Library Goddess

Libraries. Books. Reading.

October 2017 Highlights

Check out highlights of what I've shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and my Library Goddess Blog in October!

Follow along daily at:



TWITTER - @librarygoddess

INSTAGRAM - @librarygoddessblog


Did you know that I give away a book each Monday!? This is inspired by some of my reading heroes - Donalyn Miller, John Schu, and Jennifer LeGarde. They each host book giveaways and I have always loved the idea, so now I am doing it too! Check out the Library Goddess Facebook page every Monday for your chance to win!


I LOVE Picture Book Month and it is pretty simple to celebrate in your classroom or library - all grade levels! The website publishes an essay each day from a Picture Book Ambassador, who shares something about the importance of picture books. There is also a calendar with a daily theme. I like to share a picture book that connects to the theme each day. Follow my page on Facebook to see which picture books I share!

On Accelerated Reader and All the Other Computer Programs - by Pernille Ripp

Pernille Ripp is someone I admire a great deal. She is a classroom teacher who GETS IT in regards to how children become life-long readers. She published this SPOT ON post in October.

A quote from the post: "In our eagerness to make sure every child is reading the right fit book, we have forgotten about the very child reading those books. Reading was never meant to be about points. Or scores. Or correct answers. It was never meant to be about levels or data or rewards for goals met."

On the Level - by Donalyn Miller

Reading levels are a pretty big issue in education and something I struggled with during my 15 years as a School Librarian. It seems as though the research we learn in library school is perhaps different than what classroom teachers learn in their education classes? For some reason, I find that librarians and classroom teachers/reading coaches often differ on how a reader becomes a reader. We all want to do what's best for kids and I know that classroom teachers, parents, administration and even some librarians who encourage students to pick only books "on their level" are doing it because they believe that is what works for readers. BUT IT DOES NOT! Here is a great post I shared in October from Donalyn Miller about reading levels.

Fountas and Pinnell Say Librarians Should Guide Readers by Interest, Not Level

Another important article I shared this month about reading levels was from School Library Journal. It is an interview with Fountas & Pinnell (who are the creators of one of the leveling systems many schools use), stating that many teachers are not using their system the way they intended.

Driving Our Children to LifeLong Reading

This post from The Nerdy Book Club was ON POINT!

I've heard many parents complain about the "read for 30 minutes each night" reading homework...even parents who were also classroom teachers who were in some cases assigning the same homework to their students! This post gives simple ideas on how to turn something that seems pointless and tedious into something valuable for the whole family.

A quote: "Since I have been holding my children accountable for their nightly thirty minutes of reading every night, I have seen a drastic improvement in their reading lives, but also in their attitudes about reading. I know that of all the homework my kids have, the assignment that can most easily be skipped is also the one that will make the biggest impact in both their learning and their lives. Just like nothing will make a young driver safer on the road than practice behind the wheel, nothing will make our readers more scholarly learners than practice behind the pages of a book. By holding them accountable for nightly independent reading, we are steering them to success!"

Library Goddess Blog Posts

On the blog:
  • Let me toot your horn! *I didn't write this in October, but still sharing! I want to come visit you!

  • Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat Book Review

  • Chicken Squad: Dark Shadows Book Review

  • Princess Cora and the Crocodile Book Review

  • A Post About Disney and My Mom

Columbia SC Moms Blog Posts

I am one of the contributors to the Columbia SC Moms Blog. Here are my posts from October (neither one is book related! I do write about other things from time to time):

  • 15 Tips for a Magical Trip to Disney World (with a toddler!)

  • What's for Dinner? Exploring Meal Kits

About Valerie Byrd Fort - Library Goddess

I spent 15 years as a librarian in elementary schools before deciding to take a break and stay home with my daughter. When my daughter is sleeping, I read and review children’s books and blog about my reading (and sometimes about my girl). I also teach Children’s Literature at the University of South Carolina as an Adjunct Professor for the School of Library and Information Science. I am passionate about the importance of reading and libraries. I am married to Marty Fort. He owns the Columbia Arts Academy and the Lexington School of Music. I enjoy cooking, Barre3, yoga, and reading. My favorite things to read are funny memoirs and young adult novels. I LOVE picture books, especially those about dogs and families. I am available for special projects, book talks, consulting, and speaking to teachers and librarians about books, kids, and reading. I am also very good with technology and am willing to create a presentation to suit your needs.