Let’s Talk about Research

Where did the time go? Soon I will be attending the 2019 AASL National Conference. I am excited because I love to learn about the innovative programs and techniques that everyone is using. Besides, this year, I will be collaboratively presenting two sessions. The first session is about Libraries Ready to Code (RtC). Kelly Hincks and I have written a few posts about it.

During the conference, we will host an interactive roundtable session with several presenters (Daniella Arnold, Kristin Brumbach, Dr. Jennifer Moore, and Melanie Toran). I liked helping with the RtC project because it is the result of collaborative research in practice. Librarians worked with researchers to implement projects and provide feedback on best practices. If you need tips for getting started with coding and understanding how coding relates to library programming, I recommend that you join us on Saturday, November 16, 1:10-2:10 p.m. Here is the description of the program.

ALA’s Ready to Code (RtC) Roundtable Discussions. Come be introduced to ALA’s Ready to Code Collection! Join cohort and faculty members in roundtable discussions to learn more about this new resource that is available to you! This collection provides resources and strategies for coding and computational thinking activities that are grounded in research, aligned with library core values, and support broadening participation.

The next session that I am participating in is the ESLS (Educators of School Librarians Section) Research Symposium on Thursday, November 14, 8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Thank you to everyone that voted for me to be the 2019 chair-elect. I genuinely appreciate your support.) Drs. Maria Cahill and Judi Moreillon are scheduled to present as well. Dr. Elizabeth Burns is the current ESLS Chair and will moderate the symposium. Below, you will find the description of the event:

ESLS Research Symposium. The Educators of School Librarians Section (ESLS) of AASL presents its sixth research symposium during AASL National Conference. As educators, scholars, and researchers, ESLS members create new knowledge about the school library field, impart that knowledge to the profession’s newest members, and share that knowledge with practitioners in the field.

Don’t avoid the symposium because of the name. If you are interested in the research that is impacting our field and want to contribute to the conversation, I recommend you attend. I am mentioning it because I believe that professional practice and research should be closely related. Research can help us understand our professional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. However, practitioners and researchers need to have dialogue so that we work collaboratively to make informed decisions. Whether you are a researcher, educator, school librarian, or advocate, I encourage you to contribute to the conversation.

As you prepare for the conference, I recommend that you read, Melissa Johnston and Lucy Santos Green’s 2018 article that summarizes gaps in school library research. Noticeably, some of the areas in need of further examination include how school library programming impacts academic achievement, the evolving roles of school librarians, and how school librarians serve as activists. In general, the article is informative and will provide background knowledge for the research symposium. The report also reminds me of how important it is for school librarians and school library researchers and educators to work together to improve student learning. The article will be a good read as you travel to the conference.

As usual, I am sharing this month’s professional development.

 *The clipart in this post was purchased from DepositPhotos.com.


Johnston, M. P. & Green, L. S. (2018). Still polishing the diamond: School library research over the last decade. School Library Research, 21. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1173132.pdf

November 2019 Professional Development

Organization Date & Time Professional Development Title
edWeb.net November 5, 2019 – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST Using Technology as an Instructional Resource to Investigate Phenomena
November 7, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Early STEAM Learning with LEGO® Education: All Aboard the Coding Express
November 11, 2019 – 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm EST Cyber Security: Concerns, Strategies and Solutions for Schools
November 14, 2019 – 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm EST Fulfilling Students’ Potential Through Engaging Literacy Practices
November 18, 2019 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EST Measuring What Matters Most for All Learners
November 19, 2019 – 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST Engaging Students in Science Practices and Moon Phenomena with Digital Media
November 20, 2019 – 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm EST Rethinking the Cost of Digital Collection Building: It May Not Be as Expensive as You Think!
November 21, 2019 – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST Reducing Challenging Behaviors in Students with Autism: Merging Visual Language and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
November 21, 2019 – 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EST Guiding Students’ Early Learning Journeys
Simple K12 November 5, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST Tinker – Code – Make: Computer Science Activities to Ignite Gen Z Students’ Passions
November 16, 2019 – 10:00 am – 10:30 am EST Getting the Most Out of Symbaloo in Your Classroom
November 16, 2019 – 11:00 am – 11:30 am EST Motivated to Write! Tips and Tools to Inspire Our Learners
TeachersFirst November 12, 2019 – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm CST Tech Tools for Multilingual Learners
November 19, 2019 – 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CST Classroom Coding with Google Tools
November 26, 2019 – 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm EST Low-Tech and No-Tech STEM
VolunteerMatch.org November 5, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST The New Volunteer Manager’s Toolkit
November 6, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Understanding Soft Risk in Volunteer Engagement
November 12, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Creating a Comprehensive and Engaging Volunteer Training Program
November 13, 2019 – 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST Writing Accurate and Useful Volunteer Position Descriptions
School Library Journal November 5, 2019 – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST Grants: What’s Available and How to Get Them
Webjunction November 7, 2019 – 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST Advocacy 101: When Advocacy Becomes Second Nature
Info2Go! November 18, 2019 – 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm MST Info2Go! How To Manage Volunteers With No Time
Booklist November 5, 2019 – 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CST Reading Graphic: Graphic Novels for Fall and Beyond



Author: Daniella Smith

Daniella Smith, PhD. is a former school and public librarian. She is currently the Hazel Harvey Peace Professor in Children’s Library Services at the University of North Texas.

Categories: AASL National Conference, Blog Topics, Professional Development

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1 reply

  1. Thank you for promoting the ESLS Research Symposium, Daniella.

    I would like to second your invitation to practicing school librarians to consider attending the symposium. Increasing communication and alignment between research and practice is one of the goals of the symposium. Researchers cannot do that without practitioners! Please join us.

    If you are looking for a bit of information about my piece of the conversation, visit the “Researching and Educating for Leadership” webpage: https://tinyurl.com/esls2019

    We hope to see you there!

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