OKI Conference
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OKI Conference 2018:

Thomas More College
Crestview Hills, KY

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 | 8 am - 4 pm

OKI Conference 2018:

Thomas More College
Crestview Hills, KY

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 | 8 am - 4 pm



Author, Heather Henson

Heather Henson

Author, Lift Your Light a Little Higher

Born and raised in Danville, Kentucky, Heather grew up at the Pioneer Playhouse, Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theatre, founded by her father in 1950. Heather is the author of several award- winning books, including That Book Woman and Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave-Explorer. After living in New York City where she was an editor for Harper Collins Publishers, she returned home and now resides on a farm near Danville with her husband and three children.


April Pulley Sayre

April Pulley Sayre

Author & Illustrator, Thank You, Earth

April Pulley Sayre is a photo-illustrator, an award-winning author of over 60 books, and an expert in the fields of writing, science education, children’s literature, and wildlife. She has followed lemurs in Madagascar, pursued army ants in Panama, and eaten piranha in the Peruvian Amazon. She and her husband, Jeff Sayre, a native plants expert, love science and adventure, and when not leading tours to Panama’s rainforests, they can be found in their wildlife garden near Lake Michigan.


Adam Watkins

Adam Watkins

Author & Illustrator, Raybot and Weebot

Adam Watkins lives in southern Ohio with his wife, Amy and their two kids, Lucy and Fletcher. He graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 2004, where he majored in Illustration, studying under C.F. Payne his junior and senior years. After graduation, he worked for an advertising agency in Cincinnati and is now a full-time freelancer. He loves children’s books and the outdoors. Adam is the author and illustrator of R is for Robot, Raybot, and Raybot and Weebot.



Proposals for 2018 Conference Workshops

A 50-minute session that includes a 40-45 minute presentation and 5-10 minutes of question and answer. The intended audience of these sessions include K-12 educators, pre-service teachers, media specialists, public librarians, parents, and writers. Workshop Proposals should reflect elements from one of the following tracks:

  1. Incorporating children’s literature into curriculum to motivate and enrich learning.
  2. Using children’s literature to promote reading and literacy among children and young people.
  3. Supporting and promoting diverse perspectives and multicultural influences.
  4. Increasing awareness and use of public libraries through unique programming.
  5. Promoting literacy through successful collaborations between public libraries, schools and community partners.
  6. Supporting and promoting authors & illustrators of literature for children and young adults.


  • May 31, 2018: Deadline to submit a workshop session proposal
  • June 8, 2018: Notification of acceptance of session proposal

Proposal submission is open! Submit your proposal below.

2018 Registration

Registration is not yet open. More information to come. Save the date!

Speakers + Workshops

#Read Local: Discovering Treasures in Your Own Backyard

It's trendy to #eatlocal and #shoplocal so why not #readlocal, as well? Join librarians, educators and lovers of children's literature as we discover the talented authors and illustrators who live in our very own states (and maybe our own neighborhoods). Spend the day getting to know Adam Watkins from Ohio, Heather Henson from Kentucky, and April Pulley Sayre from Indiana.

  • Full agenda and conference schedule to come. Check back for more info!

Past Conferences + Archives

The first Ohio Kentucky Indiana (OKI) Children's Literature Conference was held over 20 years ago in 1996 & featured illustrator Will Hillenbrand (who designed OKI's signature mouse!) & children's poet and author J. Patrick Lewis. In 1997, OKI debuted its first theme: "Connecting the World with Books". Since then, it has continued to bring quality authors, illustrators & presenters to the tri-state area for the benefit of teachers, librarians, educators and others serving youth.

Take a peek into OKI's past conference themes, speakers and workshops at the OKI Archive. PDF versions of all past conference brochures are available.


Awards + Donations

OKI Charlotte Decker Award:

Established to honor the late Charlotte Decker, this award is designed to encourage others to enrich the lives of children as Charlotte did through a lifetime of work as librarian, Academic Challenge coach, and volunteer in professional organizations promoting the enjoyment of reading among young people. Nominees should be individuals whose extraordinary efforts have encouraged others to support youth literacy through time, service, and philanthropy.

Eligibility + Criteria

Librarians and classroom teachers serving the needs of youth are eligible for this award. To nominate a librarian or classroom teacher, use the online application.

Recipient Recognition

The recipient will be recognized at the OKI Children's Literature Conference and will receive free registration to the conference at which they are recognized.

Previous Recepients of the Charlotte Decker Award (Google Doc)


2018 Application Deadline: TBA


Tina Moore Memorials

Tina Moore, founder and co-owner of Blue Marble Books (along with her husband, Peter), passed away in 2016.

Tina was one of the tri-state’s most prominent children's literature experts, and friend of a great many children’s book authors and illustrators. She served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Children's Booksellers (ABC) and was a founding member of the trade organization. She was recognized for her contributions to area literacy with the Silver Gertie Award (1989), and she was named one of the Women of the Year in Northern Kentucky (1995).

The Moore family would be pleased if you would like to make a donation to the OKI Conference in Tina's honor.

To donate, please visit the Tina Moore Memorial donation page on the SWON Libraries website. You will be able to pay via check or credit card.




You can contact the OKI Committee by email at oki@swonlibraries.org.

If you have any questions about or problems with the registration process, please contact SWON Libraries Consortium at info@swonlibraries.org or call 513-751-4422.

Special Accommodations: Our goal is to make our programs accessible to everyone. Please request ADA services at least two weeks in advance of the conference by contacting Dr. Barbara L. Zahler at 859-344-3358.