Dear Conference Attendees,
Welcome to the friendly Buckeye state where you are about to experience the greatest professional development event for school library professionals. It will quickly feel like home as you meet friends, make new acquaintances, and dig into the learning, educational play, and networking experiences put together by an incredibly hard-working and innovative conference committee chaired by Deb Logan and Kathy Lowe. The committee and the AASL staff have worked together over the past two years, dedicating countless hours of time and creativity, to bring you a unique opportunity with a range and scope beyond your greatest imaginings.
Here in Columbus at the AASL 17th National Conference & Exhibition you will be immersed from early in the morning to late at night in professional development opportunities. Kick off your mornings with phenomenal keynotes, and spend your days engaging in school and educational tours, the IdeaLab, concurrent sessions, authors, and the exhibit hall. Late-night opportunities also abound with the Storytelling Festival, Unconference, Author Banquet, and the Hack the Association event. As you take advantage of the learning opportunities, be sure to post and share through your social media networks and Twitter using the official conference hashtag #aasl15.
Embrace the opportunity to meet people in the field from all over the country–the power of AASL National Conference & Exhibition is the people. Introduce yourself to the people around you. Start up a conversation with that person in line with you, at your table, sitting with you in the audience, or standing beside you in the exhibit hall. Inspiring ideas will come from serendipitous conversations and unexpected meetings, and great friendships will be born. Engrossing school-to-school collaborations are grown from moments like these. People I consider close, professional friends I met at a conference and often only see again at conference. But every time we get together I learn from them and am inspired to be a better educator and librarian.
While building your professional learning network, look for ribbons on name badges. Find ribbons and badges signifying members of the conference committee, AASL staff, and AASL leadership. Introduce yourself and share with us how we can best work for you, for the profession, and for the youth with whom you spend your days.
Embrace national conference and all it affords. I always return home reinvigorated and re-energized, overflowing with ways to inspire and engage my students and staff.