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If you missed AASL 2011…there’s still time to learn and take action!

I just had the great fortune of traveling to Minneapolis to the attend the American Association of School Librarians National Conference.  I’ve made it a professional goal for myself to attend this conference that occurs every two years because it’s an opportunity to network with librarians from around the world.  The aspect of the conference that I love the most is that there are so many ways to get involved with the conference as a whole whether you are attending in person or learning from afar.

Georgia Librarians @AASL Minneapolis/photo source: theunquietlibrarian

As the conference comes to a close, it’s not too late for you to connect with the conversations that were started in Minneapolis.  In fact, I think it’s necessary that you find at least one avenue to not only connect with the conversations from Minneapolis, but also use them to take action within your own practice, your school culture, and the education community as a whole.  It’s not an excuse to say, “My school doesn’t have funding to travel to Minneapolis”.  From the comfort of your own home, you can learn, reflect, and contribute well after the close of the conference.

The main message that I took away from AASL is that we are in a time of opportunity and transition.  Now more than ever, we must all take on a leadership role not only within our schools, but also within the education community and beyond.  We must be innovative, creative, and daring listeners, teachers, and collaborators.  We must harness the resources that are available in the world and work with our students and teachers to use these evolving resources to both consume information and create new content.  We must be transparent about the work that we do and digitally document our practice to not only support one another as librarians, but also to send a message to the world about the importance of our role as teachers in our profession.

What might you do to connect to the conversations at AASL:

1.  Download the new ebook School Libraries: What’s Now, What’s Next, and What’s Yet to Come? which was crowdsourced by more than 50 authors.  I started reading the book on my flight to Minneapolis, and every essay spoke to issues that I am currently wrestling with in my own practice and in my district.  I love how each essay is short and concise and that I don’t learn who the author is until after I finish reading the text.  This book can be a springboard for current and future conversations about libraries.  However, it should be more than a springboard for conversation; it should be an invitation to take action and move forward with the transforming nature of our work.  Here are just a few of the quotes that spoke to me.

School Libraries: What's now? What's next? What's yet to Come?

“New technologies do not create or fill some new need; they allow us all to express needs that have existed for generations.” ~Sara Kelley-Mudie

“The only constant is change.  More than anything else, perhaps, that change is exemplified in the future librarian herself: a highly skilled teacher who is an instructional chameleon.” ~Jennifer LaGarde

“As what it means to educate the 21st-century learner evolves, school librarians have the opportunity to claim our place as instructional leaders in this new educational landscape.  Today’s students cannot afford to wait for the ‘future librarian’.” ~Jennifer LaGarde

“I am a storyteller, information curator, database expert, extended essay supervisor, book group coordinator, wiki specialist, transliteracy coach, interdisciplinary-information literacy collaborator, approaches-to-learning leader, guided inquiry mentor, curriculum team member, open-access advocate, one-to-one and mobile device promoter, reading champion, and accreditation team member.” ~Beth Guorley

“We cannot simply support the curriculum anymore.  We cannot wait for people to see our worth.  Yes, part of our job is to support the staff and students, but we can also teach them and improve student learning directly.” ~Heather Hersey

“There is a good chance that the school librarian or library media specialist, as one of the school’s technology leaders, has the most organic understanding of how content and technology are most effectively co-mingled to the benefit of the student and to best help the teacher.” ~Evan St. Lifer

“What we cannot afford is to let students forget to love to read.  What we cannot afford is a generation of people who forgot how to think, to imagine, to care.” ~Jesse Karp

“Libraries should not shrink as physical collections shrink; they should grow as opportunities for collaboration and cooperative learning grow.” ~Len Bryan

“As we look to the future of school libraries, I see us as a run-on sentence of sorts.  People outside librarianship are often so anxious to box us in, to define us.  They want to apply their grammar to the library – a place that is, at its heart, artful, authentic, and inquiring.” ~Elizabeth Friese

2.  Join the twitter conversation by search for the hashtag #aasl11 and reading through the extensive documentation and reflection of hundreds of people attending in person and from afar.  Contribute to the conversation by adding your own tweets and responding to tweets.  Be sure to tag your new tweets with #aasl11 as well.

3.  View the wealth of slidecasts, wikis, and videos from the Learning Commons.  Sessions on topics such as the bookstore model, play in the library, inviting participation in the library, the image of the school librarian, iPad apps, advocacy, reimagining libraries, and more can be found on the pages of this wiki.

Andy Plemmons presenting on participation in the library/photo source: theunquietlibrarian

4.  Register for the virtual conference.  For as low as $99 for AASL members, you can get access to the recordings of the opening and closing sessions as well as 8 concurrent sessions.  You’ll also have access to the handouts and slidecasts uploaded by presenters of other sessions.  Some of the archived sessions include Buffy Hamilton’s Libraries as Sponsors of Transliteracy, Doug Johson’s Cloud Computing, a panel on what kinds of books we need in K-12 libraries, and Dr. Violet Harada’s Assessment in the library.

5.  Join the conference Ning.  Get connected with people who attended the conference, continue conversations from before/during/after the conference, and view feeds of tweets and photos from the conference.

In one of the sessions I attended, a leader within ALA stated that she would like to see all librarians being transformative, transparent leaders within the next 3 years.  How will you get connected and take action?

Andy Plemmons

School Librarian

David C. Barrow Elementary

Athens, GA

Submit a Proposal to the Georgia Conference on Information Literacy

October in Savannah is a great time to share the great things you’re doing to build information literate students!

The Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy invites proposals for the September 23-24, 2011 Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Deadline: April 15, 2011
Location: Coastal Georgia Center in the historic District of Savannah
Please submit your proposal via the website.  The online submission link of the website will provide all of the information you need to create and submit a proposal.

Judi Repman and Stephanie Jones

Georgia Southern University

Call for Proposals: 2010 LITA National Forum, “The Cloud and The Crowd”

Please go to to submit your proposal today!

The 2010 National Forum Committee seeks proposals for high quality concurrent sessions and poster sessions for the 13th annual LITA National Forum to be held in Atlanta GA, September 30 – October 3rd, 2010.

The theme for this year’s Forum is: The Cloud and the Crowd

The Forum Committee is interested in presentations about projects, plans, or discoveries in areas of library-related technology involving emerging cloud technologies, software-as-service, as well as social technologies of various kinds. We are interested in presentations from all types of libraries: public, government, school, academic, special, and corporate. Proposals on any aspect of library and information technology are welcome.

Some possible ideas for proposals might include:

  • Using virtualized or cloud resources for storage or computing in libraries
  • Library-specific open source software (OSS) and other OSS “in” Libraries, technology on a budget
  • Crowdsourcing and user groups for supporting technology projects
  • Semantic Web
  • Training via the crowd
  • Social Computing: social tools, collaborative software, etc.
  • Engaging your “crowd”
  • User created content: Book reviews, tagging, etc.
  • Virtual worlds
  • Federated and Meta-Searching: design and management, integrated access to resources, search engines
  • Digital Libraries/ Institutional Repositories: developments in resource linking, preservation, maintenance, web services
  • Security in the cloud: control vs flexibility, legal implications
  • Authentication and Authorization: Digital Rights Management (DRM), authentication, privacy, services for remote patrons
  • Web design: information architecture, activity-centered design, user-centered design, usability testing
  • Technology Management: project management, geek management, budgeting, knowledge sharing applications
  • Globalization and library services – does it matter where your staff or users are?

Presentations must have a technological focus and pertain to libraries and/or be of interest to librarians. Concurrent sessions are approximately 75 minutes in length and sessions of all varieties are welcomed from traditional single- or multi-speaker formats to panel discussions, case studies, and demonstrations of projects. Forum 2010 will also accept a limited number of poster session proposals. For projects that will still be in preliminary development in October 2010, we recommend presentations at a lightning talk or other “un-conference”-like activities for which time will be reserved at Forum. A call for these types of presentations and discussions will be issued after February 2010.

New this year: in response to attendee feedback, this year we will be offering “half-session” slots as well as full sessions. This is designed for speakers who do not wish to use the full 75 minutes, but who do not have a partner in mind to share the time with. The Committee will pair these half-sessions up so that the timing of the Forum remains organized. Please indicate in your proposal whether you are requesting a full or half session. Half sessions should plan on approximately 30 minutes speaking time to allow both speakers time to set up and for Q&A. If you are requesting a full session, you should be prepared to use most of the allotted time.

Presenters are required to submit draft presentation slides and/or handouts three weeks in advance for inclusion on the Forum USB drive, and are required to submit final presentation slides or electronic content (video, audio, etc.) to be made available on the Web site after the event.

Deadline for proposals: February 19, 2010

To submit a proposal now, click here.

The 2010 Forum Planning Committee will review proposals after the deadline, and you will be contacted about the status of your proposal by the end of March.

Questions? Contact the LITA Office:
(312) 280-4268

Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) members are information technology professionals dedicated to educating, serving, and reaching out to the entire library and information community. LITA is a division of the American Library Association.

Georgia Library Association Mid-Winter Planning Conference 2010

from our friends at the Georgia Library Association:

Can you believe our kick-off meeting for 2010 is NEXT Friday, January 29th?! And I just found out, there is STILL time to register for it. Just FAX the completed registration form and committee form to Gordon Baker of GLA Administrative Services (Fax: 678/466-4349) and BRING your check ($25) to the meeting. Please pass on the word to your colleagues and friends in Academic, Public, School and Special Libraries. And if they are not yet members, they can join that day as well. So come to the Georgia Library Association Annual Mid-Winter Planning Conference at Clayton State University. You don’t want to miss it! And I don’t want to miss YOU!

Carol Stanley, President, Georgia Library Association

Branch Librarian/Cataloger

Athens Technical College

Elbert County Campus

1317 Athens Hwy

Elberton, GA 30635