2019 AASL National Conference Preview: Attendees' Top Picks

The 2019 American Association of School Librarians conference is November 14-16. Have you downloaded the app and earmarked your top sessions yet? Here are the #AASL19 learning events our readers are most eager to attend.


The 2019 American Association of School Librarians Conference is coming up on November 14-16. Have you downloaded the app and earmarked your top sessions yet? Here are the #AASL19 learning events our readers are most eager to attend.

Todd Burleson library media specialist, the Skokie School Winnetka, IL, & 2016 SLJ School Librarian of the Year

5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Rethinking Your Book Collection with Melissa Stewart
I'm in my first year in a middle-grade school that has a dated nonfiction section. I’m weeding heavily and eager to rejuvenate the collection, learn more about collection development, and diversify our books.

All the Things with James Allen, Jennifer Gilbert
Librarians share awesome ideas on social media. The presenters purport to have tried “All the Things" they’ve seen fellow librarians tryfrom a library services menu to makerspace-stocked vending machineand lived to tell about. I'm hoping to glean some inspiration and leave the session with tips for implementing new ideas.

Collaborate! To Build Influence with Judi Moreillon
This session, and its promised "School Library Evaluation Checklist," looks like it’ll help me gain a better understanding of strong collaborative behaviors to initiate successful, transformational opportunities alongside my colleagues.

Collaborate, Evaluate, Advocate: Tales from the Trenches in Assessing Readiness for Change! with Carolyn Foote, Judi Moreillon, Jennifer Sturge, Jenny Takeda, Misti Werle
Our library will be evolving over the next five years as we merge two schools, and I expect these speakers will give me some tools to aid in that process. I'm particularly interested in learning about gathering and presenting data to administrators in order to advocate for our programs.

Jennifer Sturge, specialist for school libraries and instructional technology Calvert County Public Schools, Prince Frederick, MD

Design Thinking Your Library’s Future with Sharon McCubbins, Jacquelyn Whiting
This session encompasses so many things I am passionate about: being bold, creating positive change in the world, design thinking, fostering an innovative mind-set, empathy-driven approaches, and problem solving. The final piece of the session description states, “Become a disruptive librarian!” Who doesn’t want to do that?

The Inquiring Librarian: Evidence-Based Practice in School Libraries with Jeffrey DiScala, Kelly Miller
It’s vital to have evidence to back up the importance of a school library program. Many of us struggle to find ways to gather the best data about our programs and services. DiScala and Miller, both with the Lilead Project, will give us ways to do so and communicate our results. I’m seeking to delve deeper into the data I can collect and share.

Using Picture Books to Spark Social Action with Julie Segal Walters
In an increasingly volatile world, it’s never too early to start thinking about how students can use their voices for social change and speak out when they see inequity or injustice. One of my goals at AASL is to soak up as many ideas for promoting social justice in our school libraries as possible. I believe as the staff members with the ability to impact every student in a building, we should be advocating to teach students to use their voices for action.

Erika Long, librarian, Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Nashville

This year will be my second AASL National Conference. After my first, I was adamant about volunteering in the association, and my experience has been better than I anticipated. It’s my hope that you, reader, will #FindYourAASL. Several school librarians have committed to doing so by taking part in the pilot year of the Increasing Representation Mentoring Program. I’m excited about mentors and mentees meeting in person and starting this journey. I’m also looking forward to the sessions listed below.

Breaking Stigmas & Stereotypes with the Human Library Project with Dalton Bennett, Andrea Lawler
The title grabbed my attention! The Human Library idea, which originated in Denmark, promotes an understanding of discrimination. A former colleague and friend expressed how great this project is after hearing a presentation by the group. I always promote telling one’s story, so I eagerly await insight from these librarians on how to empower people from stigmatized groups to tell their stories.

“That’s Not Real Reading:” Making the Case for Graphic Novel Inclusion in Every Classroom with Alicia Abdul, Kate Covintree, Amanda Melilli
I struggle when I hear a teacher tell a student, “Get a real book.” Graphic novels are real books. They’re also a great foundation for students whose first language is not English, as well as those readers who want mature content but demand less text. I anticipate this session will offer tools to impact how I to conduct conversations with teachers about the importance of encouraging students who enjoy graphic format titles—rather than disparaging their choices.

Learning, Leadership and More: AASL's First Induction Program Cohort with Lara Ivey, Rebecca Morris, Robyn Young
The AASL Induction Program was announced at the 2017 AASL conference, and I hope to gain leadership insight from this session. I’m passionate about growing as a leader and expect this panel discussion will include some tips I can utilize.

OER and Copyright—Fair and Free Are Not Open with Laura Hicks
Like others, I often hear about open educational resources (OER), but have not had the chance to dig deeper into them. What better time than the present? The promised tangible takeaways are what appeal to me most about the session.

Melissa Thom, teacher librarian, Bristow Middle School, West Hartford, CT

From Research to Action: Kids and Google: What we learned and how to respond with our Shared Foundations with Amy Buhler, Rachael Elrod, Joyce Valenza

Joyce Valenza is one of the superheroes in the library world, so I am especially looking forward to this session. The speakers will present their research about how accurately students perceive information and make credibility judgments—and will share their results “game-show style.”

Building Bridges Between Makerspace and Curriculum with Tamiko Brown, Tania Castillo, Mary Simms, Katrina Zannier

I follow the work of Tamiko Brown, SLJ’s 2017 School Librarian of the Year. She has amazing ideas! I can’t wait to hear and see what she and her co-presenters have to share about connecting makerspaces with school curriculum and building relationships with teachers. There’s tinkering involved in this session, too.

Supporting Teachers with the Workshop Model and Free Choice Reading with Shirley Dickey, Laura Gladney-Lemon, Mindy Hutt, Mary Simms

Over the past two years, I’ve been committed to develop and nurture a schoolwide culture of reading. In this panel, focused on supporting English teachers with the Readers Writers Workshop model, I hope to learn more strategies for engaging and collaborating with my ELA colleagues.

Carolyn Foote, district librarian, Eanes (TX) ISD; school librarian, Westlake High School, Austin, TX

Taking Our Case to Decision Makers: Effective State and DistrictLevel Advocacy with Christie Kaaland, Kathy Lester, Deb Levitov, Judi Moreillon, Patricia Tumulty

It’s key to know how to effectively advocate for our programs. This panel offers a great opportunity to hear about library advocacy from the experiences of leaders around the country. I like that the discussion will center on both local and statewide advocacy since both are essential.

WOKE Collections!: Implementing a Diversity Audit with Jana Autovino, Toni Baller, Tami Holihan, Laurie Lancto, Danielle Read, Karen Wilson

I first learned about conducting cultural diversity walkthroughs from two of my Lilead Fellow colleagues, Jennifer Sturge and Jenny Umbarger. As a district leader, I want to be able to help our entire library community effectively assess their collections so we can provide access and services to all of our students. This session promises to help.

Planning Your Library: Creating School and District Advocacy and Strategic Plans with Priscille Dando, Lisa Koch, Mimi Marquet

I’m becoming more interested in strategic approaches to our work, and this session’s focus on actually creating a roadmap for strategic communications intrigues me. I’ve been especially eager to hear Priscille Dando speak.

Inclusive LGBTQIA+ Education: Why It’s Important and How To Be an Advocate for Change with Amanda Melilli
As we strive to create more inclusive collections in our district, this presentation looks like it will help me work with administrators and campus librarians to accomplish our goals. In particular, I’m eager to hear suggestions for elementary librarians with administrators who might be reluctant to participate.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing