danah boyd to keynote AASL National Conference

Melissa B. Jones

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

November 25, 2008

CHICAGO – danah boyd, the "high priestess" of networked social media, will keynote the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 14th National Conference & Exhibition, "Rev up learning @ your library," Nov. 5-8, 2009, in Charlotte, N.C. During the Thursday Opening General Session, boyd will kick off the only national conference dedicated to the needs of school library media specialists, school library support staff, school library vendors, authors and exhibitors.

danah boyd is an internationally recognized authority on online social networking sites. Her unique and controversial perspectives on how America's youth are engaging in sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube will help school library media specialists understand how this shift in our culture is changing the way students are communicating with each other and representing themselves online. A doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley and a fellow at the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society, boyd's research focuses on how American youth use networked publics for social purposes.

"School library media specialists' challenge as educators is to tap the potential for social networking and recognize that this technology use is 'active' learning. It is our job to learn how to engage students in this new technology as learning and teaching tools," said Jay Bansbach, AASL National Conference 2009 Committee co-chair.

Prior to her studies at Berkeley, boyd received a bachelor's degree in computer science from Brown University and a master's degree in social media from MIT Media Lab. She has worked as an ethnographer and social media researcher for various corporations, including Intel, Tribe.net, Google and Yahoo!, has advised numerous other companies, sits on corporate, education and nonprofit advisory boards and regularly speaks at industry conferences and events.

"School library media specialists need to recognize the popularity of Friendster, Facebook and MySpace as an opportunity to create new learning experiences for our students. danah boyd will bring relevant, meaningful and applicable information about the social networking culture to the AASL National Conference in Charlotte, N.C.," said Ann M. Martin, AASL president.

The AASL 14th National Conference & Exhibition, "Rev up learning @ your library," is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school library media specialists and their roles as educational leaders. AASL National Conference will feature 10 preconferences, numerous concurrent sessions, more than 200 exhibiting companies, educational and school tours, a storytelling festival and special appearances by award-winning authors. For more information on AASL's 14th National Conference & Exhibition, visit

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media 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 media field.