Saturday, November 18, 2006

California School Librarians Rock

About 1,000 school library media teachers, staff, friends, and exhibitors converged on Sacramento this weekend to network, share best practices, learn new things, meet childrens & young adult authors, and recognize long-time library leaders. It was wonderful to see so many friends from over the past 18 or so years. The California School Library Association will post handouts and highlights, but here are a few of my own conference highlights:

  • CSLA conference planners are top notch. The conference planning committee is an all-volunteer army of dedicated and fun-loving librarians. They don't just do it for the free shirt! Months of planning, meeting, and e-mailing goes into a CSLA conference. Long-term friendships are forged. It is an excellent way for new librarians and library students to jump in and become active members of their professional organization.
  • It's the little things that count. The annual conference bookbag has no advertising -- it is a first-class collectable meant for actual hard use throughout the year. It is not "date-stamped," so the bags are timeless. Last year's bag was on sale for only $5, so I bought one for a reading teacher because of its beautiful book image.
  • Many exhibitors have long-time relationships with school libraries and librarians. Demco sales representative Betty Barkema announced her retirement and Demco set up an impressive annual recognition grant in her name.
  • When I wasn't giving a workshop on "Library CyberCrime and How to Fight it" or participating in a panel presentation on "What's Hot in Technology" (my portion was on eGames and Avatars), I enjoyed the exhibits, poster sessions, and presentations. Tomorrow, I'll sort through my bookbag and add another few comments.

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