by Sue Heraper
President, California School Library Association
The following arguments will help make the case to your administration that attendance at the February CSLA conference will benefit the entire school because:
1. You will save your school money.
- CSLA workshops and sessions provide time-saving and money-saving ideas.
- The many exhibits will give you an opportunity to review products and services that might fit the exact needs of your school. This networking with vendors is invaluable, often providing cost-saving solutions.
- The “Exhibitor Learning Sessions” are an ideal way to see demonstrations of new products and preview new product lines.
- One of your important duties is selecting resources for your library, and the CSLA conference includes experts in Young Adult and Children’s literature. We have over forty authors in attendance at a “Mix & Mingle” event, numerous author panels and sessions for you to attend, as well as the California Young Reader Medal Banquet, with honored guest author Kristin Cashore.
- If you register by Tuesday, November 8, you will save even more money with Early Bird pricing.
- School and district administrators can attend for free! Invite your principal and other administrators to attend with you. Explain what our state conference has to offer, how much you appreciate their support, and how thrilled you would be to share the many wonderful ideas and information exchanges that takes place at our state conference.
2. You will become a more effective teacher librarian or library paraprofessional
- You will learn new ideas and strategies from our two keynote speakers, educational technology experts Tiffany Whitehead and Richard Byrne.
- Innovative ideas and strategies that you learn in the sessions will enhance your ability to serve your teachers and students and help you manage your time more efficiently. These include many of the latest technology tools.
- Learning what has made other programs successful can help you implement the new ideas, or adapt them to your own situation. For example, there will be a Makerspace event where you can learn about some innovative programming.
- You will be more valuable to your school because you will have the tools to teach the Common Core State Standards, Model California School Library Standards, Digital Literacy, Internet Safety, Copyright and more.
- Your professional learning network will grow from meeting people from all over California at the conference.
3. You will learn how to advocate for your library program
- Our advocates in Sacramento will share important legislation that affects school library programs.
- The school library consultant to the California Department of Education will recommend important ideas and strategies to support school library programs.
- Others will share great ideas on how you can advocate for strong school library programs in the state, and at your site and district level.
4. You will bring inspiration and excitement to your school library program.
- ‘Leave behind “conference guilt” - the sense that leaving your campus for PD disadvantages students and teachers. A day of PD many inspire months of great ideas.’ Carolyn Foote, School Library Journal, October 2014, p. 20.
- The fresh new innovative ideas that you bring to your school will energize your teachers, students and, most of all, yourself!
5. You will show your commitment to innovation and improving services to all stakeholders.
- Promise yourself that when you return you will provide your administrator with a written report.
- Share the information you learn from sessions, workshops, vendors, informal meetings and special events with your school staff.