CHICAGO — Transliteracy and participatory culture were the topics of conversation for school librarian professionals across the country as they met face-to-face and virtually for the AASL 2012 Fall Forum, Transliteracy and the School Library Program, Oct. 12-13, 2012. More than 250 attendees participated in the forum either at the Greenville, S.C., location or at participating satellite sites in Doylestown, Pa.; Homestead, Pa.; Richardson, Texas; and San Jose, Calif.
The AASL Fall Forum, a multi-day national institute held during non-AASL national conference years, is an intimate professional development event focused on just one topic of importance to the school library profession. The institute is structured to maximize the amount of time attendees have to network with their peers and create action plans for their programs and professional careers.
The 2012 Fall Forum featured Henry Jenkins, renowned author and media studies scholar, who served as the opening and closing speaker as well as primary facilitator. Jenkins shared his extensive expertise on participatory culture and engaged with attendees throughout the day and a half institute. Joining Jenkins as facilitators were Kristin Fontichiaro, clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, and Barbara Jansen, chair of educational technology and library services and upper school media services director at Saint Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. Together they provided a comprehensive overview of complex concept of transliteracy - the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media.
“Attendees at the AASL Fall Forum demonstrated that they are on the cutting edge of research and best practice and truly members of a participatory culture as they thoughtfully engaged with world-class presenters and content centered on the topic of transliteracy,” said Susan Ballard, AASL president. “It was a singularly spectacular opportunity to deeply explore the concept and reflect on how school librarians are uniquely qualified to lead efforts in this area in their learning communities.”
Attendees across the Fall Forum sites connected virtually through the AASL 2012 Fall Forum Ning, located at aasl12.ning.com. Ning membership is open to all Fall Forum attendees and those interested in learning more about or sharing their expertise on transliteracy skills. Attendees also shared thoughts and ideas via social media sites such as Twitter and Pinterest. More than 1,100 #aasl12 tweets were submitted throughout the weekend and websites and resources mentioned by Fall Forum presenters were curated into a Pinterest board.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.