LIBR 281-02
LIBR 281-11
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: Booktalking Seminar
Fall 2011 Greensheet

Dr. Joni Richards Bodart
Web Site: 
Office location:
418H, Clark Hall
Office Hours: By Arrangement Only


Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L site for this course. The course will be automatically available to students on August 24th, 2011.

Course Description

This course is designed to teach students the skills, techniques, and procedures for developing and implementing booktalking and school visiting programs for middle and high school aged students and adults, including face to face presentations, digital booktalks, and book trailers using live action, animation, slides, and soundtracks.  Students will learn how to “read for booktalking” in all its formats, what types of talks and formats work best for which titles and audiences, how to prepare a face to face presentation for a group, various presentation styles for both face to face and digital booktalking, and how to work with school faculty and administration to set up a booktalking program in school, and how to make digital talks and trailers a part of that program.  Booktalking programs for adults and how to set them up and run them will also be included, as well as how to teach both face to face and digital booktalking, and how to set up a curriculum unit on booktalking for middle and high school students, including digital and face to face booktalks, and various kinds of book trailers.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 202, 204 required. Other prerequisites may be added depending on content.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the different kinds of booktalks, and which are most effective with different writing styles, genres, and audiences.
  • Create or adapt written booktalks of different formats, styles and lengths that will entice audiences of varying ages to read the titles presented for face to face presentations and digital booktalks and create booktrailers using live action, animation, voiceovers and soundtracks.
  • Perform face to face and digital booktalks in a variety of settings, and for different audiences.
  • Use still images, captions, and voiceovers/soundtracks to create effective booktrailers.
  • Write effective readers’ annotations for booklists and bibliographies.
  • Understand the book display and merchandising techniques, including the use of digital talks and trailers, necessary to support an extensive booktalking and school visiting program, or a booktalking program in the public library or other venues.
  • Work with school faculty and administration to set up and run an extensive school visiting program, and work with administration of the public library to support a booktalking program for audiences of various ages, set up in various locations.
  • Understand the impact of an extensive booktalking program on the public library, and know techniques to implement that will ensure that impact is as positive for all library departments as possible.
  • Write a curriculum unit on teaching booktalking/booktrailering to middle or high school students.

LIBR 281 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria
  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations
  • design training programs based on appropriate learning principles and theories
  • apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy
  • use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users

in addition to the texts listed at the end of this greensheet, there is one new resource I HIGHLY reccomend you invest in.


  • Pattison, D.  (2011).  The Book Trailer Manual: Market and Sell Your Book: Build Trust, Gain Readers and Break-out with the Right Video about Your Book.  Download at  Use the discount code SJSUBodart, and you will get a discounted price of $10.00, available only to my students.

Course Requirements

General Requirements

  • All students must have access to a video camera and the ability and software to load recordings to the Angel course site.
  • Students are expected to attend all scheduled Elluminate sessions, actively participate in class discussion threads, complete reading assignments, watch all assigned video presentations, and submit written assignments on due dates.
  • Assignments must be submitted via the Angel course website. Lecture information will be given in print and video formats, and made available on the course site. 

Elluminate Sessions
There will be five Elluminate class sessions, which are all required. These sessions will be from 630-900pm PST on 9/8, 9/28, 10/19, 11/16, 11/30. My assistant will send you a link to each session ahead of time so you can get to the sessions. Elluminate sessions will be used for lectures, your presentations and comments on them, and for Q&A sessions.

You are required to have a microphone and speaker to use this software. I suggest purchasing a headset with a mike attached, since that will give the best sound quality and also leave your hands free for typing and mousing. You will need to get to class AT LEAST 10 minutes ahead of time, so my assistant can check to see that you can speak and hear. When this has been confirmed, she will tell you how to indicate that you’ve stepped away from your computer, and you don’t have to come back till 630. BTW, I have to do this too, to make sure my hardware is working properly as well.  Elluminate does retain many of your preferences, but does NOT retain your mike and speaker settings.

You should have learned about Elluminate and Angel in your 203 class, but if you did not, there are tutorials on the SLIS homepage.

Class participation is essential in this course. 
It is defined as:

  • responding to questions from me and from other class members  pertaining to the lecture and the outside readings
  • bringing up questions about the lecture and readings that require clarification, that you wish to dispute, or that you agree with
  • being an active participant in your own learning process

Comments and questions should be relevant to the topic under discussion, and take into consideration both that humor can enhance learning, and that this is a graduate classroom and some level of analytical thought is expected.    

Class participation on discussion boards is easy to track with d2l, and my assistant will be taking roll at each E session.  Please note that thoughtful, structured posts that contribute to the learning of the entire class will be weighted more heavily than “attaboys,” even though the latter are still meaningful to the person being supported.  You will all learn more and gain more expertise of you take the time and trouble to comment constructively on others’ talks and trailers, and attend to the comments given to you.

You will learn from each other as well as from me.  However, you do NOT have to agree with me in order to speak.  I am not always right, by any means, and welcome your dissension as well as your agreement.  I want to learn with you.

It is important for each of us to remember that no question is dumb, no response silly or invalid, and no idea unworthy of consideration.  This pertains to all comments, whether they are made by you, by me, or by someone else in the class.

Please read, think, and share your thoughts with the other members of this class, both in and out of class.  Bring your ideas, your questions, and your insights with you to class, so we can all learn and grow together.


1. Read texts.  You are expected to read the instructional portion of all of the texts, but the actual booktalks are not required, but are examples.

2. Attend all class sessions.  All sessions are required.

3. You will be required to write and present two ten-fifteen minute booktalking presentations, and will be evaluated by yourselves, your classmates, and myself.  Each presentation will include at least 6-8 books, one designed for older children and tweens and the second for older teens and adults.  For each presentation, you will hand in and post on the appropriate discussion board a one page description of the visit, including its goals (those for the group leader/teacher and the booktalker), the audience, and the situation. You will also hand in and post the text of the talks you will be presenting. 

For each presentation, you must write at least three of these talks, and adapt at least two of the others from various print and online sources—you will need to make a note at the bottom of each talk stating whether you wrote or adapted it, and if the latter, where you found the original talk.  The total number of talks in each presentation will depend on the length of the talks—you will most likely do shorter ones for the younger group, and longer ones for the older one. 

You will use discussion forums to post your draft talks for comments and critiques, and then rewrite the talk and repost it, until it is the best possible version.  That is the version you will record for your booktalking presentations. 

You will post a link to your presentation on the appropriate discussion forum with the one page paper describing your visit, and the text of your talks.  YOU MUST ALSO PUT THIS INFORMATION IN THE  APPROPRIATE DROPBOX in order to get a grade.  Your participation grade will depend heavily on how well each of you contributes appropriate criticism and praise to your peers.  At the end of the semester, each of you should have a database of all the talks done for the class. 

You may also choose to do your talks for a live audience.  While it may seem more scary, it will probably also be more fun, because you will have the immediate feedback from the kids.  However, do remember if you choose to do this, teen audiences are terminally cool, and you will have to look harder for their reactions than those of children or tweens.  Adult audiences are hard to predict, but I’ve found audiences of seniors to be very appreciative.

 4. You will be required to create two booktrailers and present them to the class.  Naomi Bates will be a guest speaker talking about how to create booktrailers, and there is a list of online resources with information on how to create different kinds of trailers, including talking heads, slides with text and soundtrack, voiceover and soundtrack, and live action posted on the website.  You will post your trailers for feedback as described above for booktalks.  For each, you will also post a description of how you created your trailer, the software you used and the resources you used for photos and music.  You may take your own photos, and create your own music/soundtrack if you choose to do so. 

You will share your book trailers by posting them online, on a site like YouTube or TeacherTube, and there are lots of other sites out there where you can post them.  Please use the same site for both trailers.  It will need to be available for the whole semester, although you can take it down after the end of the class.  You are not required to use tags to identify it, so it will be more or less private.  You will use the title of the book, or title and author, as the title of the booktrailer. 

Once your trailer has been critiqued and edited, you will present it to the class by posting a link to your booktrailer on the appropriate discussion forum with the one page paper describing your process of creating it. 

YOU MUST ALSO PUT THIS INFORMATION IN THE APPROPRIATE DROPBOX in order to get a grade.  Your participation grade will depend heavily on how well each of you contributes appropriate criticism and praise to your peers.  At the end of the semester, you will have a database of book trailers.

Once your trailer has been critiqued and edited, you will present it to the class.  You will post a link to your booktrailer on the appropriate discussion forum with the one page paper describing your process of creating it.  YOU MUST ALSO PUT THIS INFORMATION IN THE  APPROPRIATE DROPBOX in order to get a grade.  Your participation grade will depend heavily on how well each of you contributes appropriate criticism and praise to your peers.  At the end of the semester, you will have a database of book trailers.

5. You will turn in a paper discussing your conceptualization of the usefulness of booktalks and booktrailers, how they fit into both youth and adult reading motivation techniques, and your beliefs or philosophy concerning them, and how you will incorporate them into your work as a librarian in various settings—in the library, in schools, and in other community venues or settings.  These papers will be posted on the appropriate discussion forum, and ALSO posted to the appropriate dropbox.

6. Students will be required to participate in class discussion during Esessions and on discussion forums about booktalks and book trailers in general, presenting their ideas and their questions, participate in appropriate and constructive criticism of their colleagues, and exhibit appropriate skills in giving and receiving feedback from myself and their colleagues.

Assignments 3 and 4 will each count for 25% of your grade, and the other assignments (class attendance, readings, final paper and class participation) be averaged together for the other 50%.

Each of these assignments is designed to support the others. You need to read your texts and watch the videos in order to get enough information to participate in the class discussions. You will be asking for feedback from others about your talks and trailers, selecting, adapting and practicing them, and giving feedback on the same things. Your informal papers on each presentation/trailer will allow you to share your process and purpose for each of them. The final informal paper will allow you to go back over the semester and look at how far you have come, and how you will be using in the future what you have learned this semester.

I have planned due dates to allow for your learning curves in writing talks and creating trailers.  You have 6 weeks at the beginning of the semester to read and view materials  on how to write talks and create trailers, and to begin to work on your 4 presentations.  I want you to do one of your booktalking presentations first, and then one of your booktrailers.  Then you will do your second booktalking presentation, and finally your second booktrailer.  You will notice that the due dates get closer together as the semester moves along.  That’s because once you have done your first booktalks and gotten feedback about them while you are writing them and after you present them, you will be able to do the other talks more easily, because of the knowledge you gained from the first presentation.  The same thing is true of your booktrailers—you learn how while making your first, and then can create the second more easily. 

Please note that doing only two examples of booktalking presentations and two examples of booktrailers will not make you an expert in either.  However, you will have gotten your feet wet with both, and will be more ready to jump in at the deep end when you have to use these skills on the job.  Please do not ask to reduce the number of presentations—my original plans included 6 presentations, because I think it takes three experiences/presentations to attain even minimal mastery of skills like the ones you will be learning this semester.

  • First booktalking presentation:  Due 9/18, discussed during Esession on 9/28 (written feedback due 9/29)
  • First booktrailer:  Due 10/9, discussed during Esession on 10/19 (written feedback due 10/20)
  • Second booktalking presentation:  Due 10/30, discussed during Esession on 11/16 (written feedback due 11/17)
  • Second booktrailer:  Due 11/13, discussed during Esession on 11/23 (written feedback due 11/24)
  • Final paper:  12/11

Written feedback will be posted to the appropriate “Final Version” discussion board.  You are not required to put it in a dropbox.


  • History of booktalking
  • What booktalks are
  • Why they are useful
  • Benefits of booktalking
  • Types of talks
  • Styles of talks
  • How to “read for booktalking”
  • Writing talks
  • Adapting talks
  • Practice techniques
  • Presentation techniques
  • Setting up a school visiting program
  • Maximizing the positive impact of booktalking on your library
  • Booklists, bibliographies, book merchandising and display techniques to support booktalks
  • Budgeting for booktalking
  • Teaching booktalking
  • Giving effective feedback
  • Digital booktalks
    • Talking head
    • Full-body
  • Booktrailers
    • What they are
    • How to create them
    • Where to find them online
    • Types of trailers
      • Slides with text or voiceover
      • Live action with text or voiceover
      • Actors and scripts
    • Resources for creating trailers
      • Finding images
      • Finding music
      • Finding fonts
    • Putting it all together—making it lively and seamless
    • How to make them part of a booktalking program
      • Part of live presentations
      • Closed loop on library TVs
      • Have teens create their own


  • 8/24-9/8—Begin reading and viewing the materials available on the website and in your textbooks.  Include both information on booktalking and booktrailering.  Watch the lecture on how to do booktalks and several of the student presentations.  Write down questions and comments for the first Esession discussion.  Examine several of the websites listed on the class website and take a look at the articles on reserve.  Please include the article I did on the history of booktalking (That was Then, This is Now) and Naomi Bates’ information on her blog about how she makes booktrailers.  (Look at booktrailer tech tips, under Labels on the right hand side of the page.)  Continue to read and view material on website during the semester to enhance the quality of your performances/presentations.  I will let you know when I add new materials.  YOU WILL BE DOING MOST OF YOUR BACKGROUND/HOW-TO READING DURING THIS TIME PERIOD, AND THEN APPLY IT DURING THE REST OF THE SEMESTER.
  • 9/8—Attend class—Introduction to class, discussion of booktalking lecture and student performances, discussion of websites you have found with booktalks/booktrailers and whether or not you found them useful.
  • 9/9-9/18—Work on first booktalking presentation, turn in 9/18—once to Final Version discussion board, once to assignment dropbox
  • 9/18-9/28—Watch all presentations, taking notes on things done well and those that need improvement.  Begin working on booktrailer 1
  • 9/28—Attend class—Naomi Bates will explain how to create booktrailers, discussion of first booktalking presentations, based on your comments/feedback on each
  • 9/29—Make any final comments on written feedback, and post on appropriate Final Version discussion board
  • 9/30-10/9—Prepare booktrailer 1, turn in 10/9, once to assignment dropbox, once to Final Version discussion board
  • 10/9-10/19—Watch all booktrailers, making comments on things done well and those that need improvement.  Begin working on booktalking presentation 2
  • 10/19—Attend class—Naomi Bates will discuss how to use booktalks and booktrailers in various situations, present trailers to class, discussion of first booktrailer, based on your comments/feedback on each
  • 10/20—Make any final comments on written feedback, and post on appropriate Final Version discussion board
  • 10/20-10/30—Prepare booktalking presentation 2, turn in on 10/30, once to assignment dropbox, once to Final Version discussion board, begin working on booktrailer 2
  • 10/30-11/13—Prepare second booktrailer, turn in on 11/13, once to assignment dropbox, once to Final Version discussion board
  • 10/30-11/16— Watch all presentations, taking notes on things done well and those that need improvement
  • 11/16—Attend class—discussion of second booktalking presentation based on your comments/feedback, and including changes/differences between the two presentations
  • 11/17—Make any final comments on written feedback, and post on appropriate Final Version discussion board
  • 11/17-11/23—Watch all booktrailers, taking notes on things done well and those that need improvement
  • 11/23—Attend class—discussion of second booktrailer, based on your comments/feedback on each, and including changes/differences between them; discussion on students’ philosophies of booktalking/reading motivation
  • 11/24—Make any final comments on written feedback, and post on appropriate Final Version discussion board
  • 11/24-12/11—Monitor discussion boards, record links to booktalks and booktrailers for future reference, prepare final paper
  • 12/11—Turn in final paper

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • Bodart, J (1985). Booktalk! 2: Booktalks for all ages and audiences. New York: HW Wilson. Available through Amazon: 0824207165 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Jarrell, J., & Cannon, T. (2010). Cooler than fiction: A planning guide for teen nonfiction booktalks. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, Inc. Available through Amazon: 0786448865 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Cole, S. (2010). Booktalking around the world: Great global reads for ages 9-14. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1598846132 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Schall, L (2011). Value–packed booktalks: Genre talks and more for teen readers. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 159884735X arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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