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Reading Round Up is an annual conference that brings together those serving youth in a Maine school or public library. The day long event includes workshop sessions, Cream of the Crop review of best books, vendors, and more!

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The conference accepts vendors and exhibitors for our conference. We provide ample break time for attendee interactions. If you are interested in joining us this year, please reach out to vendors@readingroundup.org.

Past Conference Themes and Keynotes

  • 2023 “Level Up” with Jason Reynolds, author

  • 2022 “Rediscover Joy” with author Alex Gino

  • 2021 “Rise Up” with Leslea Newman, Author

  • 2020 “Building Bridges” with Saadia Faruqi, author (virtual)

  • 2019 “Connections: Looking Back & Reaching Forward” with author Sharon Creech

  • 2018 “Maine Perspectives: What’s Your Story?” with Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald, storyteller and author

  • 2017 “Rethinking Literacy: Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century” with John Schumacher (a.k.a. Mr. Schu), blogger and part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Reading Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fair 

  • 2016 “Celebrating Our Differences: Diversity in Children’s Literature and Services” with author Gary Schmidt

  • 2015 “Blurring the Boundaries: Telling the Truth in Nonfiction” with author Tanya Lee Stone

  • 2014 “Everything We Need to Know We Learned from Children’s Books Past and Present “ with author Anita Silvey

  • 2013 “Letting Kids Lead” with author Kate Messner

  • 2012 “Literacy in the 21st Century” with author Deborah Heiligman

  • 2011 “Why I Write for Children” with author Andrew Clements

  • 2010 “If the Art Fits” with illustrator Kevin Hawkes

  • 2009 “Back to the Future” with author Lois Lowry

  • 2008 “Can Read But Don’t Wanna” with Pat Feehan, Professor, University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science. 

  • 2007 “Dewey or Don’t We: Essential Nonfiction” with Susan Campbell Bartoletti

  • 2006 “Reaching Out to Readers” with author and instructor at Simmons College Michael Sullivan

  • 2005 “Poetry: Reading, Rhyming & Rhythm” with author Ashley Bryan

  • 2004 “Looking Back: Experiencing History” with author Doreen Rappaport

  • 2003 “Beyond Library Walls” with Carole Fiore Management Analyst/Youth Services Consultant, State Library of Florida

  • 2002 "The Joy of Reading" with noted author and lecturer Betsy Hearne, Professor of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois.

  • 2001 "Magic of Storytelling" with author and storyteller, Margaret Read MacDonald

  • 2000 “Connecting Kids and Books” with author and YA services consultant, Patrick Jones

  • 1999 “The Art of the Book” with author and librarian Julie Cummins

  • 1998 “Beyond the Stars: Exploring the Best in Children’s Literature” with Roger Sutton, Editor-in-Chief, The Horn Book Magazine

  • 1997 “Truth is Stranger than Fiction: Reaching Readers through Nonfiction” with author Patricia G. Lauber

  • 1996 “Corralling Humor in the Library” with author and columnist Michael Cart 

  • 1995 “New Connections” with Melody Allen, Library Program Specialist, Rhode Island Department of State Library Services

  • 1994 “Forms and Faces of Diversity in Children’s and Young Adult Literature” with Maggie Russell, Managing Editor, Parents’ Choice.

  • 1993 “Building Bridges” with Susan Bloom, and Cathryn Mercier, Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Simmons College, Boston.

  • 1992 “Current Trends in the World of Children’s Books” with Anita Silvey, former Editor-in-Chief, The Horn Book Magazine

  • 1991 “Books for Children and Young Adults”

  • 1990 “Reading Aloud or Alone: Choosing Books for Children and Young Adults”

Augusta is the only location with a large enough space and all of the features needed to accommodate the size and style of our conference. Additionally, we have a long standing relationship with the Civic Center, meaning they have a background knowledge of our needs.
Our committee balances several considerations when choosing a keynote speaker. We try to ensure that we are hearing from people who work with varied ages of primary audience–so a person whose work focuses on younger kids one year and older kids the next. We also would like to invite a wide range of perspectives and lived experiences, so we consider the history of who has spoken and look for voices we haven’t heard from much. We consider what is happening in the world of youth librarianship and who might have something valuable, interesting, or inspiring to say about it. Finally, we look at what attendees have suggested as potential speakers. The committee makes an ordered list and then starts sending out inquiries to see if the people we would like are available and interested and feasible for us.
Please see our refund policy.
It is typically available in Late Oct/early Nov. It will be shared via the listservs and on the Maine State Library website. Direct requests should be emailed to admin@readingroundup.org.
We would love to make this a hybrid conference, but there are a number of factors that limit our ability to do so. The first is cost. Holding an in-person conference is quite expensive, holding a virtual conference is also expensive, and a hybrid conference means that we are paying both. Additionally, the technology and staff needed to offer a hybrid conference is beyond the capabilities of our current committee.
This ends up being the midpoint of our day. Between our keynote and book signing windows, plus the first two sessions, lunch happens to fall at 1:00. If you are a person who typically eats earlier, we encourage you to bring snacks that you can munch on to hold you over until lunch.
When you register, you will let us know of any food allergens/preferences. If lunch is a buffet, that’s all you’ll need to do. If lunch is a choice by each participant, you’ll select a type of lunch that you would like to have and your name tag will have an indication of your choice, so you simply have to match your nametag to your lunch. You are always welcome to bring your own lunch if nothing appeals to you or you have concerns about the food provided.
There is a lot to do between each session! The previous session has to clear out of the room, including any follow up questions for the presenter, leaving time for the next presenter to get in and set up the room. Additionally, there are tables to visit in the exhibitor hall, bathroom breaks, snacks, and more needs that are often being addressed in these times. This allows us to make sure that all 400+ attendees can comfortably transition from one session to the next.
Yes, we will have a lactation room. If you need to use this room, please ask one of the staff members (wearing purple Reading Round Up shirts) for help.
There are a number of reasons why we do four sessions. The first is because there are so many great ideas, organizations, and topics that we want to share with you each year. This also allows us the opportunity to offer a greater variety of sessions to each attendee, and give you “more bang for your buck” by giving the opportunity to learn about many different topics
The Civic Center reached out to us and asked if we would be willing to switch our date from the fourth Thursday in April to the first. They had a potential conflict and offered us a deal on our pricing to switch. We decided to take the change because the reduction in cost benefits our attendees, either by letting us charge a little less or pay a slightly higher speaker fee for our keynote. Interestingly, this is actually a return to the early days of Reading Round Up! When the conference first started in the 1990s, it was held during the first week of April. It was only in the last decade or so that we switched to the later April date.
The short answer is no. We know that there is a long time between when you register and when you arrive, and a lot about your work situation can change. What sounded exciting and relevant to you in January might not fit your job description in April. However, when registering, we ask for you to indicate interest in sessions. This allows us to choose which rooms to place each session in, based on the projected audience size.

Youth Services Specialist

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Kara Reiman
she/her
Contact:
242 State St.
Augusta, ME 04330
207-287-5660

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