Thousands of school librarians prepare to “Rev Up Learning” in Charlotte

Contacts: Jennifer Petersen / Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

312-280-4393 /


For Immediate Release

October 20, 2009

The American Association of School Librarians 14th National Conference & Exhibition: Nov. 5 – 8 in Charlotte, N.C.

CHICAGO – Studies in 19 different states show that a strong school library media program helps students learn more and score higher on standardized achievement tests. Still, school library media centers are experiencing deep budget cuts, as school library media specialists continue to take on the role of teaching students 21st century literacy skills.

More than 3,000 school librarians, educators, publishers and guests will gather from Nov. 5 to 8, for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 14th National Conference & Exhibition, themed “Rev Up Learning @ your library.” The conference is the only national conference dedicated entirely to the needs of school library media specialists. Attendees will discuss such key issues as information literacy, technology, 21st century learning skills and how to advocate for school library media centers.

"School library media specialists are crucial to the teaching and learning process," said AASL president Cassandra Barnett. "It’s not enough for kids to know how to read anymore, they must be savvy in a multitude of literacies essential in managing information. School libraries today have been transformed into media centers with a full range of multimedia learning resources. Today’s children must be able to use both print and electronic resources if they are to succeed in the next century – and school librarians are there to help them do it.”

The AASL National Conference will feature two full-day and five half-day preconference workshops, several school and educational tours, more than 100 top-quality continuing education programs, author events and more than 200 exhibiting companies.

The conference will also serve as a platform for the release of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ new MILE Guide, a resource created for educators and administrators to help them in measuring the progress of their schools in defining, teaching and assessing 21st century skills. The Partnership, of which AASL is a member, will also be releasing several implementation papers that will offer best practices on building 21st century standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development and learning environments. As the first state to launch the nation’s first Center for 21st Century Learning Skills in 2005, North Carolina will be the first educators to see these important resources in their final form.

Five school tours will also be offered as part of the conference’s special touring program. The school tours will focus on Joint Public/High Schools, unique student population and language academy schools, Middle School and Leadership Magnet Program Schools and Independent Schools to showcase examples of excellence in a wide range of school library media programs.

Social media expert and researcher danah boyd will keynote the Opening General Session on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. As an expert on online social network sites, the interdisciplinary research related to technology, communication, identity and social behavior, boyd is an internationally recognized authority on the ways people use these new media.

On Friday, Nov. 6, from 8 – 9 a.m., James Patterson, the number-one selling author in American for the past three years and author of the Maximum Ride series, will keynote a special session. Patterson will discuss the inspiration behind his new Web site and the critical importance of getting our youth to love reading and learning.

Bringing the conference to a close will be Marco Torres, internationally renowned speaker, filmmaker, teacher and author, during the Closing General Session, Saturday Nov. 7 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Torres is a passionate teacher focused on helping students become engaged in learning and acquire the skills they need to thrive in our 21st-century digital culture.

Other award-winning author events will feature Linda Sue Park, “A Single Shared”; Richard Peck, “The Last Safe Place on Earth”; Charles R. Smith, Jr., “RIMSHOTS”; and Laurie Halse-Anderson, “speak.”

The American Association of School Librarians,, 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.

For more information on the AASL 14th National Conference, please visit the Conference press kit at or contact Jennifer Petersen or Macey Morales at (312) 280-5043 / 4393, or /