Dear AASL National Conference Attendees,
Welcome to the Bluegrass State and to the 2019 AASL National Conference, the only national conference exclusively focused on school librarianship! We are excited to welcome more than 2,200 attendees—including almost 200 administrators—to this event. The conference committee, co-chaired by Heather Jankowski and Alice Bryant, have planned a PD opportunity that promises to inspire, invigorate, and inform. Expect to be inspired by keynote speakers Ellen Oh, Dr. Adolph Brown III, and Jarrett J. Krosoczka; invigorated by networking with colleagues; and informed by concurrent sessions, author events, and presentations in the IdeaLab.
Kentucky, the home of horse racing, bourbon, and college basketball, is a fantastic location for AASL’s National Conference. The Louisville area extends its hospitality to you through the tours planned by the conference committee. The school tours celebrate innovative practices and are sure to generate ideas that can be replicated at home. The cultural tours provide a glimpse of the city, its architecture, horse-racing venues, and sports luminaries like Muhammed Ali and the Louisville Slugger museum and factory.
This conference features 140 concurrent sessions. Each concurrent session focuses on at least one Shared Foundation of the AASL National School Library Standards. Whether you are deepening your expertise in one Shared Foundation or gaining an overview of them all, you will have many opportunities to learn how others have implemented the National School Library Standards. In addition, the authors of AASL’s exciting standards book series will be on hand in the exhibit hall to talk about their books. Spend some time with them, learn how these books can help you dig deeper into the Shared Foundations, and get copies of your books signed.
The exhibit hall features more than 100 vendors. Plan to spend time examining new products and publications. Vendors are eager to share how you can get the best value from their products. When I attend conferences, I frequently bring one question to explore in the exhibit hall.
Each aspect of the conference has been designed to support your professional learning. Check out the digital badges, and use the conference hashtags to share your learning beyond Louisville. Even the conference program book is organized to help you reflect and plan. Use the program book to reflect on your learning, jot down inspirations, and outline plans for what you can do with your learning when you return to your school. Supplement the program book with the mobile app, which includes full descriptions of all sessions, events, presenters, exhibitors, and more. Download the CrowdCompass AttendeeHub app from the Apple or Google Play store, and then search for AASL.
One special feature of this conference is an administrator program and lunch. This invitation-only event is provided especially for school administrators who are attending as the guest of their school librarians. A panel of superintendents and principals will discuss the ways they empower school librarians to transform teaching and learning. Administrator attendees will also examine job descriptions of effective school librarians, resulting in a greater awareness of the potential impact of school libraries on learner success. This program is part of AASL’s School Leader Collaborative, a project sponsored by OverDrive to strengthen AASL’s collaboration with school leaders.
Like OverDrive, many other vendors, listed in the conference program book, have contributed financially to this conference. Let them know what you have gained from this conference and thank them for their support for school libraries.
Finally, this conference is possible because generous volunteers on the conference planning committee and concurrent session and IdeaLab presenters gave time, thought, and deliberation to planning this event. I’m so grateful to them all and hope you will join me in thanking them!