Sunday, October 10, 2010

Laura Frondorf - Mon. Oct. 11 to Wed. Oct. 13, 2010

Wrapping up this fall's schedule of guests is another IUPUI SLIS graduate, Laura Frondorf, who made the career jump from classroom to the library media center. Laura formerly worked as the grade 6-8 learning disabilities teacher at Brookville Middle School in Franklin County. Today Laura is the LMS at Brookville Middle School (Gr 5 - 8) and Mt. Carmel School (K-8).

In addition to the degree in special education, Laura also completed a Masters degrees in reading. So naturally she has planned and orchestrated reading events and promotions at her schools; book fairs, book swap, a summer reading program, and author visits.

Learn more about Laura at


  1. Laura,

    When I was in elementary school, we participated in reading programs which rewarded students with pizza hut certificates for completing a certain amount of reading within a certain amount of time. I always worked hard on completing the work to get the reward, but I didn't really take the time to enjoy what I was reading because I had to move on to the next book. So my thinking now is that giving such a reward might not have been such a great thing, but on the other hand, it did get me to read. And today, I love to read. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

    Lee Ann

  2. Laura,
    I noticed in your profile that you've had the opportunity to plan author visits, something I would love to do with my current position, but I have absolutely no experience with it, or understanding of how to go about it, could you please walk me through the process of finding an author, negotiating the visit, and finally how much, on average, an author visit costs?

  3. Hello Laura!
    I am very intrigued with the idea of a "book swap". How does this work? If this is a program which involves students, do you think that something such as this would work in a public library setting? I am always looking for new ideas on how to get kids and teens more involved in our library and a book swap sounds like something that would be a fun way to get kids into our building. Also, please explain what a book fair is. I am very new to both of these concepts so assume that I know nothing. :)
    Thank you!

  4. Laura,

    I also am intrigued by the idea of a "book swap." I know that IUPUI has the Interlibrary Loan department in which the University Library both borrows materials from and lends materials to other libraries. I've requested many items myself that have come from other libraries. I actually work in the department and have processed materials that have come from libraries in places like Australia and the United Kingdom. That said, is this "book swap" similar to how the interlibrary loan program works?

  5. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Lee Ann,
    Mt. Carmel School continues to participate in the Book It program with Pizza Hut. My only involvement is to enroll our school and order the teacher packets each year. I know kindergarten through 5th grade participates. My son participates each year. He is now in 3rd grade. Each year his teacher has sent home a reading log to complete. His has not been based on the number of books, but the number of minutes read. The teachers usually recommend 20 minutes at least 4 to 5 times a week.

    I like the idea of number of minutes versus number of books. This way a student has a chance to choose something they want to read. My son is enjoying a Magic Tree House book right now. Each night he and I sit down and read for at least 20 minutes. We usually end up reading longer!


  6. Anonymous7:30 PM


    I have worked as a LMS for the past two years and have had the opportunity to host an illustrator and an author. In my first year I didn’t contact the illustrator. Another LMS in our corporation asked if I would like to host the illustrator she had coming to her buildings. Being the new LMS I agreed. I did make contact with David Slonim, the illustrator which visited our school. I split expenses with the other LMS. The corporation paid for the illustrator’s fees and we split his travel, lodging, and food expenses.

    Last year I made contact with Jeff Stone’s agent and set up the visit through the agent. I had heard about Mr. Stone at a conference I attended the year before. I was able to obtain funds from our school corporation to pay for Mr. Stone’s visit. I was responsible for his travel expenses.

    I have been quite lucky with my visits. I am currently working plans to host the author J. B. Cheaney this spring. I have been in contact with the agent. We have set the date for early April. Thanks for asking me this I need to make contact with the agent again.

    To find an author, I attend conferences and hear authors speak, I talk with others who’ve hosted an author, and I try to find authors from Indiana, the Cincinnati area, or northern Kentucky. My school is located in southeastern Indiana. Once I have made contact with an author and found out the information needed (price, times, what kind of program/talk they have) I go to the principal and make arrangements according to the school calendar. The principal in my building is very supportive of having authors visit. I speak with assistant superintendent to see if he has any funds available to help with the cost. I also approach the parents organization (they have an author’s fund, so far I have always been able to find the money I need). Last week the parents group approved the money needed to pay for the author visit this school year. I work with a local book store or one of my book suppliers to purchase books for the students to purchase before the author visits and to be signed by the author.

    The teachers I work with are wonderful at helping promote the books and help with decorating the school. We are a rural school with no restaurants near so we host a pitch-in lunch for the author. The staff enjoys having lunch with the author. The authors seem to enjoy this as well.

    Throughout the day I take a boat load of pictures. After printing the pictures I put together a photo album to have in the library. The students love to look at the pictures to find themselves and their friends. Last year I made a movie with pictures I had taken. The students loved watching this. I also sent a copy to the author and to the assistant superintendent with a thank you note.

    Author visits run anywhere from about $500 up. Some authors will do up to 3 sessions in a day.

    I hope this information is helpful. I enjoy bring in authors for the students of my school. It is great to get the kids excited about books and wanting to read!


  7. Laura,

    Yeah, I would think minutes over number of books would be better. Sometimes I wonder if giving kids prizes for things like this is really doing them good; that they focus on the end goal and not enjoy the journey, particularly with older kids because the prize is generally bigger, more expensive (an ipod for example).

    It has been many years since I was in 3rd grade, considering I graduated high school in 1996.


    Lee Ann

  8. Anonymous7:42 PM

    Melissa and Lee Ann,

    Last spring was the first time I tried a “book swap”. As a librarian, I try to get books in to the hands of the students I serve. That is one of the reasons I host book fairs. The principal and I wanted to do something to get books into the hands of the students for the summer. I came up with “book swap”. Well, actually I googled info on book swaps and put together something with the information I found. Students were invited to bring up to 5 books to swap. I gave the teachers index cards and asked them to write the students name and the number of books they brought to swap. The books were brought to the library. A day was designated as swap day and the students who brought books in were invited to the library. I gave the students their index card and they were able to pick “new to them” books. I checked their card with the number of books the students had before they returned to class.

    The students who participated really enjoyed this. I am hoping for a better turn out this year. Although I talked about the swap, sent information to the teachers and home I did not have the response I had hoped for. I believe this year will be better. I just don’t think the kids quite understood what was going to happen.


  9. Anonymous7:49 PM

    Lee Ann,

    I wish all students just loved to read for the sake of reading, but that is just not the case. At Brookville Middle School, the English teachers came up with the Reading Race last school year. The students make a team of at least 3 but not more than 5 readers. They can ask an adult to be a part of their team. The students read a book, complete a sheet with the title, author, number of pages, and team name. At the end of the semester students who have read at least a determined number of pages is invited to a pizza party during lunch. There is also drawings for prizes. Usually the prizes are books, gift certificates, etc.

    This is a completely voluntary program. Many students choose to participate. The are very competitive!


  10. Laura,

    It sounds very interesting :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  11. Laura,

    Thank you for the information on the book swap. I think I would like to try something like this at my public library. It sounds like a great way to get new titles into the hands of our young patrons.

    I am curious about your take on reading incentives. Do you ever have reading "competitions" where there isn't a tangible prize? What other types of incentives do you think would motivate kids to read? An intermediate center near my library competes in reading contests with other middle schools in the area and, instead of individual prizes, a trophy is passed around to the winning school each year. I am interested to hear about any other types of awards and/or prizes that you may have encountered during your career.

  12. Anonymous4:27 PM

    Melissa E.,

    I like the idea of having a reading contest between two schools with a traveling trophy. I have not tried that yet but think I may begin working on something to do between the two schools I work in.

    At Mt. Carmel, the students participate in a reading program in the late fall and in the spring. If they meet their goal in the fall they are invited to attend a special program. In the past, the principal has brought a magician in to do a program for the kids and the Cincinnati Zoo has brought their big cats to school for a program. In the spring, students that meet their reading goals are invited to attend the principal’s picnic at the end of the school year. The picnic is tons of fun for the kids. Mrs. Blessing has a water slide set up, a water balloon toss, water guns, etc. It is an afternoon of big fun for the kids outside with their classmates, teachers, and Mrs. Blessing.

  13. Laura,

    The reading contest sounds fun :) Even older kids in high school might enjoy it too. :) A contest between grades for a traveling trophy sounds interesting too.

  14. Laura,

    I LOVE the idea of rewarding students with a special program! That is a really great idea and something that I could definitely pull off at the public library. Thank you!


  15. Anonymous5:38 PM

    I want to thank you for letting me be a part of the class. I have enjoyed sharing about what I do and have come away with some new ideas to use in my libraries!


  16. Anonymous6:51 PM


    I think you can adapt many programs, contests, incentives, for a public library. I always keep up with what the public libraries in our area are doing. I try to let the kids know of programs I think they will be interested in. I also make notes for myself for things I may like to adapt and use in the future.

    Last spring I found a display at my local public library for Margaret Peterson Haddix. A school in the area was hosting Ms. Haddix and had invited the public to attend the evening session. I had the pleasure of hearing Ms. Haddix speak, met her, and had books signed to use as gifts/prizes for my students. Talk about a hit! The students loved hearing about Ms. Haddix and thought it was cool to have books signed by her. A student that participated in our summer reading program received a signed copy of Found. She thinks that is awesome!