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AASL Region 3 Conference Wrap-Up

AASL Region 3 Reps from Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri met in Minneapolis this past weekend. Aren’t we a great looking group? 

This past weekend I had the opportunity to represent OELMA and Ohio school librarians at the AASL Region 3 Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now I would be totally lying if I told you we did not make a little time to do a tiny bit of shopping at the largest mall in the USA—The Mall of America, which was minutes from our hotel, however, we did also get much work accomplished too! OELMA typically sends the President and President-Elect to the annual AASL Region 3 meeting, along with the state representatives from Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois. This year I attended and Susan had a family conflict, therefore OELMA Past-President Krista Taracuk also attended with me for the trip to also represent OELMA.  

After flying into town on Friday night, we had a social event where we met the other state representatives at a restaurant at the Mall of America. On Saturday, it was all business: we talked about each state’s issues and concerns, and then worked on creating commendations for AASL. These commendations recognize non-profit organizations within our Region 3 states that go above and beyond their mission to help promote the goals and standards of AASL. We also discussed ongoing concerns within our states such as advocacy and collaboration with public and academic librarians. There was also time for us to share ideas for technology-what was working and what we need to work on among each state and our region. It was overall very informative and I will take some ideas and suggestions back to the OELMA Board at our May meeting as well as our upcoming conference this October.

On Saturday night, we coincidentally were in town the same weekend as the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture at the University of Minnesota sponsored by ALSC. We attended this as a group and were able to have an introduction with Kate DiCamillo, followed by featured speaker, award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney. She gave an amazing performance and speech-followed with a book signing with her husband- also award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney.

I know it has been said before that our OELMA members get so much more from our organization than what we put into it, and I have to say this weekend was wonderful for me professionally. Networking with other school librarians in other states is invaluable to us as an organization and the relationships we build will last for years and years. It also demonstrates to us that we are not alone in the library challenges. We also are all very dedicated, motivated, and making changes every day to impact student learning in our schools across our country! It was a fun, educational, and invigorating weekend and I am very fortunate to attend and represent OELMA!


Also, we learned this weekend some exciting news: Ohio will be the host state for next year’s 2015 AASL Region 3 meeting!