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Sunday, November 2, 2014

School Library Journal Leadership Summit

I was honored to be invited to take part in the School Library Journal Leadership Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota this year. I saved my pennies and purchased an airline ticket to the Twin Cities. The SLJ Summit is an annual conference that brings together 200 school librarians from across the country. This year's theme was Fire It Up: Sparking Creativity and Motivating Students.
Snoopy at the Minneapolis Airport

St. Paul was a lovely setting for this year's Summit. It is the home of Peanuts creator, Charles M. Schultz. Some of the guest speakers at the Summit included Mark Turnispeed (the President Emeritus of LEGO Education), Dr. Mark Edwards (2013 National Superintendent of the Year), and nonfiction author Loree Griffin Burns, to name a few.

My favorite sessions were the "Fifteen-Minute Fast Learning Sessions." Presenters shared projects and ideas for 15 minute bursts. My friend, Andy Plemmons from Athens, Georgia, shared how he empowers his students with student book budgets.

I was thrilled to attend a special dinner in honor of author/illustrator, Patricia Polacco. Ms. Polacco was also a keynote speaker. She is a wonderful storyteller and a real treasure.
Patricia Polacco shares a reproduction of The Keeping Quilt.
What made the SLJ Summit so special was having the opportunity to meet school librarians from other states and to learn about their library programs. Anytime we had a break between sessions, the collective wheels were turning as we brainstormed ways we could connect our students with meaningful projects. I left Minnesota reinvigorated and inspired to continue to look for creative ways to meet the needs of the learners in my school.

Librarians from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Georgia, Maine and Hawaii 
Special thanks to School Library Journal and the wonderful sponsors who made this conference possible. Capstone Publishing, Lerner Publishing, and Mackin VIA were especially generous and organized special events and provided meals while I was in St. Paul.

During the Summit, Capstone Publishing revealed this video: Why School Libraries Matter.

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