Conference Weekend #2

So excited to go to the VaASL Fall Conference: Librarians as Leaders!

My take-aways have been numerous!

1. Twitter is not scary! I haven’t tweeted much before this weekend (a total of two baby tweets), but I made it a point to try and tweet once for each session I was at just to PROVE to myself that it is not frightening!

2. I have more student self-assessment tools to use. I want to explore using Google Forms and single-point rubrics.

3. I have a list of graphic novels to add to my collection development list that could wipe out my budget. It’s a good thing to have so many options! I can’t wait to buy some new ones my students will love.

4. As we add more e-books to our collections our students need one platform to access. They can’t be expected to read our minds and know which books we purchased from which vendor.

5. Learning centers in the library continues to be something I’m actively exploring. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and idea collecting. I’m ready to go for it, but I’ve been using my time lately to get ready for my conference presentation. With that past, look out kids, because your librarian is crazy!

6. Measuring learning of students should be valuable, not busywork.

7. I want to try and write the plan behind my lesson plans…. I need to be more obvious about why I’m choosing the strategies that are in my lesson plans.

8. I’d like to teach a lesson about reading skills and their application to graphic novels or websites. Haven’t done much reading on the topic, but it sounds like transliteracy to me.

9. I want to add an interactive piece to my See, Think, Wonder bulletin board and test out wallwisher at the same time.

10. I love the idea of source citation in primary grades being phrased as a simple “thank you!”

11. Presenting a conference session is better with a partner! Kudos to Beth who was my rock. I am very confident in my content, but I really want to DO and help people get something done. Talking about what I’ve done is more challenging for me.

There are more bits and pieces I was inspired by or inspired to do, but I need to go back through my notes and get them added to my conference reflection document. Can’t wait to get to it! 


  1. I was at VAASL, too! I would like to present someday, I am thinking…maybe at a regional? I had a great time (as usual)..Loved the hotel!

    • Spring regionals are great place to start! It gives you a chance to test out your topic. I am not a great presenter and get nervous, but I’ll only get better with time. I think all of us have something we do well in our libraries that might seem small to us, but make a big difference to another person.

  2. Hi, Carolyn! I’ve replied to other of your postings and and remembered having read this posting back in November. I’m a member of the NSLA (Nebraska!) Advocacy Committee and I’m looking for ways to increase membership and participation at our association events. I wondered if you could share at least one way that the VAASL marketed its conference that really hooked you into going. If so, thank you so much for your time! Beth Eilers, School Librarian @ Omaha Public Schools

  3. Hi Beth! What a great question! I think I’m probably a strange bird who thinks that every time two librarians are in the same room that we’re going to learn something and it counts as professional development. You never have to convince me to attend staff development or even a regular library meeting! I think right now, we have to convince librarians that it is worth the investment to show up. It really helps me to know what some of the sessions are going to be in advance. A strong theme and a statement of “if you invest the time, you can take away X,Y, and Z that you can use in your library.” Virginia is not Common Core state, but I imagine that would be a big draw in Nebraska. I think sometimes the uncertainty about sessions is a problem–how do I convince my principal that this is worthwhile? I’m on our concurrent session planning committee this year for the first time so I haven’t tried this idea I’m about to suggest. I wonder if you ‘track’ your sessions and market them as a ‘package’ if that would help. “Attend these five sessions about this topic.” You might be able to add a ‘debrief’ session about 2-3 topics that participants could discuss the sessions and topic at. They could really solidify their ideas and leave the conference feeling like an expert at one thing. In Virginia, we have a lot of ‘big name’ draws that are helpful because of the Universities. I think that helps get attendees. Great guest speakers don’t hurt either. Hope this helps! Email me if you want to chat about this more! cvibbert at gmail dot com

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