Speakers at AASL's Fall Forum 2010 help school librarians "focus" on the essentials

Contact: Melissa Jacobsen

AASL Communications Specialist

(312) 280-4381



For Immediate Release

May 4, 2010

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Fall Forum 2010 will bring together some of the greatest minds in the library field to help school librarians understand how to guide 21st-century students toward meaningful learning. Gail Dickinson, Leslie Maniotes and Ross Todd will lead attendees of "In Focus: The Essentials for 21st-Century Learning" to a better understanding of the essential role they play in a student's learning process.

"In Focus" is designed to aid school librarians in focusing learning on the essentials, as students distill and isolate information, think and re-think the world inside and outside the classroom. Using AASL's learning standards and program guidelines, attendees will connect school library programs to current educational concepts at the core of curriculum and leave with new insight to encourage, elevate and evaluate information literacy in their programs.

Gail Dickinson will lead the first breakout session focused on essential questions. She will help attendees define an essential question and learn how to formulate and use essential questions to incorporate the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" into instruction. An associate professor of library science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., Dickinson has been active in AASL for several decades and in recent years was co-chair of the task force writing the "Standards for the 21st-Century Learners." Her research interests focus on impacts of school library service, including National Board Certification, collection development and curriculum.

The next session will focus on enduring understanding and will be led by Leslie Maniotes. This session is designed to help attendees form methods for prioritizing content while integrating collaborative learning exercises based on what they want students to remember years later. Maniotes is coauthor of the book "Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century." She is currently a staff developer for the Denver Public Schools designing and implementing professional development around inquiry and 21st-century learning in information literacy and technology. She is a National Board Certified teacher and has completed a Ph.D. in instructional curriculum in the content areas at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a K-12 literacy specialist with Reading Recovery Certification and a M.Ed. in reading. With 11 years of classroom experience, she has led workshops, teacher advancement training and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Education at CU, Boulder.

Ross Todd will lead the final session focused on evidence-based practice. An expert in this theory, Todd will help school librarians demonstrate how their school library program contributes to the school as a thinking and learning community. Attendees will learn to link research, experience, insights and systematic measures in their everyday practice. Todd is associate professor in the School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He is director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers University. His primary teaching and research interests focus on adolescent information seeking and use. He has published more than 120 papers and book chapters and has been an invited speaker at many international conferences, most recently in Sweden, Trinidad, Croatia and Australia.

The Fall Forum occurs in the years that AASL does not host a National Conference. For more information about the 2010 Fall Forum and to register, visit the AASL website at
www.ala.org/aasl/fallforum. Attendees will receive a price break for registering on or before Oct. 5. Rates on or before Oct. 5 are: AASL members, $289; ALA members, $339; Non-members, $404. The speakers travel was underwritten by

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, 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.