Nation’s school library leaders meet in Hartford, Conn. to discuss the evolving role of U.S. school library programs

For Immediate Release
Tue, 11/12/2013

Contact:

Macey Morales
Manager Media Relations
PIO
3122804393
mmorales@ala.org

CHICAGO – As schools integrate technologies to meet college and career readiness standards, it becomes increasingly important for educational decision makers to recognize the value of school libraries and librarians in ensuring 21st century literacy skills. School librarians from across the country will meet from Nov. 14 – 17, in Hartford, Conn., for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 16th National Conference & Exhibition to explore their roles as education leaders within a diverse academic landscape.

“School libraries and librarians are key ingredients in fostering quality education,” said AASL President Gail Dickinson. “The conference will provide school librarians with the opportunity to learn how to advocate for the opportunities today’s digital learners need to empower their lives through education.”

Since 1965, more than 60 education and library studies have produced clear evidence that school library programs staffed by qualified school librarians have a positive impact on college and career readiness.

According to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project Online Survey of Teachers, although the Internet has opened up a vast world of information for today’s students, their digital literacy skills have yet to catch up. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed stated that students lack the ability to assess the quality and accuracy of information they find online. Another 33 percent reported that students lacked the ability to recognize bias in online content.

Themed “Rising to the Challenge,” the conference is the largest national conference dedicated to the needs of school librarians. The conference provides a national forum for school librarians to explore their roles as education leaders driven by ever expanding technology and instant access to information. Attendees will have access to a best practices showcase, concurrent sessions and an exhibit floor that will feature services and products relevant to the school library profession.

Kicking off the conference, school librarians from across the country will tour five area school libraries with innovative programs. The tours will provide an opportunity for the local school librarians to showcase and share best practices.  Tours include Glastonbury (Conn.) High School, Sage Park Middle School, Windsor, Conn.; Hamden (Conn.) Hall Country Day School; Taft School, Watertown, Conn.; and Louise Duffy Elementary School, West Hartford, Conn.

Thought leader Tony Wagner, education fellow at the technology and entrepreneurship center at Harvard, will headline the Opening General Session from 4 – 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14.  Wagner is a best-selling and widely published author on educational topics. His most recent book, “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World,” explores what parents, teachers and employers must do collectively to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. His appearance at AASL national conference is generously sponsored by Cable in the Classroom.

Author and leadership consultant Peter Bregman, will headline the Closing General Session, 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16. Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a global management consulting firm that advises organizations and their leadership teams. His current book “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done,” is the  One Book, One Conference selection and named the best business book of the year.  

The conference will also feature authors Libba Bray, “Beauty Queens”; Shane W. Evans, “Black Jack”; Faith Erin Hicks, “Zombies Calling”; Matthew Holm and Jennifer L. Holm, “Babymouse” and “Squish” graphic novels; Jarrett J. Krosoczka, “Punk Farm”; Raina Telgemeier, “Smile”; and storytellers Carol Birch, Bill Harley and Valerie Tutson.

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.