Posts tagged Carl Harvey
VAASL Conference 2017
My name is Rebecca Kronthal and I am currently a graduate student in Longwood’s 3rd Prince William Cohort for School Librarianship. I was thrilled to be able to attend the 2017 conference for the Virginia Association of School Librarians from Thursday, Nov. 2nd until Saturday, Nov. 4th in Chantilly, Virginia. I attended sessions on many topics and trends in the field of School Librarianship. I enjoyed sessions reviewing “What’s New” in Children’s literature for 2017 as well as many “How to’s” on topics such as Makerspaces, book clubs, selecting authentic diverse books, author visits, lego stations, fostering a love of reading in a school culture, and judging “Fake News.” The highlights of the conference were the fantastic author visits and keynote speakers. I was very excited to hear Newberry winner Kwame Alexander speak about his journey to become an award winning author. I also got to meet and talk with Donalyn Miller, author of the Book Whisperer. She inspires me to want to create a school full of life-long readers! (See photo.) I enjoyed hearing Marc Nobleman speak about how his investigative research into the origins of Superman and Batman have changed history forever. They were all very uplifting and inspiring stories. Finally, I also got to network and meet many librarians from all over the state of Virginia and talk with them about their school libraries. This is the valuable advice that can’t be learned from a textbook. Hearing from librarians who are doing the job every day really gave me a lot to think about! I also caught up with my fellow Longwood graduate students as well at a Longwood School Librarianship event on Thursday night at the conference. We played Longwood trivia games and learned a lot about our academic department and Longwood, while playing Kahoot! I am excited to try out a lot of the things that I have learned when I get back to my school, such as planning a lego station in my literacy centers and following Donalyn Miller’s advice to allow my students more choice when it comes to the books they read. I hope to do even more when I become a school librarian. Thank you for the opportunity to attend this great conference! I am looking forward to the 2018 conference in Williamsburg!
VAASL 2017 Rocks!
Hello all! I had the privilege of attending the Virginia Association of School Librarian’s annual conference last week, which was held in Chantilly, VA. This was my first VAASL Conference, but it will definitely not be my last! Before the conference even began, I was able to plan out the sessions that I wanted to attend. I had such a good time reading about all of the sessions and choosing which ones really struck my fancy. During my sessions, I was educated on various topics, such as problem based learning, the Virginia 529 plan, coding (which was new to me), and ways to implement the Virginia Reader’s Choice nominee books in our libraries. As you can see from my picture, we were able to actually complete a project in our PBL session. So fun! All of these sessions gave me ample “take-aways” that I have actually already started using in my school library. This week, I am using some of the VA Reader’s Choice lesson plan ideas with my students. So far, they are loving the activities! An aspect that I also enjoyed was getting to visit the library vendors during our break times. There were vendors from several book companies, which allowed me to peruse books in person, that I normally would only have been able to see in print or online. Also, some of the book companies were giving away books, which I am now able to add to my school library collection. All in all, I had a fabulous time at the VAASL Conference. I was able to take away physical items to add to my library collection and also use for my library programs; as well as getting intellectual take-aways that I can use to enhance my current library management and facilitation.
Future Librarian Inspired by the 2015 VAASL Conference
Where to start? The VAASL Conference was a wonderful experience, from perusing the vendors and getting to see 3D printers at work to attending conference sessions, it was nonstop. It was hard to choose which sessions to attend with so many options. My favorites were Online Tools in Action, Pairing Literature with Primary Sources, Oh the Places You’ll Go (four cool tools), and the Coding sessions, but I enjoyed every single one of the sessions I chose to attend. I am so excited to try out the “Hour of Code” and am signed up for training in DC for next week.
I thought the speakers were wonderful, especially Maggie Stiefvater who divided her speech into 8 chapters of her life. I loved that and thought it was a brilliant way to keep the audience focused while she was talking. I also enjoyed meeting Lamar Giles and can’t wait to share his new book in my current classroom. This experience was well worth the cost and I hope to be able to attend next year, as well.
I hate Nicholas Sparks-VAASL 2015
I cannot stand his books! If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading one, here is how THEY ALL go…there is a tragedy, and due to the tragedy, someone falls in love. Now, you have no reason to ever have to read one his books! Sparks has written tons of books, they have all been on the New York Times Best Seller’s List, and he has sold over 100 million copies. So clearly, my feelings about his books are not the majority. People like them. They buy them. LOTS of them.
As a graduate student in School Librarianship, I have been recently struggling with how to teach content in the library while not crushing the potential spirit of readers. With so much emphasis in schools on test scores and data, how do you maintain student’s excitement?
Margaret Willison was Thursday’s keynote speaker at VAASL and she is funny! And what I took away from her presentation is that people are going to read what they like. It may not be what you like or perhaps even millions of people worldwide like, but for them, there is value in what they are reading. So, instead of promoting certain books, promote the love of reading for there is certainly value in the love of reading.
We all have our things. Sparks certainly isn’t mine. But I LOVE the Confessions of a Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. And while the basic plot is the same in that series just like Spark’s books, I gain huge value in the pleasure of reading.
Where to find Willison:
Sneaking into VAASL Fall 2015 Conference
Allow me to clarify: I paid to go to the VAASL Fall Conference, but it felt like sneaking in because I’m not actually a school librarian yet-still taking my graduate classes to get me there. But it was certainly beneficial being able to attend this conference as it gave me more of an idea as to what my future Falls will look like as I’m sure I’ll be attending this conference annually. Getting the chance to start the networking within the librarian community is also a wonderful benefit from attending as I’ll have people I can turn to from day one when I become a librarian myself.
And while I’m not a librarian yet, I can obviously see how I can use much of the information I learned while at the conference once I am. Now I will admit that there were so many sessions and new ideas/info that it was a bit overwhelming at times, but reflecting back a week later, there were some things that stuck pretty well. I really liked the session on genrefying the fiction section as this is a topic I’ve been curious about the relevance of doing this in a library; but based off the statistics and advice I heard in this session, I think it is certainly worth a try. Learning how significant primary sources can be when beginning the research process from a former Library of Congress librarian imprinted the notion that it is so important to ensure our students care about the work we ask them to do so it can be their work, not ours. Another session also uses the same LOC photos idea, but these two fun, creative librarians shared a lot of wonderful ideas for integrating more hands-on, critical-thinking activities like learning stations and research products using green screen technology. Lastly, there was the idea of taking students on virtual field trips via websites with video tours of locations (like the Sistine Chapel or the human body); a great idea for those days when there’s school-wide testing or the last days of schools.
Again, I’m not a librarian-yet, but attending this VAASL Conference has really inspired me to look forward to the day when I can implement the various things I’ve learned this past week. If the future conferences are anything like this one, I look forward to my future as a librarian and as an attendant.
A big thank you to Longwood University Graduate Studies for providing a travel grant so I could learn more about the career I can’t wait to start thanks to opportunities like this and of course my absolutely wonderful professors in the School Librarianship Program (as pictured).