Day 4

So, I’m going to try to get this in before I fall asleep at the keyboard…I have had such an amazing day today. I started off with a fantastic session on “Preparing Yourself to Teach: Touching All the Bases,” presented by Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe and Beth Woodard of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Monika Antonelli of Minnesota State University – Mankato. They each covered a different aspect of preparation, beginning with assessment as learning. While we normally think of doing assessment at the end of instruction, Hinchcliffe made the case that we should think about assessment from the beginning of planning an instruction session. Woodard discussed student-centered design and the importance of creating learner-centered classrooms that motivate students and incorporate a variety of learning styles. Antonelli presented on teaching as performance and showed how theatrical techniques can be used to help us improve our presence in the classroom. Even though I have heard a lot about instruction and teaching at the conference, it hasn’t been redundant. Rather, every session seems to have built on the one before, and with each one, I feel a little more confident about teaching. And, realizing that there’s a huge network of people out there who are amazing at what they do and are more than willing to help you is also extremely reassuring!

My next destination on this whirlwind day was a lunch date with some of the members of the COPE pane that I was serving on (for our own Sandra Andrews) and our ALA representative. Then the panel itself, “Alice Down the YouTube” followed – it was such an honor to sit on a panel with Eric Faden, Michael Denton, and Dan Conley. We watched the videos that they have created, including Faden’s “A Fair(y) Use Tale” – if you haven’t seen it, go search for it on YouTube now. (And please comment – I’d love to hear what you think about it!). We had a great exchange about ethics and how videos can be used for teaching about and discussing ethics and why/why not YouTube is a good platform for this topic. (If you want to see some of the videos we watched or some more info, e-mail Sandra.)

Then, I couldn’t resist stopping by the watch the Bookcart Drillteam competition…Oak Park won with their “Library Warriors” routine – and if you’ve ever wanted to see  librarians dancing with bookcarts in viking hats, Elvis costumes, poodle skirts, and more, then check out the Demco site to watch the videos of the routines (I’ll try to post a link later – it’s not currently working).

Had dinner with some newfound friends from YALSA at Rock Bottom Brewery – all their beer is brewed on site, and they also had great food. I enjoyed learning more about what YA/teen/children’s librarians do and talking about books – new ones that I haven’t heard of and some of my old favorites that are still around.

Last on the day’s agenda was free dessert at the ASCLA silent auction. The auction benefited a scholarship to promote diversity in libraries. Although there were a number of items that I would have loved to bid on, I ended up winning some reusable totes. Definitely a worthy cause – I wish I could have contributed more!

So, that was today. Tomorrow, I’m going to try to fit in some sightseeing in the morning, one last session in the afternoon, and then a night of enjoying Chicago. My time here is going by so quickly! By the way, I also saw my first story published in Cognotes today! Small thrills…more tomorrow on my last full day at ALA!

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