For immediate release | May 21, 2013

Harvard innovation education fellow Tony Wagner opens AASL national conference

CHICAGO — Education innovator and thought leader Tony Wagner will headline the opening general session at the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) 16th National Conference and Exhibition taking place Nov. 14-17, 2013, in Hartford, Conn. His presentation will draw on his more than 25 years of education consulting experience focused on creating strategies to improve learning for all students. More information can be found at

“We are starting the conference off with the invigorating and enlightening Tony Wagner,” said Terri Kirk, conference co-chair. “Conference goers will be challenged to think about our educational system in a new way and will be inspired to bring ideas back to their schools.”

Wagner is a best-selling and widely published author on educational topics. His 2008 book “The Global Achievement Gap” looks at the skills children need to be successful members of a society versus the unchanging skills taught in schools. Wagner writes, “in today’s highly competitive global knowledge economy, all students need new skills for college, careers and citizenship. To fail to give all students these new skills leaves today’s youth-and our country-at an alarming competitive disadvantage.” 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.

“Cable in the Classroom is proud to sponsor Tony Wagner’s keynote,” said Frank Gallagher, executive director. “As the education foundation of the cable industry, which thrives on innovation and creativity, we know firsthand the importance of these skills to students’ future and to the economic foundation of our country. I look forward to a thought-provoking session that will inspire all of us to unleash our students’ creative energies.”

Wagner recently accepted a position as the first innovation education fellow at the technology and entrepreneurship center at Harvard. Prior to this, he was the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard graduate school of education. Wagner consults widely with schools, districts and foundations around the country and internationally. His previous work experience includes 12 years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility.

Registration for the AASL 16th National Conference & Exhibition is now open at Those wishing to join their colleagues for dedicated learning and networking are encouraged to register before the Aug. 22 early bird deadline to save $100 on registration rates.

The AASL national conference is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. The 16th National Conference & Exhibition, "Rising to the Challenge," taking place Nov. 14–17, 2013, in Hartford, Conn., will feature preconference workshops, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the school library profession.

The American Association of School Librarians,, 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.


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications