Our annual conference is finished once again, and I’m trying to process. It will take me days to really think through everything. There was quite a bit of buzz about school budget cuts, LMS jobs being endangered, and many many friends not present. I am pleased to report that at our final event, the SCASL Book Award Luncheon, the incoming president Kathy Sutusky reported this year’s conference attendance had indeed surpassed last year’s conference. Here are a few events, activities, and memories that standout for me right now:
- 3 presentations over and done! I relearned a couple of valuable lessons–namely: bring your own back up equipment, plan for things to go wrong, conference wifi will always stink, and when presenting, wear layers that can be removed. (Maybe I’ll go into more detail about some of these in a new post later.)
- SCASL has two pretty dynamo up and coming librarians in the mix. Tamara Cox and Carla Nash, both first year librarians in our state, co-presented on being a first year librarian. I was floored by their expansive knowledge and good solid tips–even one a 25 year veteran educator can use. Attention friends — this is the future of SCASL. I predict some quality leadership from these two in the coming years.
- Meeting up face-to-face with friends you network with in some capacity via tools is always fun and quite rewarding. Hanging out with them these last two days has deepened friendships and reaffirmed that online tools can be an avenue to developing some strong professional relationships. My friends (like Heather Loy and Fran Bullington) are a true testament to the power of networking as a vehicle for growing friendships.
- Tamara Cox has found her niche. Even as a first year librarian, she bravely stepped forward to present several times, and she is thinking continuously about improving her practice. Today during my session she volunteered to collect our charts we developed in my session, and synthesize them to send to SCASL for the e-handouts. Her plan was so much better than mine, which was to encourage participants to revisit the charts and jot down notes. Thanks so much Tamara.
- Several of us went to dinner Thursday evening, and we caused quite the stir in the restaurant. You see, Steven Reed was the lone male participant of our group, and when our waiter showed up, Steve introduced the five of us as his “wives.” We had quite a good time with that. A little later a second male (Kevin Merritt) of our group joined us, so of course we declared he was a spouse too–a second husband. LOL. It was quite fun to discuss phone apps, SCASL history, our sessions past and future, the state of education, politics, and more. There wasn’t much we did not cover in our 2.5 hour dinner!
- David Loertscher gave us a terrific keynote for our first full day. He is such a pro, and can work the room like magic. His “what not to do” in an interview for an LMS presentation was satirical as he showed how a librarian who is not planning a student program would answer. Hate to say it, but some of those statements hit home all across the room, and I must confess my toes were stepped on too at times. But he did give me some food for thought on shifting responses to conversations at school so that they are student centered, and not “Cathy” centered.
- Memorable too was the buzz of our former state department of education liaison and advocate. Her position was transitioned to e-learning recently, but she announced at conference her early retirement. So now with withering budgets and schools looking ofr ways to trim the fat, librarians who have not made themselves indispensable are definitely on an endangered list!
- The newly revised SCASL website went live, and it is attempting to integrate many of our online avenues and bring the power of 2.0 and networking into the fray. A survey this fall revealed that we had spread ourselves too thin in the various avenues, and that streamlining these tools might help, so our website has a blog, forums, and more. We are in the process of learning as we do it, and in the session that reviewed it led by Heather Loy, I felt the reception of the plan (particularly the forums that will eventually replace the listserv and be for members only) was positive. Of course at these type of sessions, one is preaching to the choir–the membership who have already bought in. But I’m optimistic.
- Winners for the 2011 annual book awards were announced:
SC Picture Book Award Winner: Two Bobbies
SC Childrens Book Award Winner: All the Lovely Bad Ones
SC Junior Book Award Winner: Hunger Games
SC Young Adult Book Award Winner: Hunger Games
I wanted to share some various pictures from conference too. These are by no means all of them, just the few that the Information Technology Committee took. We also have uploaded a few “Roving Reporter” interviews in the mix as well. Enjoy!
All images used are from the South Carolina Association of School Librarians Flickr feed and are licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons.