Conference Author Luncheon Speaker: Lisa Yee

Born and raised near Los Angeles, California, Lisa Yee always loved to read. As co-owner and creative director of Magic Pencil Studios, a strategic creative company, she has done everything from writing and directing original projects for Fortune 500 clients to leading creativity seminars for dairy farmers. Lisa has also penned her own newspaper column, and written TV and radio commercials, as well as menus that have been read by
millions, jingles for waffles, and television specials for Disney.

With the publication of Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Lisa realized her lifelong dream of becoming a book author. Winner of the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award, the book has over 250,000 copies in print. Lisa’s second novel,Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, was published in October 2005 and her third book, So Totally Emily Ebers, was published in 2007. Other books includeAbsolutely MaybeBoys vs. Girls (Accidentally), and Geektastic, an anthology

Lisa will present at the author luncheon on Friday, November 5 of the fall conference. For more information on her, visit her website, .

Posted by Ms. Dee at 12:24 PM

School Librarians, Where Do You Hang Your Hat?

At my library media learning team back in August 2009, we looked at the beliefs that are the cornerstone for the standards in library media programs using the book, Standards for the 21st Century Learner in Action (AASL, 2009). First, we looked at the nine common beliefs through our own eyes, as library media coordinators. 

If we had to hang our hat on just one of the beliefs, where would we hang it? What did we see as our focus in our library media programs?
  • Reading is the window to the world.
  • Inquiry provides a framework for learning.
  • Ethical behavior in the use of information must be taught.
  • Technology skills are crucial for future employment needs.
  • Equitable access is a key component for education.
  • The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changed.
  • The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own.
  • Learning has a social context.
  • School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills.
We were split between two of the beliefs: 'Reading is a window to the world' and 'School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills'. Some of us felt that reading was the main focus of our programs and our work with students while others took a broader approach to seeing themselves and their programs as the place, environment, and access to all. No real surprises there.

But when we looked at the beliefs from other perspectives, we began to see how others view the library media program and how this affects our work. We asked ourselves which belief our principals would hold up as the hallmark for the media program. What would our students say is the most important belief? And what about our parents and PTA? Where would the superintendent or the school board member hang her hat on these common beliefs?

That's when we realized that we have to consider all perspectives about library media, our influence on others, and the advocacy to promote our entire program. 

If a teacher views the library media program as a place for reading and that's it, will he ever begin to incorporate instructional technologies or encourage educational and social networking with his students? If our principal sees our program as the place for students to improve their technology skills, will we ever get a budget to purchase the latest and greatest fiction? If the superintendent is most worried about and focused on ethical behavior in use of information, will he recognize the need for inquiry and critical thinking skills within the framework of learning?

We as librarians know that these are a set of beliefs and one does not necessarily outweigh another. It's important to understand the perspectives of all our users in order to meet their needs, build influence and advocate for out total program. 

However, our hat rack may tell a different story if we tend to hang our own hat on only one or two of the beliefs instead of wearing the many different hats of our profession. 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 7:58 AM

School Librarians Cut in Wake County

Wake County Public Schools has made proposed budget cuts for the 2010-2011 school year that include $2.9 million in cuts to media specialist allotments. In real terms that equals 40 school librarian positions that will be lost.

Yet the News and Observer is reporting that with the WCPSS proposed cuts no teaching positions will be lost. The last time I checked, media coordinators in the state of North Carolina are certified teachers and the school libraries and media centers that they teach in are their classrooms.

The proposed budget cuts create a new formula for serving the students, staff, and parents of schools, no matter what the size of the school: 1 media coordinator at an elementary school, 1 media coordinator at a middle school, and 2 media coordinators at a high school.

To say that no teaching positions are being cut is misreporting of this budget information. Every day media coordinators, teacher-librarians, implement the information literacy curriculum: teaching students search strategies for gaining information, teaching students to evaluate print and electronic resources, teaching students to think critically about information, teaching students to select appropriate reading materials.

In Wake County, 20% of the school librarians are National Board Certified Teachers. They hold a certification recognizing them as accomplished teachers in their curriculum area. It is wrong to state that no teaching positions are being cut: WCPSS administration is proposing a cut of almost 20% of those teachers of information literacy.

It's not only a sad day in Wake County for media coordinators, it's a sad day in the state of North Carolina for all media coordinators. But ultimately, it's a sad day for all teachers.

Deanna Harris, NBCT

Posted by Ms. Dee at 7:17 AM

3 little letters


No -- not those kind of letters! 

How fast can you copy and paste? If you've got 5 minutes, you can create and send 3 letters to advocate for school libraries. All the resources you need are at the Lettersforlibraries wiki. Come on... it's easy! 3 little letters might make all the difference -- and you don't even need a stamp. 

Time is of the essence, so SOS (support our students) and send 3 little letters today!

Kelly Brannock
connecting - learning - leading 

Posted by Kelly Brannock at 4:48 PM

Media Center Survivor!

Oh what trying times are these. The economic news is bad and badder, and if you're like me, you're just holding your breath, hoping that we can hold the line, and nervously wondering about the impact on the hard-working school librarians in North Carolina and across the United States. Advocacy, ubiquitous as the phrase has become these days, doesn't seem like a big enough strategy to shield us from the shifting political realities and economic downtime we live in.

In January 2010, East Carolina University held their annual Librarian2Librarian Networking Summit and as NCSLMA President, I was invited to join other distinguished NC library leaders to talk about surviving in the lean times. The theme for the Summit was Media Center Survivor and here are my comments from that panel discussion.

Who knew that all the hours I spent watching reality TV would pay off one day? With homage (and apologies) to the good people of Survivor, here's my take on how to be the player that can "outwit, outplay, and outlast" in the game of Media Center Survivor. Whether you're dropped off in the wilderness of the Australian Outback, Samoa, Kenya, or say, Greenville or Raleigh... what are the top ten strategies of the ultimate survivor? Here's what my viewing experience tells me...

10. Create alliances 
Think strategically about whom might be a good ally. Consider: who are all the stakeholders for the library program and how can I cultivate their support? What's in it for them for my program to flourish? Who can I go to for information, help, or support when I feel that my program's status is in danger? Remember that you can find allies in surprising places and that your allies can come from different tribes, like students, parents, community members, administrators, and school board members, (as well as from our own friendly tribe of library peers).

9. Know how to start a fire, read a map, and build a shelter 
Make sure your basic skills are sharp so that you are seen as a contender and can hold your own back at camp. Better yet, stay abreast of new information, resources & tools; take advantage of opportunities to develop professionally; learn new skills and teach others. Joyce Valenza, a player that I'd love to have in my tribe, has blogged about "how to retool yourself ...a roadmap of at least 14 ways" to develop professionally. Best of all, a lot of the professional development resources she recommends are ready-made and easy to use. Who doesn't love Common Craft videos, Teacher Tube, bookmark sharing sites like Diigo, ALA toolkits,and much more? As Summit attendees giving up your Saturday to be here today, I'd say that this group has a head start on surviving under tough conditions!

8. Work hard around camp, learn to speak the native language, and be a stand-out performer at immunity challenges
Work hard and let your efforts be visible; when there's too much to do, as there often is, set priorities & focus on the most important things. Do the essential things that benefit your entire tribe in an immunity challenge. As for communicating with the natives, make sure you speak their language. Translate our unique language about concepts like information literacy and make it meaningful to the players outside the school library tribe. Initiate conversations with other tribes about assessment and data -- then use that data to inform your collaborative planning. Demonstrate that you can (and DO) make a difference in student learning and you can help your tribe win immunity.

7. Know when to speak up at tribal council 
First of all, make sure that you have a seat at the council... serve on the School Improvement Team, the Leadership Team, Curriculum Committees, district-wide task forces, etc. If you're not chosen or elected to serve on one of these committees, ask to attend anyway and offer your ideas. In his Blue Skunk blog, Doug Johnson, another great survivor, has posted a series of entries about leading and managing the library program in lean times. He makes the important point that "if you have a chance to take a decision-making role and do not, then you've lost all your whining rights about the choices that are made for you". Don't sit on your hands, and don't get voted out with the immunity idol in your pocket. You must take advantage of opportunities to speak out for your program at Tribal Council!

6. Be the strongest player 
The strongest player in every tribe has a variety of talents and excels in nearly every area. The strongest player also possesses deeply-felt convictions, a vision for the future, and a belief in their ability to succeed. So, be the strongest. Maintain a strong skill set by keeping up with the pace of change in the world around us; look to peers that have strengths you need and learn from them; share what you know with other teachers, and NEVER stop learning. Do you have a personal learning network? Are you exploring and using social media like Twitter, nings, or Facebook to develop new professional relationships, skills, and knowledge?

5. Never go fishing, swimming, eating, or bathing alone 
...because you don't know who or what they're talking about back at camp! What's more, some of the most valuable information and alliances are built on shared experiences. Cultivate personal relationships with staff in your building, at the local public and college libraries, and with other school media peers in your district, region, and state. Join your professional organizations and be an active member. Develop a personal strategy for advocacy and be ready with an elevator speech about your library program. Don't be afraid to share ideas and strategies with others in our profession. Back at your own camp, make sure that your space exudes warmth and welcome: keep a jar full of chocolate in your workroom and share it with other teachers; look for reasons and opportunities to communicate with parents and engage in two-way conversation often; use your technology skills to connect in more than one way. Bottom line -- don't go it alone! Pursue relationships with others... don't wait for them to come looking for you in the library.

4. Hold your nose (if you need to) and find a way to eat the gross stuff 
Be a devoted team player, even when the challenges are inconvenient, unpleasant, not part of your usual duties, or involve a disgusting thing to eat. Volunteer and be visible; stay for after school meetings and come back in the evening for report card night, math night, and PTA meetings; get your hands dirty with messy tasks. Join the PTA, serve on their board as a teacher representative, and actively participate in their family events; help to raise funds for other programs at school; and offer your library as a place for meetings and activities of all kinds. This is all part of creating and maintaining important alliances as well as developing personal relationships with other players. You want to be seen as an indispensable member of the tribe. As Joyce Valenza says, "as schools are making tough budget choices, if the librarians aren't at the center of the school culture, they're on the cutting board."

3. Lead quietly, but lead nonetheless 
Don't grandstand, demand, or be seen as a pushy or negative force. Good leaders collaborate, build consensus, make others look good, and develop strength within their own tribe. If you watched last fall's Survivor episodes from Samoa, you know that a very powerful and strategic player lost in the final round to a seemingly lesser tribe member. The reason? Others didn't like his tactics. While his former rivals couldn't defend against his impressive skills and strategy, they wouldn't abide this powerful player's conduct, and it showed when they cast their votes for a winner at the final tribal council. Reflect on your professional practice, embrace your strengths as well as your weaknesses, and use that information to grow into the leader you were meant to be. Use your expertise to stay abreast of legislation that impacts your work, use your technology skills to advocate in a variety of ways, and call on your personal network for advocacy resources and support.

2. When the going gets rough, remember how much you love the small things like your toothbrush, a soft blanket, or a hot shower -
Don't forget the things that make your professional life so special. Appreciate and enjoy the things that brought you to this profession in the first place... working with students, sharing your love of books, the fun of learning with technology, or helping others with problem-solving. Even when times are lean, we can still enjoy these simple pleasures along with the opportunity to be creative in the very best job there is.

However, there may come a time when holding onto the small things isn't enough. 
Sometimes when conditions warrant, players make a bold move to improve their standing in the game. In a state where site-based management is the norm, advocacy has to happen in your own local camp. The host of Survivor can't make the case for your program. Only you can do this. If or when advocacy falls short of your hopes, then swapping tribes, or making a change to a different school or district can bring new opportunities, recharge your professional engine, and give you new chances for staying in the game you love. From my own experience I have found that what is lean in one place may not be as lean in another. Different tribes organize in unique ways and value different skills and attributes. So, don't be afraid to explore your options and make a bold move if the time is right. And finally . . . 

1. The challenges are different every week -
One week the challenge is swimming and the next week it involves solving puzzles. Then it's on to launching coconuts at a target, followed by balancing on a moving platform. The best players prepare and step up to these challenges. They practice, take advantage of opportunities, and they don't give up. They dig deep because they know how important it is to win immunity. Just like in the game of Survivor, our challenges are different every week too. To stay in the game we need to be nimble, courageous, balanced, skilled, and flexible -- change is the only thing that stays the same!

In the game of Survivor, fire represents life. If your fire goes out at camp, you're cold and miserable without a way to cook food or purify water. At tribal council, when your torch goes out, you're out of the game and out of the money. In the library game of Survivor, your personal fire is just as important. Don't let others extinguish yours and don't neglect your own flame -- keep your personal passion for the work you love burning strong.

So, who knew that reality TV could be so helpful? Now, if only we could take home that million dollars... just imagine what we could do in our school libraries?!

Remarks by Kelly Brannock, presented at the ECU Librarian2Librarian Networking Summit on January 9, 2010.

Posted by Kelly Brannock at 5:41 PM

Managing and Leading

Do you see yourself as a manager or a leader? I recently heard some provocative assertions* about the difference between managers and leaders. Suddenly it got me thinking about my personal and professional comfort zone; it also had me pondering how others perceive my role of School Librarian. I challenge you to try these titles on for size and see what feels like a comfortable fit!

   * Managers plan and budget. --- Leaders establish direction and cast vision. 

   * Managers develop policies and processes. --- Leaders align people and resources to accomplish a vision.

   * Managers control and problem-solve. --- Leaders motivate and inspire.

   * Managers create predictability and order. --- Leaders produce chaos and change.

So, what do you think . . . what's the most accurate fit for you (and our profession)? Is the role that feels like a comfortable fit, the one you want to play? Is this the mental model of "21st Century School Librarian" that we want others to understand? And finally, what opportunities for personal and professional growth can you envision? 

Let's get the conversation going about where we are and where we want to be. Where do you cast your vision? I'm looking forward to your comments!

Don't forget -- Deanna and I invite guest bloggers to join us in our conversation as we "hang around the library". If you're interested in joining the conversation on this blog, please let us know.

Kelly Brannock
[email protected]

*(comments on leaders & managers heard at a "Leading Beyond the Walls" presentation by Adam Hamilton)

Posted by Ms. Brannock at 7:34 PM

Boston -- Fame, Fortune and a "New" Name

Thanks to my trusty side-kick, NCSLMA President-Elect Deanna Harris, who faithfully blogged about our experiences pal-ing around together at ALA Midwinter in Boston last weekend. Yes, we really did see and hear Al Gore -- I even got up close for an autograph of his newest book, Our Choices. As you may have seen on this blog (and on Facebook), we had our picture taken with another celebrity, "Flat Sara", a life-size cutout of ALA Presidential candidate, Sara Kelly Johns. (Sara is a former AASL President & she's looking for support from AASL members when we vote for ALA President in the spring.) Out of obligation to our host city, Deanna and I slurped down some tasty clam "chowdah" and did extensive field-testing of their famous Boston Creme Pie. We can confirm that they know how to make a scrumptious dessert in Boston! 

Of course, there were more substantive things that happened in Boston. One of the more intriguing moments was when AASL President-Elect Nancy Everhart described her plan to visit an outstanding school library in all 50 states! Nancy's excellent adventure (she'll be rollin' cross-country in an RV) might be the ticket to your fame, since Nancy is looking for an exemplary school library in NC to visit. I will provide her with our state's recommendation for this honor in April, so put on your thinking caps and consider nominating yourself or someone else. An "offical" NCSLMA nomination form will be posted on the website soon, but in the meantime here are the specifics that Nancy is looking for in her 50-state school library tour:

  • The school librarian is fully certified and a member of AASL
  • The facility and activities going on in the facility are engaging and visually stimulating.
  • The school library makes the most of the resources available.
  • Schools should be diverse and at various levels – elementary, middle, high, K-12, etc.
  • The school administration agrees to a site visit with media coverage which may include television, radio, and/or web coverage
  • Appropriate permissions are obtained which include photos, video and potential research
  • The school visit will occur on a day that fits Nancy's schedule
  • Evidence of learning will be provided
  • Tour schedule will be finalized in May and June and announced at ALA Annual in Washington, DC in June 2010.
Besides fame as a stop on Nancy's 50-state tour, there's fortune to be had as an AASL member. Several AASL awards are still up for grabs and we would LOVE to see an NCSLMA member bring home the money. The application deadline is February 1, 2010, so time is of the essence! For more information, including an application, go to Award winners will be honored at ALA Annual in Washington DC in June 2010. Given the current budget environment, there's no better time to showcase your library program, demonstrate your very best practices, and support the work you love by bringing home an AASL Award!

The other interesting news out of Boston is that AASL has officially adopted the professional title of "School Librarian" to describe the work we do. According to ALA's Cognotes, "a recent AASL survey indicated confusion, misperceptions, and inconsistencies about job titles in the school librarian profession." Affiliate Assembly requested that the AASL Board of Directors "choose a title for its professionals that is clear to other educators, administrators, and the public, and that presents a common nomenclature for all publications and advocacy efforts."

So, School Librarian may be an old name, but it's our new professional title for the 21st century. While most people are very familiar with this old new name, they are likely not as conversant with what it means to be a 21st century School Librarian. If we are at our very best, we're making this clear every day through the work we do in school libraries across North Carolina. (I don't know about you, but I wear this professional title proudly and make it part of my signature line.)

Happily back in NC (but still lovin' Boston),
your NCSLMA President and School Librarian
-- Kelly

connecting . learning . leading

[email protected]
kellybrannock at Twitter
Kelly Brannock on Facebook

Posted by Kelly Brannock at 5:40 PM

And the Winners Are...

Well, Kelly and I were wimps this morning. We didn't venture out in the cold, wet freezing rain and snow to head to the convention center for the live and in-person 2010 Youth Media Award announcements. But we did manage to get logged on and watch the live webcast in the comfort of our hotel room (while still in our pajamas!) and enjoy some of the excitement of being the first to learn who the winners are.You can read the entire list of winners and the press release at .

Newbery Award winner: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Caldecott Award winner: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Printz Award winner: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Belpre' Award winners: Return to Sender by Julie Alvarez (text) and Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora, illustrated by Rafael Lopez (illustrations)

Siebert Award winner: Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 6:14 AM

ALA Midwinter: Round and Round

Saturday was a great day for networking with librarians from all locations and backgrounds, but especially our fellow school librarians.

We started our day with AASL Affiliate Assembly roundtable discussions. The topic of this year's discussions was on setting and size of school libraries and the unique problems that arise with each. Kelly and I, along with Deb Christensen, joined the 'suburban' table since we both teach in schools that seem to fit that definition best. Other discussion tables included rural, urban, small, and large.

The folks at our table included librarians from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Delaware, and the discussion focused on issues that uniquely affect suburban schools. The main issue we reported out to the larger group is that in suburban schools we are starting to serve a wider range of students, students from the very poor to the more affluent. How do we make sure that we have the instructional strategies, the teaching tools, and the resources to meet the needs of that wide range of students?

And speaking of name dropping, we had the opportunity to hear Al Gore as he delivered the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture. Gore discussed his latest book,Our Choices, about the climate crisis. This book is accessible to younger readers. Kelly got up close and personal with Gore when she had her book autographed.

Lots of librarians, including Kelly, are tweeting during the conference. So if you'd like more updates and information, you can search the tag #alamw10 for their comments and postings. 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 3:53 AM

ALA Midwinter: Pictures!

Here's Al Gore on the big screen. We really did see him on stage. We promise! It was just easier to take a picture of the bigger than life Al Gore than the tiny Gore on stage.
Here we are posing with "Flat Sara", the life-size cardboard display of ALA Presidential candidate, Sara Kelly Johns, former AASL President.
Kelly, Sandra Andrews - UNC-G and AASL Affiliate Assembly chair, and Deb Christensen - NCSLMA Past-President
Kelly and Deanna posing at the Backstage Library Works booth in the exhibit hall.
Kelly and Deanna "getting to know" Oscar the Robot, the Emery-Platt book distributors mascot.

Posted by Ms. Dee at 6:58 AM

ALA Midwinter: Who's Who from NC

Kelly and I arrived in Boston Friday afternoon. (We hope our friends in NC enjoyed the warmer temperatures on Friday because it's cold here!)

Our afternoon was spent organizing ourselves for the weekend -- registering, finding our way around, locating the rooms for our meetings. We attended the Exhibitor's Reception and roamed around looking for some familiar faces, and it's a veritable "Who's Who" from NC in Boston.

NCSLMA Past-President Deb Christiansen and Piedmont Director Catherine Barone are just two doors down from us. Deb currently serves as past recording secretary for AASL Affliate Assembly, and Catherine is on the YALSA Teen Read Week committee.

We ran into a couple of folks from the hometown universities -- Sandra Andrews, Chairperson of Affiliate Assembly, and Linda Gann from UNC-G and Linda Teel from East Carolina University. (We'd also already seen Sandra Hughes-Hassell from UNC-Ch on our flight to Boston.) These ladies were enjoying the clam chowder at the reception and making their way around to find those deals at the exhibitors.

At dinner at Legal Test Kitchen (very yummy!), we conversed with Kevin Cherry, NC native and former State Library of NC staffer, who now works with ILMS.

We're off to brave the cold this morning as we head back to the convention center for our roundtable discussion! Watch for pictures and more postings!

Deanna Harris, NBCT
NCSLMA President-Elect 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 4:34 AM

Affiliate Assembly, Here We Come!

Kelly Brannock and I are headed to Boston this weekend to represent the association at AASL Affiliate Assembly at ALA Midwinter. The purpose of Affiliate Assembly is

" provide a channel of communication for reporting concerns of the affiliated organizations and their membership to the AASL Board of Driects; to facilitate discussion of activities and concerns of AASL as reported by the AASL president, Executive Direction and Board of Directors; and to report the actions of the AASL to the Affiliates. (AASL Bylaws, Article XI, Section 2.)"

As your representatives, we look forward to discussing the status of school libraries and media coordinators in our state with other delegates. As a member of Region 4, we will meet with delegates from Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Keep checking the blog this weekend for updates about what's happening with our national association and the issues that affect school libraries!

Deanna Harris, NBCT
NCSLMA President-Elect 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 1:52 PM

Professional Resolutions

Each year lots of folks make new year's resolutions: lose ten pounds, start exercising, stop smoking, attend church more regularly, stay in touch with friend and family more often. Most of the time the resolutions are centered on improving their personal lives, getting healthier, being more spiritual, or just plain being more positive about life.

But how often do you make professional resolutions?

January is a great time to make professional resolutions! It's the perfect time to reflect on the fall semester, half the school year, and determine what's working and what's not working and what in the world you need to resolve to improve with your library media program!

So, calling all you school library media folks! What professional resolutions are you making for this year, or at least the rest of the school year?

Deanna Harris
NCSLMA President-Elect 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 11:54 AM

2020 Vision: Future of School Libraries

It was in the fall of 2000 that the North Carolina School Library Media Association became a reality! Born out of the desire "to provide professional and educational connections, opportunities, and support for North Carolina school library media personnel", the organization has provided an annual statewide conference and various programs and grants to meet the stated purpose of the association.

Our first conference in the fall of 2001 saw some incredible speakers and authors: Christopher Paul CurtisStephen KrashenSuzanne Fisher Staples, and others. We were energized and enthusiastic about our new association and extremely excited about our first conference. School library media specialists enjoyed strong, well-funded programs and were afforded the professional luxury of attending our conference to network and learn with colleagues.

What has happened in school librarianship in the past ten years since the beginning of our new organization?

Technology obviously is very prominent in our daily lives and especially our schools and libraries. Who could have imagined students using wireless laptops to navigate online databases for a research project? Or students collaboratively planning projects and preparing presentations through wikis and blogs and other collaborative applications?

For years, futurists have talked about the books going away. The invention and increased usage of eBooks and devices like the Kindle have made some books more accessible, but they haven't necessarily completely displaced the books on our shelves in our school libraries.

In the past ten years, we've seen school library media specialists move more into the role of teacher leaders. We've become National Board Certified Teachers. We've embraced our role as professional development facilitators. We've worked to be more comfortable at advocating for information literacy and our media and technology programs.

As we look to our conference in the fall of 2010, what do the next ten years have in store for library media coordinators and our media and technology programs?

What's your 2020 vision for the future of school libraries?

Deanna Harris, NBCT
NCSLMA President-Elect 

Posted by Ms. Dee at 5:15 PM

Hanging Out With a New Me

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