Can you imagine being so excited about getting to attend professional development? I am just that excited about attending the upcoming AASL National Conference & Exhibition in Phoenix, themed Beyond the Horizon. I hope you are excited as well. For those who haven’t registered yet, there is still time–you don’t want to miss this one!
This conference–whose theme should speak to all of us–has so much to offer:
- The release of the new AASL Standards
- Inspiring speakers
- Pre-conference sessions and tours
- Relevant, practical, and useful concurrent sessions
- Authors everywhere
- Social events, social media opportunities, and networking opportunities
There really is something for everyone, whether you are a self-professed conference junkie like me, brand new to your library, or a known “rock star” in our profession. I really did call home from my first conference nearly moved to tears to share “I am with my peeps!” This is professional development that you WANT to attend! Just being among so many others that understand what your job is like is an amazing experience. Try to soak it in as much as possible.
I encourage you to pre-plan your conference schedule (use the AASL National Conference app, now available). Keep in mind you cannot be in more than one place at a time, although many sessions will be recorded so you can catch them later on eCOLLAB! Other hints I can offer are to wear comfortable shoes, attend the First-Timer’s Session if it is your first time, bring business cards for all the people you meet, and most of all don’t be shy! I urge you to strike up a conversation with those you are in sessions with or just meet going to and from the conference. You may indeed get to meet some of those “rock stars” or it may be a “twinkler,” one of those like you and me that strive to be the very best school librarian we can be for our students, school community, and ourselves. Chances are those you reach out to whether a star or twinkler will have lots in common with you and be more than willing to share knowledge and tips that you can use.
A warning must accompany this post: be prepared to leave energized and full of new ideas to put into place as well as good possibility that you will have another song stuck in your head, “We Are Family.” Thanks, Sister Sledge!