AASL Rising to the Challenge
by Karen Sperrazza, SSL President
November 13-17, 2013
The American Association of School Librarians met in Hartford, CT last month for their annual meeting. Coordinated through social media, a NYLA-SSL meet up was organized for a chance for NY members to gather, share conversation, and promote future events. About 50 New Yorkers, many NYLA/SSL members, including our Melvil Dewey, were in attendance as many prizes were raffled. We raised money for the Center for the Book with Rocco Staino as auctioneer for an autographed copy of Snowflakes Fall by Patricia MacLachlan. This was a great way to start the conference, make connections, and plan for our time in Hartford.
IDEA Exchange on Thursday afternoon was an opportunity for practitioners to showcase tools, ideas, and strategies that are transforming libraries. Sue Kowalski, NYLA-SSL member and Past President of SSL, shared the iStaff program from Pine Grove Middle School. This student leadership program, run through the library, continues to empower students to take on authentic and meaningful roles throughout the school community.
Among the many presenters, NYLA and SSL were represented by Melissa Jacobs-Israel, Paige Jaeger, and Jennifer “Charlie” Kelly. Be Visible! Advocate for Your Library at a School Board Meeting was presented by NYLA President Sara Kelly Johns, Rose Luna and Margaux DelGuidice.
After the Friday evening author banquet many participated in the “Unconference”. This event featured networking around shared ideas and emerging issues. All participants were engaged in participating, especially so many of our younger colleagues, right up until midnight.