There’s no question that the AASL National Conference is huge. School librarians and administrators come from all corners of the country to learn and grow together. It can feel overwhelming to find yourself in a sea of librarians searching for that session you signed up for or that author you really wanted to meet. BUT if we know anything about the 21st Century School librarian it is this: we are media mavens that know how to network!
You may not realize that the buzz has already started. Lucy Green and I worked with AASL to set up a RebelMouse page that has been filling up with tweets and posts about the conference. You’ll find information on everything from sessions to authors to tours AND by using our Twitter hashtags (#aasl15, #aaslunconf, #alacartlibrarian, #hackedaasl) YOUR tweets will show up front and center, too! The site is not just for pre-conference information, though. Expect the page to fill up with great info you can use while you’re at the conference and you don’t have to have a Twitter account to see all the “back channel” conversations. Bookmark the page and check in throughout your conference experience to get the inside scoop!
If you do have a Twitter account, be sure to share your learning with your fellow attendees by using the #aasl15 hashtag. You’ll be able to share the great things going on in your session and still keep up with all the great things going on in the sessions you had to miss. When you get home you can go to Storify and create your own conference story by pulling the tweets that enhanced your conference experience. Better yet, share your Storify page with the school librarians in your area that weren’t able to attend this year and keep them in the loop with the latest news!
Finally, Just like Deb Logan and Liz Deskins advised in an earlier post, networking is a great way to meet up with your PLN. Be sure to make arrangements to meet up in Columbus. “Tweet-ups” have become a great way to make face-to-face connections to the people in your Twitter-verse. Think about pulling together a group from your state. I am always amazed at the fact that I see some of my local colleagues more often at far-away conferences than I do right here on the home turf! Remember when your first grade teacher told you to reach out to the kid standing alone on the playground? That still applies here, too! Reach out to the person sitting next to you. Say hello. Invite them to a sharing session. Ask them about their favorite conference experience. You don’t need a device to make a human connection, right?
Have fun. Share your thoughts. Join us at the conference and in cyberspace. Expand your network. And, most of all, enjoy the learning! See you in Columbus!