Dear AASL National Conference Attendees,
Welcome, friends, and gather ‘round
It’s to the Beehive State we’re bound.
In the City of the Great Salt Lake,
The AASL National Conference takes the cake!
It seems fitting that this year the only national conference devoted to the amazing world of school librarianship be held in a state whose motto is “Industry” in honor of the pioneers who had to rely on their own hard work to survive. After all, as school librarians, we, too, are pioneers who rely on our own hard work and advocacy to survive. The conference committee, co-chaired by Jillian Rudes and Liz Phillipi, has been very industrious in their efforts to create a safe, inspiring, fun, and in-person professional development get-away for school librarians, administrators, and other school library supporters to network, learn, and reimagine their roles in the education of our learners.
I am looking forward to a fun and informative conference that will keep us all engaged from the Opening General Session on Thursday afternoon through the Rock Out Celebration on Saturday evening. Our opening keynote from Dr. Omekongo Dibinga is sure to kick off our learning in an inspiring way and lead us into many great discussions as we all attend concurrent sessions from fellow school library leaders, authors, and administrators. I am looking forward to gathering as much professional learning as I can from the few days we are all together!
From the preconferences, IdeaLab/Conversation Corner, and the many concurrent sessions and keynote speakers to the exhibit hall and the multiple individual networking opportunities, this conference would not be possible without all of our amazing volunteers, presenters, committees, and attendees. I, for one, am looking forward to all of the chances to connect with old friends and network with new ones. Every AASL National Conference that I attend reminds me of how magical school librarianship is and how much our learners need the magic of our spaces and attention. I love meeting new people, learning new things, and being rejuvenated by the possibilities that are on display in our sessions and conversations.
Whenever I prepare for a trip, I experience a little anxiety about how things will go. There is always excitement in new experiences, and every day is a new experience. However, there is less anxiety when I am traveling to visit my family because I know I belong with them. But even after that visit, I am always grateful when I pull back into my own driveway and am safe at home. I have that same feeling of comfort as I prepare to meet everyone in Salt Lake City because, my amazing colleagues, you are also home for me.
Thank you all for coming out to learn, share, and play with your colleagues. I look forward to seeing you all in Salt Lake City, hearing your stories, and learning from your experiences! It gives me great pleasure, especially since you are all coming out to a space within driving distance (8 hours) of my actual house, to welcome you home to AASL21!