Professional Development Workshops

Book Verdict


Deborah B. Ford, JLG’s Director of Library Outreach, is an award-winning library media specialist and international speaker with almost thirty years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools. Traveling across North America, she does workshops, library coaching, and professional development for school and public libraries. Deborah is the author of JLG's Booktalks to Go and Everyday Librarian @ School Library Journal.  She also maintains an award-winning coordinating online resource at Contact her at Follow her on Twitter @jlgdeborahford.


Keynote Addresses

View the Professional Development Workshops schedule.


Keynotes that Motivate, Inspire, and Educate

Looking for a motivational speaker for your conference or workshop? JLG is now proud to offer our Director of Library Outreach, Deborah B. Ford as a keynote speaker. Your audience will leave the general session affirmed, challenged, and encouraged. A selection of keynotes is as follows:

Keynote Addresses (can also be workshops)

Life is All About Plan B
In a time when there is never enough money, time, or staff, what can school library staff do to survive? What is Plan B? Learn four steps for surviving in an over-taxed job without losing your enthusiasm or your sanity.

  • Revise and revamp your program
  • Ask for help
  • Save time and money
  • Market your library for advocacy

Embracing Your Super Powers
What makes a good librarian in today’s 2.0 world? What super powers do you have that can be used to empower your readers in their efforts towards lifelong learning?

  • Evaluate your program
  • Utilize your strengths
  • Improve your weaknesses

The Power of Marketing
Afraid to speak up? Are you just happy to have a job? Keeping a low profile? Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Learn four marketing strategies to gather advocates before you need them.

  • Develop every day advocacy
  • Utilize social media
  • Create an elevator speech
  • Improve your presentation skills

Professional Development Workshops: Learn Expert Tips for Success in Your Library

Junior Library Guild also offers free professional development workshops to help you with your most pressing needs as a librarian. Our on-site or online workshops will prepare you to use online resources and technology, lead you to new curriculum resources, or even assist with time management skills.

Schedule Free Professional Development
It’s easy to schedule and host JLG professional development for your library. Simply choose one of the topic areas below and then contact your JLG account rep or call us at 800.491.0174 and we will assist you. Then, invite all of your colleagues to attend. We’ll even send reminder postcards to those you invite. Our workshops are available on-site or online.

Online Professional Learning
If you prefer an online webinar rather than an on-site visit for your workshop, we are happy to accommodate you. Ten attendees are required for each on-site or online session and a minimum of two hours must be allotted for the learning whether in-person or online.

Workshops / Breakout Sessions

Book Buzz: Tips and Tricks for Youth Services Booktalkers
If your teacher has to die, August is a good time of year for it.” Who wouldn’t want to read a book that starts with a sentence like that? From simply reading passages to booktalks 2.0, participate in a hands-on session of tips, tricks and sure-fire booktalk strategies to hook your readers.

  • Promote literature
  • Combine technology
  • Develop programming
  • Get the book buzz going

Out with the Old and in with the New (can be expanded to include best books to fill the holes)
Have your weeds gone out of control? Are you looking for new tips to save you time and money with collection development? Join Deborah for a fast-paced look at selection and de-selection of your library collection. Discover strategies and resources while preventing an outcry of dissension.

  • Discover new resources
  • Develop strategies for saving time
  • Create a PR program to inform community
  • Identify sources for collection development

Informational Texts and Where to Find Them (can be expanded to include nonfiction resources)
With the implementation of the CCSS, educators are faced with an increasing need for nonfiction and other informational texts. Learn where to find mostly free informational text and how to make the most of the databases to which you already subscribe.

  • Define characteristics of good informational text
  • Discover free resources
  • Define qualities of good nonfiction
  • Find lists of best nonfiction
  • Improve usage of databases

Using Social Media to Promote Your Library
With an ever-changing menu, social media can be overwhelming. With a little organization it can also be a marketing tool that brings patrons into your library.

  • Improve use of Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • Utilize statistics to inform community
  • Develop strategies to organize your time
  • Create a community that promotes you

Ready-to-Use Resources—All in One Place
Do your students and teachers get so overwhelmed with websites that they just Google for information? Have you tried collaborative tools without much success? Join Deborah for a look at, a free resource that allows you to create an organic product that meets the needs of your patrons.

  • Discover
  • Utilize the resource for volunteer organization
  • Utilize the resource for collaborative projects
  • Develop advertising strategies for promotion

Scary, Gross, and Enlightening Books for Boys K–12: Today’s Strategies and Resources
Think that boys won’t read? Learn about new books boys will read; books that are funny, action packed, trivia-filled, or gross.

  • Identify age-appropriate selections
  • Listen to booktalks of best books for boys of current year
  • Acquire programming ideas that encourage boys to read
  • Learn teaching strategies for increasing literacy

Using Technology in Libraries
What are the latest great apps and websites? How can you integrate them into your work? Discover innovative ways to use these tools to increase student motivation, interest, and participation.

  • Discover the latest in technology websites
  • Integrate technology in instruction, management, programming and marketing
  • Create Vokis, screencasts, videos and audio
  • Discover best apps and how to use them

What Public Librarians Need to Know about Common Core State Standards
From programming to collection development, common core state standards can impact the work of the public librarian. With implementation in the schools, where do you fit in?

  • Identify the myths
  • Define characteristics of good informational text
  • Find lists of best nonfiction
  • Support CCSS with programming

Online Resources for Educators
From curriculum-based sites to productivity tools, this session will highlight the online resources that will save you time and money! Get up-to-date on the best new websites and technology ideas.

  • Discover free CCSS lesson plans
  • Identify free sources of informational text and primary sources
  • Observe the latest in online digital resources
  • Learn how to make the most of your databases

Presentation Tools for the 21st Century
Explore the many ways Web 2.0 tools can motivate students to read and inspire them to be creative in demonstrating their comprehension. Using free online web resources, learn ways to provide your students with a variety of tech savvy presentation choices.

  • View new Web 2.0 tools
  • Discover book trailer resources
  • Create Vokis
  • Identify best books for patrons

Ensuring Diversity in the Library
Today's diverse society is a multicultural blend of races, beliefs, lifestyles, and abilities. In this new session, you'll receive strategies for strengthening diversity practices, new diversity resources, and a wealth of programming ideas. We will finish with marketing tips—after all, what's the point of having a diverse program if no one knows you're doing it?

  • Ideas for evaluating your diversity
  • New programming ideas
  • Ways to extend your resources
  • Tips for implementing marketing strategies

Revitalizing Research in a Google-Driven World
How do we revitalize research in a world that thinks everything can just be Googled? The truth is that much information CAN be Googled. How good are they at Googling is another question. Our job then is to teach them how to use digital resources efficiently, effectively, and ethically.

Putting a Little STEAM in Your School Library Program
The power of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) becomes even stronger when combined with literacy. In the library or media center, we have a natural platform for allowing students and patrons to build and discover. Discover 10 ways to implement STEAM in your library program.