Dear Conference Attendees,
Welcome to the Valley of the Sun! I hope you are prepared for the transformational learning experience we have planned for you this week. You have chosen to attend the only national professional development event designed by school librarians for school librarians, administrators, and anyone with a passion for empowering leaders to transform teaching and learning. AASL volunteers and staff have invested years of planning into what you are about to experience. Each member of the national conference committee, led by chairs Cathy Evans and Mary Ann Scheuer, deserves a high-five and our adoration for the level of service they have provided to our profession. Hopefully we can show them our praise in song and dance at Friday night’s Conference Celebration!
This trip to the Silicon Desert is overflowing with learning opportunities thanks to the premiere of our National School Library Standards, a long-term commitment to our profession that provides guidance for school libraries, school librarians, and the communities and learners we serve. Since we are giving out high-fives to the conference committee, let’s give fist bumps to the standards editorial board, led by Marcia Mardis, and the implementation task force, led by Mary Keeling. A great way to tell who’s who as you meet people throughout the conference are the ribbons you will see on name badges. Be sure to look for your own ribbons in the registration area!
The AASL 2017 National Conference & Exhibition has so much wonderful content planned that I have to flip a coin or draw session titles out of a hat to decide which ones I will attend. The exhibit hall always sounds that seductive siren’s call to explore the new products and services available for attendees. The IdeaLab and general sessions are also a source of joy for me because I have the chance to experience new voices and ideas. What inspires you from this fantastic schedule? Please feel free to stop me and tell me if you see me during conference, or tweet me (@HeyLibraraman). Join the larger national conference conversation with the hashtag #aasl17.
Thank you for being a part of this invigorating learning experience! Please use the energy you gain here to strengthen the relationships you have with your students, administrators, fellow teachers, parents, and communities. You are a valued part of our profession, and I look forward to continuing to work together for the brightest future possible for school libraries as we help our students achieve their fullest potential.
Author: Steven Yates, 2017-2018 AASL President
Steven Yates is an assistant professor and coordinator of the school library media certification program at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. He earned a doctor of philosophy in instructional leadership with an emphasis in instructional technology in 2017.