It’s October and it’s almost time to start packing our bags with the clothes, the technology, and the expectations for attending our AASL National Conference being held October 19-21 in Tampa.
- Clothes-easy. Comfort. And layers. And if you are cold-natured, bring a sweater. We love our AC in the south and October in Tampa is still summer. Most of us will be super casual (Think jeans and your favorite librarian shirt) but others will dress up. It’s entirely up to you.
- As for technology, that is up to you too.Some will bring a laptop, others will use their phones, and still others love the feel of pencil and paper.
- It’s also time to start planning for your sessions and the extras you want to participate in. There is so much to choose from-poster presentations, an IdeaLab, dinner with a local librarian just to name some of them. The schedule is packed full of ways to engage with other school librarians, add to your content knowledge, and build a Taylor Swift-like squad.
- Download the app and choose the ones you can’t miss at each time slot. Be sure and add a few extras in case something gets canceled-because we know, life. If you are coming with a group, plan together. Breaking bread and talking about what you learned with others is a definite highlight of the day.
- But don’t just plan for all the amazing sessions and authors you are about to see. Also plan for the vendors and their amazing freebies. Did you drive? No problem. Did you fly? Bring an extra suitcase to get all those books and materials home. Shipping? We have you covered here too. Make sure you utilize your time in the vendor hallway as it offers an opportunity to speak face-to-face with companies and to see their products demonstrated. You might be surprised by what catches your eye!
- And finally, check out information about all that Tampa has to offer.There is time to explore and if you have never seen the Gulf of Mexico this is the time to do just that.
- Once you have checked into your hotel, head over to the convention center and pick up your nametag and badge.This is what will allow you to enter into all those amazing sessions and into the vendor hall. You are one step closer to an experience you will leave talking about to anyone who will listen.
Welcome to the only national conference for school librarians! You will leave energized and passionate about our profession. In fact, I guarantee many of you will start planning for the next one in St. Louis, MO in 2025.
Looking forward to meeting so many of you, talking books and tools of the trade, and growing both personally and professionally! See you soon!
Karen Scott is a 2023 AASL National Conference Program Co-chair.
Author: National Conference Committee Chairs
Categories: AASL National Conference