Nov 20th, 2013 by Cathy Jo Nelson
After a full day of sessions and connecting, I returned to the Learning Commons to meet up with Anne Lemieux, Diana Carr, Dawn Nelson, Sally Mays, and Carolyn Foote, and after dropping our bags in Carolyn’s room at the Marriott, we walked over to the Capstone Mixer at the Science Discovery Center next door. Here I got to connect with MANY old and new friends. Here I learned that Nikki Robertson was floored with my remixing of her book speed-dating idea, and loved my pictures which I still had on my phone. I reconnected with Doug Johnson, Carl Harvey, and more—too many to just name names. It was fabulous to be in that energy-filled room talking library shop and enjoying h’orderves.
A Stroll through Hartford at Night
I had RSVP’d to a Mackin Dinner invite, as had most of my group. So we adopted Doug Johnson to walk with us to the Peppercorn’s Grill in downtown Hartford. It was a very interesting walk over to the restaurant. Just look at some of the things we saw along this chilly stroll.
I insisted my two SCASL peeps accompany us, as I would try to get them in. If I failed they could aways have dinner at Peppercorn’s. I am happy to report I was successful in getting them in our group. So many friends were here! It was great reconnecting with everyone, and we had a delicious evening meal filled with fun, fellowship, toasts, and lots of sharing! For dinner, I ate a delicious veggie ravioli, and you can checkout their complete menu here.
Next Up, The AASL13 Unconference
The Unconference was slated for back at the Marriott Ballroom from 9PM-Midnight. Our walking entourage (Me, Carolyn Foote, Dawn Nelson, Sally Mays, Doug Johnson, Anne Lemiuex, and Diana Carr) arrived around 9:15; horrors we were LATE! The planned schedule went like this:
- Intro, outline of events, voting on conversations to organize
- Conversation 1 – attendees choose the group they want to join
- Conversation 2 – attendees choose the group they want to join
- Group wide Activity “This Rocks/This Sucks”
- Favorite Library/Tech Tool Smackdown
- Cloding and doorprizes
I joined a Twitter 101 conversation first, mainly because there wasn’t much time left before the next group, and I didn’t know what each group was discussing since I arrived late. It was interesting to hear Matthew Winner and Nikki Robertson lead this conversation. Shortly after we all regrouped and I joined the “Getting YA Students to read” group. We had a lot of fun comparing stats and sharing how we get reluctant readers to read. I shared my upcoming Destiny Review Project with personalized book selection and my literature circles for the class studying Romeo & Juliet. Everyone had great ideas. Next up was the “This Rocks/This Sucks” and as an entire room of librarians, we were to vote with out feet by listening to a scenario and then moving to areas of the room (rocks, sucks, undecided.) The first scenario was about shelving by genre, and we had three fairly equal groups. I went with the “Sucks” folks because it would be a colossal amount of work to move 25,000 volumes in my library, not to mention adjusting records for location! But the “rocks’ group were quite passionate and compelling. There were some riveting rationales shared as moderators brought mics out for people to share reasons in support or against the issues shared.
As the “GeekTribe” member (a growing group of school librarians who are “connected” educators) or whatever we are called these days, we were asked to step up to the mic from the get go in the Smackdown as a way to encourage everyone to join in. Here is the on the fly slideset. I say on the fly, because some put their content in well before the evening, but moderator Nikki Robertson expertly and quickly added everyone else’s content as they shared with the group. It was awesome and I can’t wait to try out new to me tools JUST from the smackdown.
Closing it Down
Ross J. Todd and Lyn Hay closed down the evening with a comical but often truthful reflection written in ABC order. I walked away with a mice Mackin doorprize! I was exhausted but filled with elation over staying the entire evening, connecting face-to-face with so many who daily have the same challenges I have, and making contributions, crowdsourcing and all. Joyce Valenza summarized the Unconference and Ross J Todd’s ABC list with better pictures and descriptions, so please visit to see her post-unconference report too.
An SC Librarian Unconference/EdCamp/LibCamp?
I so want to organize one of these, and I really think my own school’s library and cafeteria, closee in proximity, could be the ideal place to conduct such an event for librarians. My friend Tamara Cox has said she would come and help. I’m sure I might even be able to convince some of our NC friends to come! This is really weighing heavy on my mind. I need to go check some calendars at school and see if and when we might can make this happen.
See, I told you Day three was too long for one post!! But that long day was so worth every minute! Tomorrow I’ll share my last day at #AASL13.
Highlight of the Day / Lowlight of the Day
- Highlight of day (part 2): Unconference, no doubt about it
- Lowlight of the day (part 2): Some of SCASL peeps bailed long before the Unconference was done!! Not all though, as Susan Dicey stayed to the end right along with me, even making her husband hang around to be an escort back to her hotel! Yay for devoted husbands!!
All pictures in this post are from my own picture feed in Flickr.
I am appending to this post a special thanks to the South Carolina State Library and Kathy Sheppard, who tuned me in to and accepted my application for a funding source for travel and attendance at this conference, the American Association of School Librarians 16th Annual Conference and Exhibition. My funding is directly attributed to the Library Services and Technical Services Act and the U.S. Institute of Museums and Library Services. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity these entities have afforded me.