I just returned from the annual ISLMA (Illinois School Library Media Association) Conference: Futures Begin by Embracing Change. It's an event I look forward to each year, as it is a great chance to connect with other school librarians and get re-energized.
The keynote speaker, Stephanie Vance, talked about advocacy and working more effectively with elected officials to advocate for libraries. She was really engaging! Some of the tips included the importance of personalized contact and requesting specific action when contacting elected officials.
I attended a session about using art within the library as a way to build literacy. Having just been awarded a local grant to have a temporary art exhibit in the library this spring it helped spark a lot of ideas. And there certainly were some creative ideas shared in the session led by Patti Foerster from Vaughn Occupational High School.
I attended a couple best new books sessions when I heard book talks for hot YA and middle school titles led by Michael Cart and Sally Walker. I heard about the use of iPods in the library, collaborations for student projects using multimedia and web 2.0 tools, and using picture books in middle schools. I attended a reception for alums of the GSLIS program at Dominican. Most valuable of all was the chance to network with other school librarians from around the state.