Posts tagged VAASL2015

Sneaking into VAASL Fall 2015 Conference

IMG_4617 (2)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).

Librarians on the Edge in Williamsburg

VASSLI learned so much at the VAASL Conference in Williamsburg.  I picked up a wealth of ideas, resources, and contacts to take back to my school.  Some of the highlights included keynote speakers Shannon Miller and Margaret Willison, but my absolute favorite was YA author Maggie Stiefvater.  As a first-year librarian, this conference was very valuable to me and I hope to return every year!


VAASL Conference 2015 / Librarians on the Edge

thumb_IMG_0726_1024The VAASL conference was a combination of instruction, enthusiasm, encouragement, cooperation, and collaboration. All necessary components if we as school librarians are going to navigate “The Edge” successfully both individually and collectively. There was certainly no shortage of relevant and current topics, tools and research listed in the session schedule. The difficult part was trying to fit every session I wanted to attend into the three days. The new online SCHED tool made planning a workable schedule as easy as the touch on a screen and a check in a box.

With graduation approaching, I chose to attend sessions that were a blend of topics studied in classes, a plethora of technology tools mixed together with the experience of librarians. I have had the opportunity to take part in multiple cohorts over the last two years: each one at a different place in the Longwood program. Many of the students I have attended class with have finished the program and launched into the world of school librarianship. This conference was a wonderful opportunity to hear first hand their different experiences as first year librarians. This proved to be a great resource as they shared a wealth of practical tips and suggestions during conversations that occurred throughout the three days. Thank you for encouraging and supporting Longwood Librarian students to attend this conference. I look forward to putting into practice the principles learned from the sessions. For me, the VAASL conference was an opportunity to think, create, share and grow.

VAASL conference 2015

image1This past weekend I had the pleasure to attend a wonderful conference.  I attended the VAASL conference in Williamsburg, VA.  This was my first time attending the conference and I  was amazed at everything the conference had to offer.  There were so many amazing session titles and descriptions that it was difficult to choose just one!  Each session I attended, I learned something new, innovated and exciting.  This year the keynote speakers, Margaret Willison and Shannon Miller were just amazing.  Hearing them speak gave me encouragement to be able to do great things in the library.  I am not yet a librarian, but I am definitely excited about becoming a librarian in the near future.

One of the take aways from a session I attended, was using the library in math class. I am currently teaching math and it can be difficult to incorporate the library and it can get boring with the every day worksheet.  The session showed me how to incorporate fractions of words to create new words that would form book titles.  I loved this and immediately thought I could do this right now in my class.  So yesterday, Monday 11/23/15, my students were fully engaged in this activity.  I invited my principal into my class to see my new knowledge in action!

I cannot wait to attend VAASL next year!


VAASL 2015

VASSL This was my first time attending the VAASL conference. I had an absolute blast! The presenters were amazing and inspiring to hear and see. I was ready to go back to school energized and ready to implement some new ideas. I attended a session about generifying my library collection. I already do this in my own classroom library and felt very confident about doing this in the library. I loved listening to all the tech tools and websites that Shannon Miller presented. I want to pick a few this nine weeks and have my students use some of the project ideas! Students use Blended Learning and some of the ideas that Shannon had will be great for final products. I will definitely be back next year! Such a great group of colleagues and so many wonderful ideas!

VAASL Conference Williamsburg 15′

VAASLThe VAASL conference held in Williamsburg was a AMAZING!  Despite the fact that I was on crutches, and finding a men’s restroom was harder than locating the “holy grail,” I had a fantastic time and learned so much.  I can’t wait to implement some of the practices I learned.  For example, I have a ton of new ideas for collaborating with the math teachers in my building.  One of these ideas is using fractions to create a coded message.  The message students would decode is the first line to a novel.  Once they decipher the message using fractions, they then have to try and guess what book it belongs to.  The books would be displayed for the students to see while they are trying to “crack the code.”  Once students have deciphered their messages and matched their answers to the books, the librarian would then present the answers through a series of booktalks.  This however, is just one of the many exciting ideas I brought back with me.  I could write an entire book about all of the sessions I attended, and the creative ideas that were presented.  I’m already looking forward to next years conference in Norfolk!


Justin Bye

Godwin Middle School

VAASL Conference 2015

20151120_074758I attended my very first (of hopefully many!) VAASL Conference in Williamsburg, VA. The atmosphere was upbeat and contained so much information that my mind is still reeling!! The speakers were professional, prepared, and entertaining (the Keynote Address was amazing)! The technology-based sessions were full of useful interactive tools, apps, and websites that can be integrated into the curriculum. I learned about the safe, non-tracking, search engine, DuckDuckGo, and have already begun singing its praises at my school. Additionally, the real-life examples shared were so intriguing I have been sampling Kahoot! quizzes, making interactive ThingLinks, and have been investigating all that Skype Virtual Field Trips have to offer. The session I attended titled, “What’s New in Children’s Literature” was an incredible, fast-paced showcase of amazing picture books, which allowed a sneak peek into the text layout, and they even provided connections to the VA SOLs. There was a session on book repair where I got to learn first-hand from professional librarian’s how it is done when you are on your own with minimal funds. I was also fortunate to attend one of the my professor’s sessions. Dr. Audrey Church presented to a standing room only audience on the “Top Ten Topics and Trends for 2015”.   I received a plethora of resources on a wide –range of topics, including coding, stations, and diverse books. Being able to network with librarians was such an incredible opportunity – everyone I spoke with was eager to provide me with answers and guidance. I cannot wait to attend again!



vaasl3This weekend I attended the Virginia Association of School Librarians annual conference in Williamsburg, VA where I got to hear a variety of different professionals from around the state give presentations on tips, strategies, and best practices on a wide range of different topics surrounding school librarianship. I had two favorite sessions: one presented by Rachel Grover from Fairfax County Schools about making your library an essential part of the school by getting teachers and students in the door and spreading the word about your successes through data collection and social media, and one presented by Longwood’s very own Audrey Church on the top ten hot topics in the world of school libraries this year with a great collection of resources on each for further investigation. The experience left me feeling inspired about my future as a librarian and gave me so many innovative ideas that I’m excited to try out once I have my own library. The best part of the conference, though, was the sense of community and collegiality that seems to exist among the librarians in our state; everyone was friendly, supportive, and eager to share ideas for improving and advocating for the library programs in our schools.

VaASL 2015

This year’s VaASL conference was very well-organized and informative.  Highlights of the conference were keynote addresses from Margaret Willison, pop culture guru, and Shannon Miller, an Iowa librarian who isn’t afraid to try anything and has a passion for the students and teachers with whom she works, and the Friday night author banquet with Maggie Steifvater, author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, who kept us in stitches with her 8-chapter life story.  They were each very entertaining and approachable. I learned something from each session I attended, including amazing websites from Heather Moorefield-Lang, Karla Collins, and Audrey Church, that I will share with students and teachers at my school. Other topics that will help me improve our library were about diverse book selections, how to host a poetry slam, handling 1:1 implementation, teaching summarization, and making over your website.  I even learned a lot from visiting various vendors (Alexandria, Follett, Mackin, Worldbook, Gale Cengage, and Library of Virginia) in the exhibitor hall. I will definitely attend next year’s conference in Norfolk!


VAASL 2015

imageI had the opportunity to attend the VAASL 2015 conference in Williamsburg, VA this past weekend. It was AMAZING!  I learned a lot of new information and saw some wonderful librarians and authors.  I had the opportunity to attend several breakout sessions including:  Top 10 Trends from AASL, Top Apps for Librarians, Makerspaces, Middle School Programming, and Myths and Magic to name a few.  I had the opportunity to connect with Shannon Miller over Twitter and meet Maggie Stiefvater!  There were many informative vendors who gave out fabulous swag like Google Cardboards.  My favorite was the Farmer who had a live pig with whom I had the chance to get up close and personal with.  (Albeit he was a little stinky!)  I would like to thank the Graduate Department of Longwood University for the opportunity to make this a bit more financially feasible with the graduate travel grant.  I know that VAASL will become a permanent fixture in my professional development plan.  I can’t wait for next year!

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