Blake and Mandy’s Top 10 Countdown

Your social media committee co-chairs, Blake Hopper and Mandy Peterson, are so excited for AASL23 in Tampa, Florida! We hope you’re joining us. It’s not too late if you haven’t registered yet. Still not sure? Here are our top ten reasons why we are excited for this month’s conference:

  1. Possible manatee sightings in Tampa Bay. I’ve heard you can also see sharks, alligators, dolphins, and turtles! So if you need me, I’ll be staring at the water.
  2. Best view while you get your steps in. You get in your exercise at AASL conferences! Bring comfy walking shoes. If you need more exercise, the Tampa Riverwalk is 4.5 miles long and is right by the Tampa Convention Center. Local shops rent out bikes if you’re tired of walking. You could even spot a manatee! (See #10)
  3. Gorgeous weather. In Nebraska, October is a whirlwind. We’ve had snow, rain, tornadoes – you name it! The forecast for Tampa during the conference is sunny, low 80s for the highs, and mid 60s for the lows. Great manatee spotting and cardigan weather!
  4. The after hours meetups. There are always extra things to do offered by vendors, the local librarians, and other attendees. Keep an eye on the conference app and in the exhibit hall for these opportunities.
  5. Food. This is rather honest but food. The Cubano sandwich hails from Tampa! I love exploring local cuisine. My research shows that I need to seek out a guava pastry, blue crab chilau, and Spanish bean soup!
  6. Showing up for other school librarians. Library world can be an island, even more so with the world the way it is right now. By being there, I get to be part of showing that no school librarian is alone and that I support them. 
  7. Authors. Authors everywhere! I met some truly lovely authors by chance at AASL19. Now it is one of the things I am looking forward to the most! They are going to be all around me: in the exhibitor area, in sessions, in the hallways! Someone pinch me!
  8. All of the sessions! There are sessions on everything under the sun from community to diversity to collection management. There’s truly a session for everyone. Some sessions are even being recorded to watch later which helps alleviate my FOMO.
  9. Exhibit Hall. Our exhibitors are great supporters of ours. They help make the conference possible. Who doesn’t like FREE stuff? They will load you down with all kinds of great things for your library and give you some great deals! Pro Tip: mail a box of these free goodies back to yourself if you can’t fit them into your luggage. There’s a UPS store right in the convention center.
  10. The people. It is magical being in a space occupied by school librarians and those who support us. It’s the most welcoming, energizing experience! You get to talk library to people who are really interested. And, hey, we’ll be there standing together.

Blake Hopper and Mandy Peterson are the Social Media Co-chairs for the 2023 AASL National Conference.

Author: National Conference Committee Chairs

Categories: AASL National Conference


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