Friday, November 6, 2015

Hacking the Organization

Joyce Valenza led a VERY late night session devoted to looking critically at AASL as an organization for school librarians--addressing big issues around equity and access, recruitment of diverse voices, and most importantly--how do we make ourselves cooler (think YALSA, think ISTE). In a room packed with AASL past-presidents and regional leaders and a good sprinkling of people who'd never been to a national conference, the group dug in and tackled a range of specific topics--concluding after midnight with a slew of suggestions for positive change, including:
  •  Committee work--making it easier to understand what committees do, the time commitment required, and making it easier for new members to join committees
  • Thinking about how to fund conference attendance for members who are not funded through schools or state organizations, and to look at holding some virtual conferences on "off-years" when the large national conference is not in session
  • Recruiting more widely to increase the number of school librarians from under-represented groups, and perhaps to target teacher organizations as a means to explain what we do and how you get here
  • Setting up informal places to meet and hold discussions within the conference; asking conference attendees about their learning goals before they come
  • Providing guidance for newbies who want to present, such as providing exemplary proposals to examine
  • Becoming more techie!

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