Who knew that going to Charlotte could be a life-changing experience? (Well, I suppose a few NASCAR drivers at the Speedway have seen their lives flash before their eyes!). I drove to Charlotte with plans to rev-up at the NCSLMA program, attend some cool sessions at AASL, pick up some freebies in the exhibit hall, catch up with old friends, and maybe enjoy some local cuisine. What I didn't expect was to start thinking big, and to begin seeing my professional life in a new way.

It all started during the opening session when I decided to log in to Twitter to follow the conversation @#aasl2009. I began by reading other people's tweets, and then I thought about the technology friend who'd introduced me to Twitter. I knew that she couldn't come to the conference, so I decided to start tweeting about what I was hearing as a way to connect with her and to share my learning. Surprisingly, the more I tweeted for her, the more engaged I became. Now I'll admit that I used to be an avid Twitter-basher, but in Charlotte I appreciated how Twitter prompted me to take charge of my personal learning, discover some exciting new sessions, hang out in the blogger's cafe (which, honestly, I would not have explored otherwise), and connect with some amazing people in our profession.

My metamorphosis continued . . . as I listened to leaders like Ross Todd, JoyceValenza, and David Loertscher, while I shared ideas with some inspiring new people during small group discussion, and when I started thinking about the library media center as a learning commons. I heard the words "ubiquitous" and "21st century learning" everywhere. Now these ideas have found a growing place in me.

I went to NCSLMA & AASL thinking about what I would get out of the conference, but I left thinking about what I still need to give -- both to my profession and to my students. It's a little scary hanging out on the edge of the future (to paraphrase Doug Johnson), but it's also an exciting time & place to be. I can't wait to see and experience what the next year brings!

One more thing -- 

connecting, learning, leading... you'll hear that theme from me this year as I peer out from the edge of our profession, looking squarely into the future. I invite you to join me out on the edge -- be a part of the conversation, hang out with me and with Deanna Harris (our new President-Elect), and get involved in NCSLMA, your professional organization. 

Kelly Brannock,
NCSLMA President 2009-2010 

Posted by Ms. Brannock at 4:29 PM