Day 1 of #AASL11: Making Connections (And Enjoying the City)

Today was my first full day of the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) Conference in Minneapolis. It was a FUN day, full of connections!

I signed up for the all-day pre-conference workshop "Books, E-ink, and Databases, Oh My! Collection Development in the 21st Century". This might sound a little (okay, maybe a lot) geeky to non-librarians. But electronic resources is a hot topic among librarians as we deal with the coming of new technologies to the information field. It was great to connect with (and be inspired by) other school librarians around the country (and the world), and to pick their brains about what they're doing in their schools.

It was also a day of connecting and reconnecting on a personal level.

Deb and I finally got to meet library leader Buffy Hamilton face-to-face.
She's just as nice in person as she is online!

Janet and I went to graduate school together
at UH Manoa a couple of decades ago.

It was great to watch Cathy and Deb's reconnection unfold.
They were sitting across each other at a table (with me in the middle)
and slowly began to recognize each other. (It had been decades.)
So much fun!
Met and dined with Audrey, Jenny, and Debbie at Masa's. They're first-time attendees.
Met and dined with Marilyn, who has been to a couple more
AASL conferences than me. This is her tenth!
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Typically, I immerse myself at these conferences. I don't allow much time for exploring.

But I haven't needed to look far to be taken in by Minneapolis' charm. The Nicollet mall is a delight, the crispy and cool air smells soooo good, and the fall colors are striking.

Brilliant red maple and me.
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 Can't wait until tomorrow! 

(Maybe I'll check out the statue of Mary Tyler Moore tossing her hat in the air. It's just a couple of blocks down Nicollet...)


Dinner at the News Room Surrounded By Primary Sources (and We Loved the Food)!

Deb pointed out this article so of course we had to have our picture taken with it
It's our first night in Minneapolis for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Conference. Where to eat?

Thanks to the door man's recommendation, we ended up at The News Room, right down the street, on Nicollet Mall. Are we glad we went!

Do we recommend the food?

I know my dish was to-die-for -- Coco Shrimp, "Jumbo (Gynormous and PLUMP) gulf shrimp rolled in coconut, fried and topped with pineapple glaze and pineapple salsa, garlic mashed potato." A steal at $19.95.

At first we didn't think we had room for dessert, but we ended up sharing the fresh peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream, -- mmm, Divine. Who would have thought that basil would make a cobbler heavenly? Chefs are geniuses.

Just right to share, when you think you don't have room ... 

We're expecting great things from this conference, and our first getting-settled-in day ended quite splendidly, thanks to the interesting atmosphere and fabulous food at The News Room.

Four thumbs way up!

The News Room
990 Nicollet Mall (at 10th Street)

Students: How to Enable Google Presentations' New Features (and Ms. Lindsay's first Screenr cast!)

Dear Students,

If you're interested in accessing Google Presentation's new features, here's how:

There's nothing too fancy on there now, but Google promises to roll out more features in the coming weeks, so keep checking!

And, as you probably already know, collaboration is king/queen/royalty with Google docs, so the new design makes collaboration easy (and fun).

Two considerations: 
(1) you can't upgrade your old presentations to the new design
(2) the new design works best in the latest browsers, preferably Chrome.
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Creating this screenr cast was quick and fun, and just the ticket for on-the-fly tutorials.  

Besides embedding, you can save your screenr cast as an .mp4 file, or publish it to YouTube.

Give it a try!



I'll be following the leaders at #AASL11 via Twitter!

I'll be following the leaders at #AASL11 via
Thanks to my school's support, I've been able to attend the biennial American Association of School Librarians (AASL) national conference in Indianapolis, Portland, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Reno, Charlotte, and now Minneapolis. The AASL Conference is the only national conference dedicated solely to school librarians. It's my number one choice for professional development, and I always return home brimming with excitement about new ideas to try in our library.

Yes, I have trouble deciding who and what to see and where to go during a conference -- there are so many choices!

This year, I can enhance my conference experience in the following ways:

I can:
  • Plug into the Virtual Conference
  • "Connect, share, and network" before, during, and after the conference, as a member of the AASL Ning
  • Participate using Twitter.
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I'm drawn to these conferences because I want to listen to and learn from the idea leaders in the profession -- both the established voices, and the emerging ones as well.
I already follow most of the established leaders who'll be at AASL11, on Twitter. So you can be sure that I'll be following more closely during the conference.

How? Aside from using the #AASL11 hashtag search (available on the Ning too), I'll be checking my own personalized list of #AASL11 leaders who tweet regularly. (Suggestions for additions to my list are welcome.)

Here are some of the people on my list, and the reasons why:

@AngeReads @buffyjhamilton @vennlibrarian and @wsstephens are on the list because they're presenting Books, E-Link, and Databases Oh My! Collection Development in the 21st Century (BYOL), a full-day workshop I signed up for (can't wait!).

I included Workshop Presenters @leperez1 - Taking Wikis to the Next Level and @skjohns - How To Get Your Message Out to Your School Community.

I added @BreckSchool and @StPaulAcademySS because they're on my Independent School Tour.

And the Storytelling Festival looks awesome! I added Professional Storytellers Judie Moreillon @CactusWoman and Dianne de las Casas @storyconnection (too bad Jerry Blue doesn't have a Twitter account)

I've hand-picked some Concurrent Session Presenters (you'll note some duplicates from above):
I'm disappointed that @AuntyTech won't be there, except virtually.

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Here's the link to the list feed:!/mauilibrarian2/aasl11

And here's the live feed:

There are 22 on the list as of today. More will be added later, of course.

And yes, I'll be tweeting my own #AASL11 impressions as often as I can.


P. S. Are you a school librarian interested in AASL11?  Follow mauilibrarian2 on Twitter and I'd be happy to follow and learn from you too.