School Librarianship

VaASL Conference in Norfolk

I really enjoyed attending a multi-day conference where I could “just be” with people who are working in a field that I hope to break into iimg_20161020_163726334n the near future.  The Virginia Association of School Librarians (VaASL) conference was extremely well run and I left each day feeling like the sessions were well worth my time.  I’m thankful that I was “forced” to go to at least one day of the conference for my SLIB670 class and I’m happy that I chose to attend more than one day.  In the future I will make it a priority to attend the full conference.

Conference Program

Some of my key takeaways from the sessions I attended include: collaborate with everyone, be friendly, set boundaries, listen, invite people in to observe and to help, enlist student volunteers, keep a daily/weekly reflection log, tell people what you’re doing in the library, and always talk to other librarians. I learned about the twitter chats #VASL and #EdCamp, and also the ALA’s Best Apps for 2016.  And lastly, I learned that John Schu is an amazing speaker with a big heart, and he really, really loves Kate DiCamillo.

Reading by the fire at the hotel.

Reading by the fire at the hotel.

VAASL Annual Conference: Norfolk 2016-2017

Octfullsizerenderober 20, 2016

Today was the first day of VAASL (Virginia Association of School Librarians).  All I can say is it was a fire-hose of information!  It was very overwhelming to be around so many librarians, and having to decide what sessions to go to!  I appreciated Frances’ advice of sitting near the door (for easy escape) and tried to do at least half of all the sessions I attended (allowing me to see twice as many session). I started the morning in a session that linked the VA Reader’s choice books to state standards.  They had great handouts about all the different activities that could be done at the elementary level, but didn’t address any of the middle grade books.  From there I caught the end of a session on the magic of series (which was very disappointing). After the morning session we saw the keynote speaker, Dr. Rob Furman.  I spent most of his session firing off e-mails to my colleagues back at Smart’s Mill about all the great resources he shared.  I particularly want to check out James Patterson’s website (books for reluctant readers).  In the afternoon I went to a session on becoming Google certified (which is very easy to do and only $10 to apply), then we went to the first timers tea and got all sorts of free books!  My favorite session was the one I only caught the tail end of, which used themes to tie different fiction books together.  The presenters were so animated, and there are so many great titles!  I ended the day with author Ginjer Clark, who writes nonfiction books on weird animals.  Her focus was on encouraging reluctant readers to engage in nonfiction by showing them the odd and disgusting.  I had a great time seeing everyone at the alumni event, and was impressed by Audrey’s ability to name everyone (and so quickly!).  I loved the tribute to Frances – “Oh the Places You Will Go!”



October 21, 2016

Today was a fabulous day – best day by far!  All the sessions were absolutely amazing.  I began with the Junior Library Guild and their new releases for middle and upper grades.  I need to figure out how to get advance copies of books – what a tease!  My next session was sponsored by a math teacher aspiring to be a librarian and which Tech Tools we should integrate into the library to win over our math and science teachers.  My poor math SALT must have received at least 5 e-mails from me during this session!  Then we went to a session on Picture Books at the middle school level.  I was especially excited for this session as November is National Picture Book Month, and one of my reading promotions is to get each content to use a picture book to support their lessons.  The keynote speaker today was Mr. Schu – who is the fabulous library ambassador for Scholastic.  What a dream job!  Such an amazing speaker, and he was able to create such energy in that room.  Everyone should get a chance to see him speak!



October 22, 2016

Short day today – only stayed for two sessions.  The first was on the Best Apps for 2016 sponsored by AASL.  Many of these apps were new to me, so my principal is allowing me to use 10 minutes in a faculty meeting to share with our staff.  My second session was presented by two first year librarians.  It was titled I Survived!  Overall it wasn’t the best presentation, but I did win a free book!  It did make me think about what I would want to share at VAASL next year if I were to present as a first year librarian.  So glad to have had this opportunity!


VAASL 2016 in Norfolk, VA


This was my second year going to the Virginia Association of School Librarians conference and it was even more enlightening than the first! The experience made my head swim with good ideas that truly energized me to enter the profession next school year (hopefully!) I got to play with robots in a STEM “petting zoo,” go on a virtual field trip to historical sites around the state with Encyclopedia Virginia, and work with 25 other librarians to crack the code of an escape room-style “break-out” box designed for sixth graders — which we solved at the very last second! I’ve already shared resources I compiled from the awesome concurrent sessions with librarian friends who couldn’t make it, because this stuff was too good to miss out on. Seeing all of the innovative things that Virginia’s librarians do in their schools is truly inspiring. Sometimes I worry that the “best practices” I learn about in my Longwood classes might not be feasible in the real world, but the 2016 VAASL conference showed me that school librarians really are the superheroes that the professors make them out to be!

VAASL Conference

Erin Miller and myself, presenting at VAASL.

Erin Miller and myself, presenting at VAASL.

I recently attended the Virginia Association of School Librarian’s Conference. I was able to pick sessions that directly relate to the library I am currently working in. I went to sessions on 3D Printing, No-Tech Makerspaces, Breakout EDU, Author Visits, and several others. I also had the opportunity to present with a fellow cohort member and school librarian, Erin Miller. We presented a session on how to create book trailers for all levels of technological expertise, including PowerPoint, Zoho, Animoto, PowToon, and iMovie. We had a great turnout and really enjoyed sharing information with colleagues. Upon my return, my principal asked to meet with me about what I learned. She was so impressed with the variety of sessions to attend and the amount of information I was able to bring back, she said she supports me attending again. She also allowed me to order tons of materials to recreate some of the ideas I learned about at the sessions! To top it off, I finished the conference with dinner and a speech by Linda Sue Park. I was able to teach my colleagues and come back and immediately implement things I learned. It was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to attend again next year!

VAASL Conference – Norfolk, Virginia

20161020_165545_resizedLast week I had the pleasure of attending the VAASL conference in Norfolk, Virginia. It was a little overwhelming to hear so much good information in such a short amount of time. However, I came away with so many great ideas, and the men and women who presented have inspired me to take what I have learned and implement change for the benefit of our students.

Genrefying is at the top of my list; I wasn’t sold on it before I attended the conference – now I am a believer. Another great take away was how, why, and when to use picture books with middle school students. Every middle school should have a good collection of picture books to support the curriculum and student learning.

John Schumacher’s keynote address was a highlight of the conference. He knows the joy of reading and the joy of connecting a student with the right book that will make him/her a life-long reader.

Thanks to everyone who presented at the conference for providing such useful information and for the opportunity to attend. Looking forward to next year!

Virginia Association of School Librarian’s Conference

img_4899This past weekend I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia for the Virginia Association of School Librarian’s yearly conference.  It was a wonderful learning experience and an opportunity to meet other librarians.  Over the course of 3 days, I attended many fantastic sessions and learned so much from a wide variety of session offered each day.  I attended 11 sessions in areas such as instruction, collection development, technology, makerspaces, and professional growth.   It’s great learning from other librarian and hearing what activities and lessons they have had success with.

VAASL Conference 2016

vaasl-2016 This was my first time at the VAASL Conference & won’t be my last!   I was impressed with the wide variety of topic sessions & the quality of the presenters.  I left the conference with many ideas and inspiration for when I become a school librarian.  It was great to have the opportunity to network with other school librarians throughout the state.  I met so many wonderful professionals that are willing to share their ideas and activities.  Thank you Longwood University for providing assistance so that I could attend!

Charting the Course: VAASL 2016

henrycoleI charted my course to Norfolk, where the 2016 annual conference of the Virginia Association of School Librarians was held. As a student, I was delighted to start off with the session, “New to You! Lesson Ideas”, which was chock full of lesson ideas to use in an elementary school. Both new and classic books were discussed with innovative ideas to use them in the library classroom. Dr. Rob Furman followed up with an inspirational keynote presentation that proposed “Principles for Facilitating a Reading Culture” that included suggestions on technology tools, such as Plotagon and Kindoma. I was fortunate to be able to attend Dee Griffith and Marsha Stewart’s, “What’s New in Children’s Literature” session. I attended their 2015 session, and was so excited to see that they were doing it again this year with 2016 published books. Being able to see the books in person, to examine the readability, and find out their connections to SOLs will be useful for years to come. The next stops on my voyage were to learning about strategies for supporting English learners in the library classroom and finding the treasures in AASL’s Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. Day one of my journey ended with a gathering of Longwood students and Alumni where we paid tribute to our Professor, Frances Reeve. It was an unforgettable day. Day two started off with “Managing the K-1 Library Period”, where I found out cutting-edge techniques of incorporating centers to ease the check-out process while keeping students engaged in learning. I traveled on to the Junior Library Guild presentation on new releases, followed by a presentation by my amazing cohort classmates who taught us how to promote reading with the use of book trailers. The last stop on my session route was the “Addictive Magic of Book Series” where I learned the benefits of series for our students. This expedition was definitely rejuvenating, and I am already looking forward to 2017 in Chantilly (my home turf!). – Marci Hoyt

VAASL 2016 Takeaways

vaasl-picI was very excited to attend my first VAASL in Norfolk as a Grad student. There were so many choices for each session that it was often hard to decide which to attend! I attended 3 different Genrification sessions, since this is going to be something my high school is about to embark on and I will be a part of that for my clinical hours. I learned A LOT about this process, and my hesitations and concerns about doing this were dissolved. I’m excited to share the ideas and resources with my two librarians this week!  I also attended a couple of sessions on research. The picture below (I’m in the center of the picture) is from a session titled, “Inquiry: Rubrics, Research, Reflection” which had several great tips, ideas, and lessons. I’ll be sharing these ideas with the English and Social Studies departments immediately, since these two departments often have students working on projects and conducting research.  By attending this conference, I was able to network and meet other people who are doing terrific things in their schools and have their contact information for future questions/contact. I also came away with many, many resources that I’ll be able to share with my colleagues to help their students, especially with research skills. My biggest takeaway though was from the three Genrification sessions, and the change of perception I had on this prior to the conference. I’m excited to start this process in our library and I have three excellent people to tap into if/when we have questions.



VAASL Conference 2016

longwood-pic-1longwood-pic-2I just returned from the VAASL conference, Libraries: Charting the Course, in Norfolk, Virginia. This is the first time I attended a conference for librarians and I have to say I wish I could’ve stayed there longer! Due to a conflict, I was only able to attend one day of the conference, but I already know I am planning to attend the entire conference next year. I learned a lot about planning for the future in school libraries, new books in children’s literature, how to use Virginia Reader’s Choice books for instruction, and how to turn your traditional library into a learning commons. I am also really excited to talk with other students that attended the conference to share what I’ve learned and hear about what they learned!

Go to Top