As I attended the School Library Journal Leadership Summit this past weekend, I happened to run into an old friend–Allison Roberts. Allison was my first LMS mentor as I entered the field of school library. I was such a newbie then, and as we reflected over some of my “better” newbie questions, we had quite a laugh.
Allison was Aiken-Area 5’s contact for the SCASL regional network back then, and after many years in Aiken, she left to go back home to Tennessee. Allison shared this story with me in front of several other LMS’s so I want to share it with you. Allison was an active participant in SCASL back then, and continued to attend our SCASL conferences for several years after leaving SC–mainly because the professional feeding that occurs annually at our conferences. She was approached by another Tennessean at one of the last ones she attended, who was amazed and surprised to find another Tennessee LMS at our SCASL conference–just like her-all the way from Tennessee. What are the chances?
A Chance Meeting Launches a LEADER
I wish I could give proper credit by sharing the name of this LMS who by chance struck up this conversation with our former colleague Allison Roberts. Anyway this person asked Allison why she was attending our SCASL Conference instead of the TASL (TN Association of School Librarians) Conference, and Allison confessed that she wasn’t getting much from it–at least not as much as she could get at SCASL. Partner with the professional feeding the fact that she could be with all her old friends made coming anually quite a draw. This colleague then introduced herself to Allison, and suddenly Allison felt like opening her mouth and inserting her foot–it was the THEN TASL President (or maybe president elect.) So they decided to hang out, get to know each other, and see what they could do to make the TASL conference and organization a stronger entity like SCASL.
Allison has served three years herself recently as the TASL President, and is now a regional representative to AASL. Our former colleague and friend is a RISING STAR in our profession! I was so pleased to get to see her and talk to her again. It just suddenly made me realize how SMALL our world is.
Allison sends BIG HELLOs to all of SC. And she credits SCASL for helping shape her vision of what TASL could be back then. By looking at their upcoming conference scheduled in the next few days, I can see that it is strong and VERY inviting, so much so that I wish I could attend. My compliments to Allison. AND my compliments to SCASL, for being a strong organization that draws people from other states year in and year out. You guys raise the bar EACH YEAR!