March’s snow, sleet, wind, and rain may have all of us wishing for spring break, but before heading off to a warm and sunny location, take a moment and register (if you haven’t yet) for the 2019 AASL National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Yes, Louisville—home of the Kentucky Derby and bluegrass. This year’s conference planning is well on its way. Committee members and AASL staff are working diligently to give the conference a fresh approach with a focus on the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. The conference will be held November 14-16, 2019.
Louisville is beautiful in the fall. As the leaves are turning, join your friends, colleagues, and administrators in Louisville to share the AASL Standards, see authors, participate in endless concurrent sessions, and learn from keynote speakers who know and understand the work of a school librarian. Attending conference is a way to continue in the development of a growth mindset. Attending the national conference with your administrator is a way for school librarians to show their influence, knowledge, and willingness to help students develop into strong critical thinkers, readers, and ethical users of information. A complimentary administrator registration is available with every full conference registration!
Making the case to attend a conference can be difficult in our virtual world. What can the 2019 AASL National Conference provide for a school librarian that cannot be found online or in a library professional journal? First and foremost, attending the conference allows a person to be fully present without the distractions of the day-to-day work every school librarian faces. No need to worry about checking out books! No worries about collaborating on a project for a couple of days! Being fully present, sharing experiences, attending sessions, and dreaming—yes, dreaming—about what your school library can be all awaits you at the 2019 AASL National Conference. Secondly, attending conference gives school librarians the opportunity to share experiences and learn from others. At one of her first AASL National Conferences, Alice Bryant, this year’s conference co-chair, learned the value of students helping students with reading selections. From that session came Alice’s Library Leaders program at The Harpeth Hall School in Nashville. Many years later Alice’s program to bring girls into small leadership activities is successful and growing at Harpeth Hall.
From pre-conference sessions to the final session on Saturday, school librarians and their administrators will participate in relatable experiences that will give them ideas that will lift up their students within a growth mindset. There is no better time to participate in a national conference for school librarians and their administrators. Diversity, crowd-sourcing, collaboration, and some fun will make this year’s 2019 AASL National Conference one for the books!
-Alice Bryant and Heather Jankowski