AASL 2019 Recap

This year’s American Association of School Libraries (AASL) Conference took place in Louisville, Kentucky, from Thursday, November 14th to Saturday, November 16th.

The AASL Conference began on Thursday morning, with an option to register for a two-hours pre-conference session.

The conference kicked up in earnest in the afternoon with the opening of the IdeaLab. The IdeaLab offered a place for librarians to walk around and hear quick presentations on what other librarians are doing in their own spaces. Some presentation topics included opening the library over the summer, research and inquiry units, digital literacy programs, and ways to integrate more technology into our work.

Soon after the IdeaLab closed, the conference officially kicked off with the opening general session! A joyful welcome included special shout-outs to state and regional library associations, who each took a turn (and a bow) on stage.

Ellen Oh, a YA author and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, then addressed the crowd, sharing her message of how vital diversity is to our work as librarians largely through touching, personal stories of her own life and the lives of her three children.

The following two days were filled with meaningful concurrent sessions, often with so many enthusiastic attendees that you could regularly find participants sitting on the floor. All sessions were categorized according to AASL Shared Foundations: inquire, include, collaborate, curate, explore and engage.

As a first time attendee, I am grateful for such a space, where those of us who do this work can come together and share, be it our struggles or our triumphs, and find a community all our own. I look forward to more experiences to come.


Christine Nassar is a First Program Librarian at Dalton and one of HVLA’s vice-presidents.

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