2017 VAASL Conference
This was my first trip to the VAASL conference, but it definitely won’t be my last. It was amazing to see Audrey name every current and former Longwood School Librarianship student at the gathering on Thursday night – just one more example of how wonderful and personal our program is. The conference was the perfect opportunity to meet librarians and reconnect with former colleges from all over the state and share some of the innovative and successful things we’re doing in our libraries. As a result of these conversations, I’m going to visit a Hanover County library next week to see how they are mixing it up at their book fair. My two favorite conference sessions were both led by Maura Madigan: Library Centers and Problem Based Learning in the Library. There was not an empty seat, wall, or foot of floor space in either session. What I loved is that I left both sessions with practical ideas about how to implement these programs in my library. My photos are from the PBL session during the hands-on activity that challenged us to build the tallest freestanding structure from newspaper and a very small amount of tape. I’ve done a similar activity with my classes that required spaghetti, string, and marshmallows. I love that Maura’s version had fewer, simpler, and even easier to acquire materials. My group was pretty proud of our stable structure, but as you can see, it was definitely not the tallest. Though we didn’t win, we were thoroughly engaged, did a little self-evaluation, learned some lessons, and experienced first-hand how fun, engaging, and education these activities can be.