Here it is almost a week since I got home from San Diego and ALA Midwinter 2011 and I’m finally get a few free minutes to reflect back on the conference. When I got home, I quickly became engrossed in all the day-to-day things that need to get done as well as getting caught up from being gone. So, now that those things are back on track, I can take a few minutes to reflect on the visit.
- AASL Board of Directors – The biggest part of my Midwinter agenda was the AASL Board of Directors meetings. The Executive committee met twice to finalize the agenda for the board meetings and to review next steps decided at the board meeting. For the last several years the board has used one of its meetings at Midwinter as a board workshop to work on the strategic plan. Paul Meyer from Tecker Associates has helped facilitate this discussion of mega issues. At the board meeting on Saturday, we reviewed action based on the concerns brought forth by the Affiliate Assembly in June as well as spend some time evaluating the strategic plan and how we are progressing. The minutes from the meeting will be posted on the AASL website.
- President-Elects Meetings – One of the opportunities that I have enjoyed the most in being President-Elect is the chance to get to know ALA President-Elect, Molly Raphael, and the other division President-Elects. We first got together at our President-Elect training in October where we spent a lot of time as a group. At Midwinter we had the opportunity to come together again, albeit for a short time frame, to share and network. I learn so much hearing what is happening in the other divisions and I really enjoyed the time.
- AASL Candidate Forum – The cycle continues. Seems like it was just yesterday I was giving my speech at the AASL Candidates Forum. In reality it was a year ago in Boston, and 2011 brings the next round of candidates. I was privileged to be able to attend and listen to all those individuals who are running in the 2011 election. We have amazing people on the ballot. Make sure if you are a member of AASL to take a few minutes to vote this spring.
- Exhibits – My schedule was so crazy that I really only got time on Monday morning after the Youth Media Awards announcements to spend any time in the exhibits. I always enjoy looking at the books coming out in the spring, checking on new products, and catching up with my vendor friends
- Youth Media Awards – One of my favorite things each year is to attend the Youth Media Awards. It is always so much fun to see which book is going to take home the top honors. A complete list is available here: http://www.ala.org/yma/
- Affiliate Assembly – One of my favorite meetings to attend each conference is Affiliate Assembly. This is really one of the major pipelines for information from AASL to get to the various states and for information form the various states to get to AASL. I got my start in the Affiliate Assembly when I was President-Elect of the Association for Indiana Media Educators. From there, I continue to get more and more involved in AASL. It is a great introduction to the work of the association. This year there was also a wonderful presentation from the Texas School Library Association about some of the great resources they’ve put together to help connect parents with school librarians. Here is the link: http://www.txla.org/tasl/parent-resources
- All Committee – Here is where most of the AASL committees meet during Midwinter. Although some committees decided to meet virtually, others had face-to-face meetings during the conference. Staff and board liaisons are available to provide support for questions and concerns as well as giving committees time to work on their minimum intended outcomes. It is so much fun to see all these groups working together. We know they spend many hours outside conference for the work of the association. Soon I’ll be appointing committees for the 2011-2012 year. Consider volunteering at: http://www.ala.org/cfapps/committee/volunteerform
- Networking – Lastly, my favorite thing about any conference is the networking. I always learn so much hearing what my colleagues and friends all over the country are doing. The chance to catch-up with vendor friends and listening to the projects they have on the horizon are always amazing. Midwinter was a great chance to catch-up with friends and meet new ones…
A few others notes I made from MW….
- There is not much time left to apply for some of the many AASL Awards. Deadline is February 7, 2011 for most of the awards. – http://www.ala.org/aasl/awards/
- AASL National Conference – Turning the Page – Minneapolis, MN – October 27-30, 2011. Registration is now open! – http://aasl11.org
- AASL release a statement about re-authorization of Elementary Secondary Education Act – http://www.ala.org/aasl/positionstatements
- Building Level Toolkit for AASL’s Learning Standards and Program Guidelines – http://www.ala.org/aasl/toolkits/
- AASL is working on a crosswalk between the Common Core and AASL Standards. They are working on getting it all post online – http://www.ala.org/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/
- School Library Counts survey now open – http://www.ala.org/aasl/slcsurvey/ Please take a minute to respond about your library!
- Learning 4 Life Student Video Contest – http://www.ala.org/aasl/l4lvideocontest/