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School Library Journal Leadership Summit 2011
by Lynn Weeks and Sandy Kelly

It was an information-packed two days when we traveled to Arlington, Virginia to attend the 2011 School Library Journal Leadership Summit in September.  This year’s theme “The New World of Reading:  Digital, Networked, Transliterate,” covered many of the issues related to eBooks and social media that are often raised on the MSLA listserv.  The invitation-only event is a unique gathering of school librarians, educational leaders, and vendors who gather together annually to explore a “hot topic” in the school library field. Brian Selznick

Author and illustrator Brian Selznick gave the opening keynote address.  Participants were treated to a preview of the upcoming movie Hugo, based on his Caldecott winning book, The Adventures of Hugo Cabret.  In an “Oprah” like moment, participants were also given autographed copies of his newest book, Wonderstruck.   Selznick shared the extensive research and editing process that goes into his books.  The drafts of his texts that show the many edits and his struggle through the writing process would be valuable to share with students and he may consider adding them to his website.  His description of “learning to ask for help” and perseverance to complete his texts were inspirational (...not to mention his illustrations!)

Buffy Hamilton (who will soon be appearing at the MSLA Spring 2012 conference!) moderated a panel on Transliteracy.  Transliteracy can be defined as the interaction between all literacies.   It includes the ability to adapt and requires participation.   A site you can utilize in your school library includes Inanimate Alice  The website description describes the experience as “ … Transmedia - designed from the outset as a story that unfolds over time and on multiple platforms, the episodes are available on all devices capable of running Adobe’s Flash Player. ‘Alice’ connects technologies, languages, cultures, generations and curricula within a sweeping narrative accessible by all. As Alice’s journey progresses, new storylines appear elsewhere providing more details and insights, enriching the tale through surprising developments. Students are encouraged to co-create developing episodes of their own, either filling in the gaps or developing new strands.”

Shannon Miller and John SchumacherAre you ready to take the plunge and utilize social media with your students?  School librarians Shannon Miller and John Schumacher shared how they have connected their two schools, hundreds of miles apart, and even do collaborative projects using tools such as Twitter and Skype. If administrative blocks on such technology are preventing you from connecting with others – try sending your administrators to Eric Sheninger’s page

Sheninger, the principal of New Milford High School in New Jersey, presented about his transformation from a “closed” technological philosophy, to one that embraces Web 2.0 and social media for communication, professional development, and in the student learning environment. His administrative leadership is a good role model for others looking to open access to the learning opportunities that are currently filtered out in our schools.

School librarians, district directors, and vendors all shared their experiences with eBooks.  Similar to last year’s summit there are still more questions than answers about the emerging format and supporting technologies.   However, many schools and districts have done more “exploring” of these technologies over the past year, and we are able to learn from their success and mistakes as we continue to test the digital waters.  More vendors are attempting to find efficient ways for school librarians to access ebooks for our schools. Take a look at :

*  Follettshelf

*  Mackin’s Via

*  Capstone’s myownreader  

*  Rosen’s

A fun presentation included three graphic novelists in tandem and interacting with the George O'Connor, Jarrett Krosoczka and Eric Wrightaudience. George O'Connor, bestselling author and illustrator of children's literature including Kapow!, Eric Wight, author and illustrator of the Frankie Pickle series along with our own Jarrett Krosoczka, author and illustrator of children's books including the Lunch Lady graphic novel series entertained the crowd and brought lots of laughs. Together they had the audience help to create a graphic novel that they made up on stage. It will be great to have Jarrett back at our own conference in March. This year, he will be making two presentations to our members. He has become a “rock star” in his own right!
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 November 2011 )

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