Thursday, November 7, 2013


As chair of the Iowa Association of School Librarians Professional Development Committee, one of my main responsibilities is to organize the annual conference, but there is so much more we can do utilizing the talents of our membership!

Last February, for Digital Learning Day, Iowa's AEA technology teams organized a day full of Google Hangout on Air sessions and they were fabulous. There was even one about using GHOA! (Thanks Tony Amsler) My thought was, "I can do that!" and it was the seed for our IASL PopUp PD sessions.

Our first was right before school started in August and focused on the Iowa Children's Choice Awards (Ernie Cox, Sandi Ellis and Shalar Brown). Our next goal was to highlight the Goldfinch Award program. I reached out to some wonderful teacher librarians (Sarah Staudt, Sandi Ellis and Amy Gardner) who helped me plan the collaboration. We communicated via email and even met each other (some for the first time) via Google HangOut. What a privilege it was to work with these bright, articulate and dedicated teacher librarians. (They even agreed to connect online on Wednesday nights!)

Finally, last night, we recorded and posted our best ideas about the Goldfinch (see YouTube video above) and the panelists shared their ideas on a shared Google presentation, which is open for any Iowa teacher librarian to add to (thank you Paula Mengler for being the first to submit!).

Going live online is a little scary (oh dear, by glasses are glaring and my hair looks bad!), but I knew I had to overcome my insecurities if I wanted to work with these great colleagues. I'm looking forward to many more of these targeted PD opportunities, planned by and realized by my personal heros, teacher librarians who work every day to teach, support, inspire and learn.

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