Okay, I’m going to split my ALA reflections into two posts: Professional and Personal/Food reflections! That way those who don’t care what I ate & saw during my trip can skip that post.
Here is a copy of the final attendance schedule for “official” events I attended:
This reflects what I actually attended and not what I bookmarked to attend! I spent HOURS going through the schedule prior to leaving for conference and had two or three sessions for most time frames. I deleted what I didn’t attend so I could remember what I did. <grin> I really liked the online scheduler – and it displayed perfectly on my iPad.
There was also an iPhone app for conference that is very primitive in my opinion. It timed out A LOT. While I liked having it, it was difficult to use and didn’t do what I needed. For example, you could search to see which authors were appearing, you could save it to your exhibit schedule, but it only saved that you wanted to visit the vendor’s booth – not the authors name and signing time.
Mostly I used my Evernote account to transfer the schedule from the ALA website and type in the additional events I wanted to attend – author signings and evening events not on the ALA schedule.
Friday was pretty much a bust. We spent all day at either the Columbia or Atlanta airport or on the plane. Delays, Delays, Delays! So we missed the opening keynote given by Dan Savage, as well as, the opening of the exhibit hall. Bummer!
We did arrive in time to attend the AASL Affiliate Assembly I (8pm-10pm). Having never attended one of these before it was interesting. The majority of the event was the “review of concerns” seeking approval. There were seven issues that were up for voting and we were tasked to pick an issue and discuss in groups. Since I’m not yet a voting member for SCASL, I was there to observe only. I decided to sit in on the group from our own region that concerned ebooks. The concern asks that AASL establish a committee/task force to create some type of tool that includes information on legal parameters, purchasing models, and circulation/lending models relating to both ereaders and ebooks. The request is to be proactive instead of reactive to the issues involving ebooks/ereader issues (such as HarperCollins stupid 26 lends policy and things like CIPA guidelines as related to ereaders.)
FYI: I warn you I didn’t take very many actual notes from any events! Much of this is based on my [poor] memory!
Concurrent Session: The Embedded Librarian: Engage, Evolve, Educate–A new model of school librarianship
“What is an “embedded” school librarian? A new model of school librarianship that is committed to immersive collaboration with faculty and administration. Audience members will see examples of what an embedded librarian model looks like in a preK-12 program and come away with ideas on how to make this model work in their setting.”
Jennifer, Karyn, and Stacy all work at the Little Red Schoolhouse (K-12) and their library programs are part of students’ grades – as in they are a course on the report card. They each shared examples of projects that illustrate cross collaboration – for ex: social studies, art, library, etc.
Stacy Dillon shared her fourth grade Book Election project – where students used the election process to choose book candidates for a primary and then an actual election. This coincided with the actual Presidential elections in order to help students understand the process using something they were familiar with – books!
Jennifer Hubert Swan shared her social justice project with 8th graders. They had to choose a social issue, research it and advocate for their issue to sell it to the class. Yes, this is a simplified description, please visit the website for further details.
Karyn Silverman shared her TEDxHumanRights project where students again chose a social issue and had to present a 10 minute TED like talk to their classmates.
Buffy Hamilton shared information about various examples of collaboration and embedding her library program has within her school. You can follow her blog post with her slides from the presentation to learn more about her program – too much shared and my notes are scarce.
Concurrent Session: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Information Science
“Looking at the present and future of Information Science and Information Technology through the eyes of a panel of science fiction and fantasy authors. Imagine the possibilities, explore the realities, think about the consequences. Sponsored by LITA Imagineering Interest Group.”
Bill Willingham, was also present and had the audience in stitches. I particularly loved his “comercial break” during his presentation.
Gail Carriger was also on the panel and I was interested to learn she is an archeologist! That was one of the professions I was interested in as an undergrad.
Each author said a little about information and technology, and some plugged their new books/series! As a perk, the first 200 audience members received a goody bag filled with copies of the authors books! Awesome!
AASL Affiliate Assembly II (7:30 am – 12:00 pm!) – lots of “speeches” by folks coming/leaving the group with the change in administration. Lots of advertising for various committees and new publications/products from various committees. Finally down to business of voting on the various “concerns.” There was a real brouhaha when the ebook concern was brought up for voting! It almost didn’t get approved due to disagreement over the wording of the action activity and a discenting group who thinks due to the fluctuating nature of the issue (meaning there is no industry standards yet) we should sit back and wait until the standards are set. Whereas, our group believes (and rightly so IMHO) that we should be jumping into the fray and making the issues of libraries/school libraries part of the discussions BEFORE the decisions are made! We (AASL/ALA) should be at the table during these talks instead of behind the 8 ball AFTER the policies are in place. Thankfully, the concern was approved – otherwise it would be another year before the item could be brought up again!
Concurrent Session: Teens Reading Digitally: Going Handheld and Mobile
“iPad, Nook, Kindle, Sony eReader, iPhone, smartphone, the list could go on. These are all devices teens can and do use for reading all types of materials from comic books to textbooks. Join Linda Braun, Wendy Stephens, iDrakula author Becca Black, and Figment Publishing founder Jacob Lewis to learn how teens are reading digitally, what’s available in the digital reading world for teens, and how you can support teens digital reading needs and interests.”
Bonnie Kelley shared how Pinellas County Schools used Kindles to replace textbooks in Clearwater, FL. She shared a lot of the positives with using the Kindles: customizable to reader needs, interactive reading (sharing notes, highlights, comments), etc.; however, I would have liked her to share what impact it had on student LEARNING! Not once did she mention if test scores or grades improved. She did mention one resource, CK-12 textbooks, that can be ‘purchased’ in the Amazon store for free! I will be sharing that tidbit with my faculty!
Jacob Lewis shared information and statistics about teen writers and readers and why/how he started Figment.com.
Becca Black (aka Rebecca Cantrell) participating via Skype shared how she came up with the idea for the iDrakula app/products. I loved her sharing how she approached a teen in a restaurant and asked him who he was texting so intently. The young man pointed to the girl seated next to him! She asked him why he was texting instead of just talking and he pointed at the adult seating across from him and whispered “so he [his DAD] can’t hear us!”
The only “official” function I attended on Monday was the WRAP UP REV UP Exhibits Closing. I didn’t win any of the raffel prizes, bummer!, but I did enjoy the live music from Pat DiNizio from The Smithereens.
We planned to attend Tuesday’s closing keynote, Molly Shannon!, but the shuttles were running so slowly we were concerned we wouldn’t get one back to the hotel and we had to checkout by 11am.
So there you have the “professional” part of my ALA reflections! This trip let me know what I have in store for next year (most of time taken up with AASL Affiliate Assembly!) I was pleased with the AASL concurrent session offerings, but due to going out for lunch and/or weird overlapping session times, I didn’t get to attend as many as I’d hoped. I do wish I’d not spent as much time in the walking the exhibits (since I didn’t really stop at many) and the Wrap UP event and instead had attended a couple more sessions. Oh, well, you live and learn.