SLJ Leadership Summit #sljsummit

September 27 – 29 was the School Library Journal Leadership Summit in Austin, TX and I was lucky enough to attend. I loved every minute of this conference. Here’s why:

1. I got to meet many of the people I stalk  follow on social media (my PLN) face to face. People like Shannon Miller, Matthew WinnerJohn Schu, and many others on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds…people I get SO MANY ideas from everyday and getting to meet them face to face was just awesome.

2. I got to hear 2 speakers that I had not heard of before the conference, but now, they are totally on my radar and I am so thankful for that! Each day started out with a keynote speaker. On Saturday, it was Annie Murphy Paul. Her keynote address was, “The Science of Interest.” Check out her blog here. On Sunday, the keynote address was given by Antero Garcia, “Participation and Collaboration as Critical Transformation.” You can watch it here.

3. Each day, there were interesting panel discussions with various leaders and authors. My favorite of these was the Saturday afternoon panel, Storytelling in Transition. The author of the YA novel, Chopsticks was on this panel (PLEASE read this book!) as well as the guys from Moonbot Studios. If you have not watched/read The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, stop reading this right now and go read that.

4. Austin. This place really does rock. I only wish I had gotten to see MORE of it. I did visit a fantastic toy store and had some awesome food at Carmelos (thank you, Capstone). I ran each morning and managed to not get lost. Everything is really very big in Texas, so having huge landmarks helped.

5. The PEOPLE. I already mentioned that I loved meeting my PLN face to face, but of course I met lots of NEW people too. Other school librarians to connect with and learn from…that was the most important thing I took away from this conference and is what will stick with me the longest.

Thank you, School Library Journal, for the awesome opportunity and I hope I get the chance to go back next year!


PS – If you want more information about what happened at the conference (I truly just gave you a little tiny bit of the greatness that was happening that weekend), please visit these awesome blogs…they have done a perfect job capturing the weekend:

Samantha McManus (another school librarian from South Carolina)

School Library Journal wrap up article (everything you wanted to know about the SLJ Leadership Summit 🙂 )


About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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