Welcome to Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby, the Hot Brown, Derby pie, bacon on a stick, and the 2019 AASL National Conference! This year’s conference promises to be a positive time of learning and sharing.
The conference app is an excellent way to get ahead of the game and view upcoming sessions and events. Go to https://national.aasl.org/mobile/ to download the app to your device.
Those who love to dive deep and who are arriving early should check out the preconference workshops. Preconferences begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon with “Leadership: Strategic Thinking, Decision Making, Communication, and Relationship Building.” Led by Ann M. Martin and Riopelle Roberts, the workshop is sure to give attendees an excellent beginning to their conference experience. On Thursday morning Mona Kerby will lead a workshop titled “An Introduction to Collection Development.” Mona’s two-hour workshop will instruct participants in the use of data to enhance their library collections. Liz Deskins will focus on the new AASL Standards in her workshop “Content-Area Collaborations for Secondary Grades.” Liz will encourage collaborations and partnerships with other educators to make the standards come alive. Interested in how picture books can make a difference in your library? Maureen Schlosser and Rebecca Granatini will demonstrate how to make picture books relevant and compelling for all learners in their workshop “Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades” on Thursday morning. Lastly, the ESLS Research Symposium will take place Thursday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is the sixth research symposium and is guaranteed to give attendees new knowledge to take back to their schools.
For those arriving later on Wednesday, start conference out right by attending Dinner with a Local Librarian. Our Kentucky librarians are interested in sharing their great state and city with you. To participate in this Dutch treat event, be sure to stop by the convention center to sign up for a local restaurant and join other librarians in a casual evening of networking. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Registration opens Wednesday, November 13, at 7:30 a.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center and continues through Saturday, November 16.
If you are attending conference for the first time then attending the First-Timer’s Orientation is an excellent idea! This event is held on Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Speaking of good ideas, the IdeaLab opens at 1 p.m. See a wide variety of digital presentations highlighting all things school library related. The IdeaLab is a wonderful place to network, see new ideas, and find ways to incorporate those new ideas into your library programming.
Conference officially begins Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. with our Opening General Session. Find out what conference has in store for attendees and hear our terrific keynote speaker, Ellen Oh, speak about diversity and school libraries. After the opening keynote, exhibits open at 5 p.m. and will stay open until 7 p.m. Spend some time connecting with vendors and enjoy some appetizers! A reception for ISS members will follow exhibits. This is a ticketed event for ISS members.
This year, to ease hunger pangs at lunch, conference attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch right in the exhibit hall. All full conference and one-day attendees will receive a voucher during registration for a complimentary salad or sandwich. Lunch is available from 12:40 to 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
And for some genuine fun and entertainment, Authorpalooza and the Tech Talk Stage promise to deliver exciting presentations. Make sure to venture over to these stages to see some wonderful authors and learn a tech tip or two. This year’s AASL Store features authors who will be sharing their craft right in the store. Stop by the AASL Store and discover new items for your professional development.
Friday begins with our General Session speaker Dr. Adolph Brown, III. We look forward to hearing Doc Brown speak about reducing implicit bias while we learn, laugh, and lead. Brown’s session is from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The Exhibit Hall will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Be sure to spend time networking with our fabulous vendors. The invitation-only Administrator Session and Lunch is sure to provide valuable collaboration time for librarians and their administrators. This event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday also features a full day of concurrent sessions. Choose from a variety of sessions to fill your day with new ideas and strategies to take back to your school library.
Saturday’s General Session speaker Jarrett J. Krosoczka is sure to start our day with stories that touch our hearts and help us continue to connect with our students. Jarrett will speak from 8 to 8:50 a.m. There will be time to hit those last-minute exhibitors in the exhibit hall on Saturday; the exhibit hall will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday features four more concurrent session time slots for attendees to get the most out of conference.
Finally, the Closing General Session will be hosted by Steven Yates, a past president of AASL. The purpose of this interactive event is to encourage attendees to share their experiences and reflect upon what they have learned and can bring back to their schools. Our goal is for all attendees to leave with an action plan for implementing new ideas learned at the conference. We encourage everyone to make it to the finish line and attend this special event! Snacks will be provided.
We’d like to thank the AASL National Conference Committee members and AASL staff members for the countless hours of hard work to make this conference the best yet. We also appreciate all of our on-site volunteers who will help keep things moving along. It takes many people to plan and execute an event of this size, and we are appreciative of everyone’s willingness to be part of this conference. We hope you enjoy your time in Louisville!