Sunday, November 8, 2015


I have been to a half-dozen AASL National Conferences now, but this year's was one of my favorites. I'm adding Columbus to my list of lovely Midwestern cities (along with Minneapolis and Chicago). The sessions were stimulating, and the conversations with old and new friends gave me much fodder for thought. I got a particular thrill from hearing Eszter Hargittai at the closing section, as she is one academic whose work I follow closely and believe reveal fundamental truths about our society and the ways we relate to technologies.

As I wrote earlier, I spoke twice, at the ESLS research session and with Maggie Crawford from the Newseum on using social media in the classroom. I got to help several librarians send their first tweets!

On the whole, the vibe was optimistic, especially coming after what seems like years of gloom-and-doom. It seems like more school librarians are trying new things and pushing the boundaries. Like "making," innovation, design thinking, and guided inquiry are all new names for old tricks. Two years from now, the event will be in Phoenix. I hope we will all have as many triumphs and inclusive moments to report.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On my way to AASL...

I was at a meeting today -- if I were staging my biopic, I'd want a whole committee deliberation where things are praised as being "literary" or decried as "not literary," which is ridiculous because so many amazing things are not literary and so many terrible things are literary -- and a retired school librarian asked me if I were going to AASL. Her nice recollections about the conference, which she described so sincerely as her favorite, made me slow down and appreciate the fact that I'll be in Columbus, somewhere I've never been, tomorrow morning for our every-other-year professional meeting. Thousands of school librarians...

I'm doing two presentations, both on Saturday. I'm speaking on a research panel for the Educator of School Librarians Section (ESLS) early that morning and then with Maggie Crawford from the Newseum for the "Making a Change" session later in the afternoon. I'm most looking forward to hearing Eszter Hargittai, the really incisive sociologist whose work on the "second level digital divide" really inspired my own beginning doctoral work.

Now I'm really glad to be headed to AASL. What had seemed like a chore now feels like a thrill.