Two Thumbs up for Thursday at AASL23

It’s no secret that as veteran AASL Nation Conference attendees turned co-chairs that we try to live our best lives and take in every opportunity available when attending an AASL National Conference. This year is no different and we are ready to hit the ground running on the first full day of the conference on October 19, 2023. If you are heading to Tampa in October for AASL23, you are going to want to arrive early enough for the festivities that begin on Thursday morning! 

8:00-10:00 AM: AASL Awards Ceremony

2022 and 2023 award/grant recipients will be recognized at this event. It’s an outstanding opportunity to celebrate colleagues and  learn about award-caliber ideas for school library collaborations, student projects, and innovative practice. Don’t forget to grab some free coffee.

8:30 AM-Noon: AASL Research Symposium (Ticketed Event)

The AASL Research Symposium offers researchers and others an opportunity to share and learn about the latest scholarly research in school librarianship. The symposium opens with findings shared from the ESLS Community of Scholars, a group that works throughout the year to analyze and synthesize research trends in school librarianship over the past two years. A crowdsourcing activity to identify emerging trends will follow this part of the program. A recently added component of the symposium offers an opportunity for researchers to hear from and collaborate with doctoral students and other newer voices in the field about topics beyond those previously discussed. Research Symposium participants will leave with updated information about scholarly topics along possible collaborative partnerships.

10:15–11:05 AM, 11:15 AM-12:05 PM: AASL Partner Sessions

Identical content from each AASL partner will be presented in both time slots. 

  • Analyzing Propaganda and Teaching Media Literacy (Anti-Defamation League Education):The Holocaust as a Case Study Participants explore the events of the Holocaust through the lens of media, by examining propaganda deployed by the Nazis to discriminate against Jews and other minorities. Educators gain tools to facilitate classroom discussions and support students to analyze media in today’s world. 
  • Creating Safe, Inclusive Schools for LGBTQ+ Youth (Human Rights Campaign Foundation):  This workshop will feature some of the key findings from HRC’s recent survey of 12,000 LGBTQ+ teens, a brief overview of the legal and legislative landscape, and will provide concrete steps that you and your colleagues can take to create and sustain safe, welcoming schools for LGBTQ+ students, from written policies to professional development, in-school programs, and everyday interactions with students and faculty.

12:30-1:30 PM: Welcome Home: AASL Welcoming Session

Whether it is your first national conference or your tenth, AASL feels like home. Every AASL National Conference has friends and colleagues with like-minded interests, but each one has something new for even the veterans. New sessions and presenters, new events, new city, and most important, new attendees!

1:00-3:00 PM: Idea Lab and Poster Presentations

Did you ever wish you could attend 40+ sessions at the same time? The Poster Presentations and IdeaLab is your chance! You’ll be able to peruse at your leisure, chat with presenters, and mingle with colleagues.

3:30-5:00 PM: General Opening Session & Keynote with ARTivist Nikkolas Smith

Nikkolas Smith, ARTivist, concept artist, children’s books author, and film illustrator, will keynote the opening general session of the AASL National Conference. As an illustrator of color, Nikkolas is focused on creating captivating art that can spark important conversations in today’s world and inspire meaningful change. Many of his viral and globally published sketches are included in his book Sunday Sketch: The Art of Nikkolas.

The AASL Bookstore will be open on Thursday, offering author presentations and an opportunity to chat with AASL authors. Don’t forget to check the website for more information on all of the events at We hope to see you Thursday, October 19th. Bring your comfortable walking shoes, your librarian bookish shirts, and a sense of wonder. You are going to have the time of your life!  Make sure to stop us for a hello and a group selfie if you see us in Tampa.


AASL23 National Conference Co-Chairs 

Paige Battle    Amanda Jones 

Author: Paige Battle & Amanda Jones, National Conference Chairs

Categories: AASL National Conference

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