News from Mardigian Library: Young Authors' Festival and vacation reading


Young Authors' Festival 2015 Author Gary Schmidt shares storytelling and writing techniques with the audience.

Young Authors’ Festival

The Mardigian Library was alive with the sound of children, aka “future students,” when more than 150 children and adults attended the Young Authors’ Festival on Nov. 14! The theme of this year’s festival was “Celebrating Our Differences.”

Our guest speaker was Dr. Gary Schmidt, a Michigan author, two-time Newbery Honor recipient and National Book Award finalist. Schmidt shared a number of stories with the children, highlighting various storytelling and writing techniques they could use in their writing. There was a lot of laughter and giggling from the audience! At the end of his presentation, children asked Schmidt excellent questions, and together they had an engaging conversation about writing and being an author.

Next on the program were two sets of breakout sessions for both children and adults. Children practiced writing techniques in sessions led by education students preparing to become teachers. Schmidt and Prof. Danielle DeFauw shared techniques and tips with the adults for supporting children’s writing development.

As part of the festival, a writing contest for children in grades 3 through 5 was held in the fall. At the end of Saturday’s event, the 10 winners were invited to read their entries aloud to the audience and were presented with their awards.

The goals of the festival are:

  1. Encourage children in their writing;
  2. Provide techniques and methods for encouraging and improving children’s writing;
  3. Work with the family as a whole to help parents support their child’s writing;
  4. Highlight Michigan authors and illustrators.

The festival is a collaboration between the university’s College of Education, Health, and Human Services and the Mardigian Library. Sponsors included the Office of Metropolitan Impact, the Campus Bookstore, Mrs. Judith Smith, and the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

We are already at work on the 2016 Young Authors’ Festival!

Browsing Collection updates

’Tis the season to curl up with good book, sip a hot beverage and, this year at least, imagine the snow falling outside your window. Take a look at our Browsing collection and check out a book to read during the season break. Below are a few books recently added to our collection.

Great Tales and Poems” by Edgar Allen Poe (Vintage Books, ©2009)

Want to give yourself a little chill to justify drinking that mug of hot cocoa? Read some short stories and poems by Edgar Allen Poe. This book features eleven short stories and eight of his poems. It includes classics such as: “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and “The Raven.” The book is this year’s choice for the Dearborn Public Library’s Big Read in Dearborn Program.

Human Age: the World Shaped By Us” by Diane Ackerman (Norton, ©2015)

Ackerman examines overpopulation, the energy crisis and our dependence on technology in this foreboding, yet inspirational book. She allows us to think about whether or not we will accept destruction or restoration as humans shape the future of this planet.

Lisette’s List” by Celeste Ng (Penguin Books, ©2015)

A daughter winds up dead and a Chinese American family, living in a small-town in Ohio in the 1970s, struggles to understand why. This is a gripping page-turner and a profoundly moving story of family, history and the meaning of home. 

No Ordinary Disruption: the Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends” by Richard Dobbs (Public Affairs, ©2015)

The rise of emerging markets, the accelerating impact of technology, an aging world population and the flows of trade, capital and people are transforming businesses and economies around the world. Providing some eye-opening examples, this book illustrates the economic shift from the West to emerging markets revealing the new facts of business life.

Back to top of page