editor at Kirkus Reviews.  Formerly the K-8 Librarian and Diversity Coordinator at Open Window School in Bellevue, WA, she was on the jury for the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative's 2019 Translated YA Book Prize and a jury member for the 2020-21 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. Through a grant from the Swedish government, Laura did original research in Stockholm on diverse picture books and she is a former guest blogger for Lee & Low multicultural publishers.

Author Session with Aron Nels Steinke, Author of Mr. Wolf’s Class

Presenting: Graphic Novels: Harnessing their power

Award-winning graphic novelist and teacher, Aron Nels Steinke will speak about the extraordinary role graphic novels and comics play as a medium by fostering both a love for reading and writing. Graphic novels present the opportunity for readers to quickly assess how books reflect and represent our diverse student body. How do comics and graphic novels play a role in the discussion about the importance of representation? How can they be used best in the classroom and how can libraries tap into this enthusiasm of reading and creating?

Aron Nels Steinke is a cartoonist and elementary school teacher. He began making comics in 2006 with the help of a grant from the Xeric Foundation and never stopped. In 2015 he and his wife Ariel Cohn won the Best Publication for Early Readers Eisner Award for their book The Zoo Box (First Second Books). Mr. Wolf’s Class (Scholastic/Graphix) is his newest book series following the adventures of a class of anthropomorphs and their teacher who just so happens to be a wolf. The first book was a New York Time’s Editor’s Choice selection and a 2019 Oregon Spirit Award Honor winner. The second book in the series, Mystery Club, was nominated for a 2019 Harvey Award. Book 3, Lucky Stars, was named by Chicago Public Library as one of the 2019 best books of fiction for younger readers. Book Four—Field Trip, will publish on October 6, 2020.



The Genrefication Experimentation Conversation 

We will wade into the debate around whether to organize libraries around genres or not. Whether you are in favor of or against the idea of genrefication, your voice will be an important part of the conversation.  
Led by: Molly Sloan, Portland Jewish Academy Librarian




Here is what your NWAIS colleagues thought of the last NWAIS Librarians Conference:


The conference is an excellent way to experience new ideas and meet stimulating professionals. When I leave the conference I feel professionally engaged. Thanks so much!


It's a great way to connect with peers across the region. It's nice to learn from colleagues who are doing innovative and important work.


It was so great to connect with local librarians. I got a lot of great ideas to bring back and apply to my school.




NWAIS Attendees: $85


Non-NWAIS Attendees: $122.50


TO RECEIVE THE REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: Your registration must be complete and payment must be postmarked or received by the appropriate deadline.

• For online registrations with payment by check, payment must be postmarked by deadline date.

• Online registrations paid by credit card must be completed by 11:59pm on the deadline date.



Cancellation Policy

Substitutions may be made any time prior to the conference. Written cancellations received by March 9, 2020 are eligible for a full refund.  Cancellations received after March 9, 2020 are ineligible for any refund.



NWAIS Events Are Paperless

All program materials will be provided electronically.

If there are pre-event materials, they will be sent to you via email about a week prior to the event. Please bring a device to access them at the workshop or if you prefer, print out the digital materials and bring them with you. We will not have hard-copy packets for attendees on-site.



Attendees will be Eligible for 5 Clock Hours and / or STARS Credits

Attendees from NWAIS member schools receive clock hours and STARS free of charge. For those not affiliated with a member school, there is a $10 processing fee for Clock Hours and for STARS Credits. The original clock hours form or your STARS certificate will be mailed back to you for your records. If you need to petition another agency for credits or you would like a certificate for your files, NWAIS is happy to provide one upon request at no charge.



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Northwest Association of Independent Schools
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T: 206.323.6137 • info@nwais.org
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