Research drives educators of school librarians at AASL national conference

For Immediate Release
Fri, 10/02/2015


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Research and data driven practice will be the focus of sessions from the AASL Educators of School Librarians Section (ESLS) during the AASL 17th National Conference & Exhibition taking place Nov. 5-8 in Columbus, Ohio. Presentations will explore the shift to causal research in the field, creating a community of scholars to better facilitate the research process, and the latest school library studies from across the country. More information can be found at

The ESLS Research Symposium, a half-day preconference on Thursday, Nov. 5, will continue and intensify the discussion and collaborations initiated at the Causality: School Libraries and Student Success (CLASS) Research Symposium held in April 2014. Practitioners and researchers interested in inquiry into practice are invited to join the workshop led by researchers Shana Pribesh and Marcia Mardis and moderated by Jody Howard and Sue Kimmel. The symposium is a ticketed event in which additional registration fees are required.

During Creating a Community of Scholars, a concurrent session taking place at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6; presenter Jeffrey DiScala, will explore with attendees how school library research findings can make their way to practitioners, other researchers in the field and education stakeholders. Facilitators Karen Gavigan and Rebecca Morris will assist in the discussion and lead activities for research community building. Admission to the concurrent session is included with full conference registration.

The concurrent session From Professional Identity to STEM Resources to Visual Literacy: Research Papers from the Field of School Librarianship, taking place at 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, highlights a selection of the latest school library studies from across the United States. Collected via an open call to the field, the ESLS section selected three research papers as examples of quality research being conducted to improve school library practice. Topics cover evolving professional identities, STEM digital learning resources and visual literacy preferences. Papers to be presented include:

  • The Evolving Professional Identity of the Novice School Library Manager by Julia Marie Frye, Indiana University
  • Access, Skill, Policy, and Motivation: A Synthesis and Research Agenda for School Librarianship and STEM Digital Learning Resources by Marcia Mardis and Jennifer Wood, Florida State University

  • The Relationship of Visual Literacy Preferences and Student Attitudes towards Libraries and Reading by Wendy Stephens, Jacksonville State University

Admission to the concurrent session is included with full conference registration.

“It is an exciting time for research in the field of school librarianship,” said Karen Gavigan, ESLS chair. “The ESLS section is pleased to highlight new AASL initiatives and current school library research through these national conference presentations. These sessions will feature school library educators and practitioners who are researching ways to improve school library practice. ESLS invites you to attend these sessions to learn more about the latest research in the field, and to share your thoughts about burning questions for the future of school library research.”

For a complete listing of AASL national conference sessions focused on research visit

The AASL National Conference & Exhibition is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. The 17th National Conference & Exhibition, “Experience Education Evolution,” taking place Nov. 5-8, 2015, will feature preconference workshops & tours, author events, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the profession. Register before the October 8 advance registration deadline to save $50 of the on-site registration fee. Those communicating about the national conference are encouraged to use the official hashtag, #aasl15.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.