Seattle was an amazing city to visit and join in the fun at ALA Midwinter! So many highlights at this conference beginning with Melinda Gates as the opening speaker; did you know that The Gates Library Foundation has provided more than $1 billion to libraries around the world? Rick Steves debuted his new book Travel as a Political Act in which he talks about people being fearful of the world and explains how traveling allows us to gain understanding, alleviate fears and broaden our perspectives. An awesome moment for us was meeting Kwame Alexander (Justine got to ride the elevator with him in our hotel) as well as the many other authors speaking about their upcoming books.
Throughout the conference, ALA promoted the importance of libraries with respect to equity, inclusivity and eradicating bias. There were several sessions focused on opportunities to push our communities forward, showcasing our libraries as examples of closing gaps on racial equity and disability access. The Libraries Transform: Social Innovation session discussed ways libraries have become safe havens for people experiencing homelessness. Emilio Estevez hosted two showings of his upcoming movie The Public which puts a spotlight on the role of compassionate public libraries serving marginalized populations. We highly recommend seeing this film if you have the opportunity and sharing it with others!
At the AASL Affiliate Assembly, there was discussion about the AASL Standards share site, which is a new portal in the works for affiliates to submit their Professional Development activities and resources that will become available for the community to use. The AASL Standards portal has new videos and an evaluation checklist. There is also a Twitter slow-chat regarding Standards in the planning stages. It was great to meet with our other Region 1 Affiliates from New England:
Registration is now open for the 2019 AASL National Conference in Louisville, KY, November 14th- 16th. There is currently a $90 discount with the code AASL90, good through March 17th. You can register now, pay later and even bring an administrator for FREE! Keynote speakers include Ellen Oh and Jarret Kroscozka.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at our NHSLMA Conference March 7th & 8th!!
Karen Abraham & Justine thain