Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Revisit to the Awesome TLA 20114

The journey to Texas Library Association 2014 in San Antonio, Texas was an amazing experience.  With close to 7,000 librarians, authors, vendors, and engaging sessions everyone should have come away with new ideas and enthusiasm. I didn't even come close to attending the many events but my week was filled from early morning to evening events.

Here’s a recap on what I was able to "take away" from TLA 2014 convention. The message was similar in each session.  Don't be overwhelmed with so many great ideas but rather take 2-3 highlighted programs to implement for the next school year.  Add or build something new and exciting to your program foundation each year.  One cannot do it all and be effective so select an exciting few programs  for you and your learning community.  

Some Presentations That I Attended - I attended many sessions by here are a few that I would like to highlight.

Tech Camp: Technology Conference within a Conference
Rumors were that this session filled up quickly and more slots were added to accommodate those interested. This was well worth the extra time to spend an entire day learning and discussing 21st Century technology and tools. This is be on my list of events for next year too.

Library Girl to the Rescue: Redefining the School Librarian
Jennifer LaGarde is an astonishing motivational speaker that nailed many topics that need to be addressed in the library world. Jennifer needs to be hired on the national level and tour the entire country with her messages.  “Hats off” to North Carolina for taking this progressive action to hire Jennifer for a three-year-tour.

3 Tech Ninjas – Organizers, Such as Squareleaf, Symbaloo,  and ChartGo
Todd Nesloney was remarkable in his knowledge on Google and free organizational tools.  He providedus with many new and exciting ideas along with his knowledge with Google search strategies.  I am excited to suggest our PLCs be done through Google documents.  I am also excited to connect with Dr. Chuck with my technology club to discuss programming and investigate his MOOC on python.

It’s Appy Hour with No Cover Charge! Free Apps for Librarians
Naomi Bates continues to amaze me with her technology knowledge and love of literature.  She provided an array of apps during the session. 

Shannon Miller and Andy Plemmons on Connected Libraries
This duo connected at TLA a few years back and their phenomenal collaboration just continues.  This session has motivated me to focus on collaboration for the next school year.  I am ready to Skype, participate in Google Hang Outs, and collaborate with others. I already have some collaborative ideas for Poetry Month with other middle school librarians in my PLN. Andy also demonstrated flipgrid, a new tool for me to investigate. WandooPlanet was discussed another tool that has been on my list that I need to visit.

Common Knowledge: Shifting Libraries to the Learning Commons Model
After Michelle Luhtala’s presentation on transforming the library into a Learning Commons, I am ready to delve into maker-spaces and bring some learning commons into our school library program. I was infatuated with her creative programming.

Be Book Cool! Join the Nerdy Book Club
The founders of the Nerdy Book Club were incredible.  This is definitely an online community of authors, librarians, teachers, and other literacy advocates that I want to include in my PLN.  I’m all in for the next #nerdybookclub twitter chat. See what Jennifer LaGarde had to say about this club.

Be the Change You Want to See With Shannon Miller
Again, Shannon was not disappointing when sharing ideas and programming from her school library   Her promotional, marketing, and networking abilities are by far the best. I especially loved the idea of using a Google sheet to share her collaboration within her school.  I’m taking this idea into my next school year program.

Author Panel: Oh the Horror!
What can I say about listening to authors such as Kami Garcia, Jonathan Maberry, Josh Malerman, Gena Showalter?  It is always inspiring to hear the stories behind their novels. 

Move Over Fiction: Creating Room for Nonfiction
I never get tired of watching Naomi Bates and her ability to captivate an audience with her  enthusiasm when talking about books.  My take from the session – I need to look into more nonfiction for our collection. You can always checkout Naomi's blog for more exciting book reviews.

Poster Session
I am not sure how I missed being involved with this event.  I’m putting this on my list as a participant for next year. I loved the idea of inserting QR codes of book trailers in the stacks. 

Presentations I Participated In - I want to note that the eBook session was planned virtually! The entire panel never met face-to-face until 20 minutes prior to the session.  I love my PLN.

Anytime, Anywhere Professional Development for School Librarians
For our second time, I joined this team of awesome librarians to share ideas in building and developing your PLN. Although I began my virtual PLN in 2006-2007, I was reminded in this session that there are many other librarians in the beginning stages of developing their networks.  I  will continue to be proactive in helping others in their endeavor.

Balancing Books & eContent: The Future of Acquisitions
I had the privilege of joining a panel of a public librarian, academic librarians, and a school library director to discuss the future of acquisitions with eContent. I came away with a totally different perspective on the different types of libraries.  My takeaway from this session was the need to work more with integrating eContent into my school community.  I must prepare my students for the rigor of high school and college.

Put the “e” in Your Books: Integrating eBooks into Your Library
I was fortunate to again join an panel of school libraries to share our eBook programming.  I came away with the understanding of how important it is to continue the integration of eBooks into our school library program.  I was also able to admire my co-participants from Spring Branch I.S.D. and there ability to meet the needs of their students.

Exciting Announcements
Gale Cengage announced they would be joining the Texshare consortium.  This is fantastic news and I look forward to using the Gale resources with my students and faculty.

The speakers, author signing sessions, vendors, watching friends receive awards, and participants made this TLA experience one of the most engaging.  You might be standing in an author line with a fellow tweeter (gotcha Andy Plemmons), share an elevator with an author, have dinner with close friends (thank you Gale and Follett), or bump into a new friend such as Angie from Dallas at this event.  I am ready for TLA 2015 in Austin, Texas.
Highlights included having fun with authors Krissi Dallas and Deborah Wiles, visiting with the EasyBib booth, tweeting with my #TXLChat friends, and sharing my knowledge as a librarian.

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