AASL announces preconference workshops for its national conference

Contact: Melissa B. Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

March 3, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) 14th National Conference & Exhibition promises to "Rev up learning @ your library" with exciting preconference workshops geared toward school library media specialists and their programs. AASL's national conference will be held Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C. Half- and full-day preconferences will take place on Nov. 4 and 5. More information is available at

Co-chair of the National Conference Committee Jay Bansbach said, "Preconference workshops give attendees the opportunity to focus on a single topic for a concentrated period of time. The committee has thoughtfully selected preconferences based on a lot of feedback and brought to you some of the 'best and brightest' practitioners in our field!’"

Full-day preconference workshops offer attendees the chance for more in-depth learning on critical topics affecting school library media specialists and the chance to collaborate and network. The "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action" is an interactive workshop presented by Pam Berger and Barbara Stripling. Attendees will learn how to integrate interactive technology and assessment to transform their students into active and reflective learners who are empowered to think and create on their own.

"AASL School Library Advocacy Institute" provides information, resources and strategies that help define advocacy and facilitate the development of long-term advocacy action plans for school library media programs. School library media specialists with programs that are in jeopardy or who want to boost stakeholder support in their programs are encouraged to attend this workshop led by Deb Levitov.

AASL's half-day workshops will be offered the Thursday and Friday before the national conference. "Beyond Simple Web Searching—Guerrilla Tactics to Get the Information You Want and Know What You're Getting," presented by Anthony A. Luscre, will give attendees the opportunity to discover methods useful in evaluating the reliability and relevance of the information found on the Internet. Attendees will learn methods useful in gathering and/or saving information sources on the Web, including gleaning, Web whacking, bookmarks, social bookmarking, citation and image capture. For those national conference attendees who are interested in gaining more of an understanding about 2.0 tools, Doug Johnson's "Eating Elephant 2.0 One Bite at a Time: Using the Read-Write Web in Classrooms and Libraries," will show attendees Web-based tools that are opening the door to exciting collaborative learning opportunities in the classroom and school library media programs.

School library media specialists that are looking to incorporate new books or activities into their collection will benefit from "Rev Up Your Collections and Curriculum with Graphic Novels" and "Toward a Kinder Planet: Values and Language Play Through Storytelling." In the graphic novels workshop, Karen Gavigan, Michele Gorman, Debbie Dupree, Gerry Solomon and Mindy Tomasevich will present criteria for selecting graphic novel resources, along with research on the advantages of using graphic novels with students. The storytelling workshop, presented by Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald, will teach six audience-participation folktales that deal with themes of caring for the planet and each other. Each workshop will send school library media specialists home revved up to incorporate a new medium into their program.

School library media specialists looking for a way to bring excitement into the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" and state curriculum standards will benefit from "The Games Libraries Play (And How They Align Them)." Presenters Christopher Harris, Brian Mayer and Kelly Czarnecki will demonstrate how to incorporate problem solving and content-area learning in K-12 classes by using modern board games, video games and virtual worlds.

AASL's "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" will also be addressed in the workshop "Rev Up Learning through Project-Based Learning." Violet Harada, Carolyn Kirio and Sandra Yamamoto will engage attendees in discussion and activities that demonstrate how project-based learning (PBL) in high schools can provide school library media specialists with unique opportunities to be integral members of project planning and teaching teams.

"Using Guided Inquiry to Accomplish 21st Century Learner Standards" will be presented by Carol Collier Kuhlthau, Ann Kuhlthau Caspari and Leslie Maniotes. Because the AASL standards are strongly inquiry-based, this guided inquiry workshop will provide a framework for library media specialists and teachers to work together to develop interventions and strategies that guide students in curriculum-based inquiry.

Role-playing and group discussion will help school library media specialists with issues of intellectual freedom in "Law for School Librarians: Knowing Minors' Rights." Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Theresa Chmara, Pat Scales, Barbara Stripling, Dorcas Hand and Helen Adams will provide strategies for teaching students about their rights and responsibilities. Topics will include minors' rights in school libraries, challenges, labeling of resources, filtering Web resources and privacy.

With limited space, national conference-goers are encouraged to reserve their spot at one of the many exciting preconferences early. AASL President Ann M. Martin says, "You cannot afford to miss this opportunity to learn from professionals with expertise in emerging topics impacting school library media programs. Before it's too late, register for one of the preconference options that target special topics such as gaming, intellectual freedom, graphic novels and more. I have!"

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.