Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thank you VAASL!

I was honored to keynote the Virginia School Library Association's fall conference. My presentation follows <>. What I was not able to include in this (extended) version was a photo of my new friend Paul Barron, who did four sessions on using Google, the deep web, and Wikipedia as learning tools. Paul is the Director of Library  & Archival Services at the George C. Marshall Foundation. We had a great conversation over lunch about using Wikipedia as a resource to teach website evaluation. Maybe that will be the nudge to get me to finish that Wikipedia lesson!

Friday's dinner banquet was delightful. Gordon Korman gave the address, and awards were distributed. Congratulations to all the winners, particularly to Jennifer Spisak, who won the Virginia School Librarian of the Year Award. I was lucky enough to sit with her at dinner, and we had a rich conversation about the fabulousness of middle schoolers. Clearly, Jennifer loves what she does, and she does it well. We hope to see her presenting nationally soon! She has much to share. Virginia, by the way, really knows how to celebrate it's school librarians' successes. They have lovely ceremonies too, not to mention stellar librarians!

I was surprised to learn that only one attendee had participated in an edCamp. I (very bossily) charged the audience with attending at least one in the next year (ironic request from a keynote speaker, no?). Here is a link to the eSchool News article I mentioned. It outlines the nuts and bolts of edCamp.

VAASL folks watching Dan's video
I was very happy to give a shout out to Dan Ambrosio, New Canaan High School student-teacher extraordinaire. His work is featured in the above presentation. He will be moving to northern Virginia in December, and he is ready to work. We will really miss him at New Canaan High School. He is a creative and imaginative instructional partner  - to the entire learning community. Good luck, Danny!

Did I mention the lunch boxes? Gale/Cengage handed a lunchbox to EVERY attendee! That was a surprise! Post a comment below if you need one. I think there are a few extras! ;-)

What follows is my second presentation, entitled, How to Deliver 24/7 Services from an 8/5 Facility and Still Sleep at Night. Here is the direct link <>. I don't think I ever got to the part about still sleeping at night.

Special thanks to Lara Samuels, who was most generous with her time, her companionship, and her wheels!

Resources for getting things unblocked in your school:
  1. AASL Banned Websites Awareness Day
  2. The Innovative Educator (Lisa Nielsen)
  4. My webinars


  1. Michelle,

    Thank you for the wisdom, insights and educational energized passion you shared with our VaASL gathering. I'm processing which nuggets we can purposefully bring to our TItle I PreK-Gd. 5 learners. You are inspiring! ;-)

    Margo Jantzi
    Cub Run Elementary Library
    Shenandoah Valley of VA

  2. Margo, Thank you so much for your kind words! I had a wonderful time in Virginia, and I was dazzled by your and your peers' dedication to innovating library practice and leadership. One participant said, "I feel like I just drank water from a fire hose." about the keynote, then I went and peeked at Danny's blog and realized that was its title! Please share what you are able to apply to your school library. It will help inform me and other followers. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  3. Great column. You sound exactly like someone I'd love to know. Keep celebrating you. The world needs a lot more people just like you. Thanks for your honesty.
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