So Many Opportunities to Learn, Share and Network at TLA!

April 7, 2016

Texas Library Association Annual Conference | April 19-22 | Houston, TX

Texas Library Association 2016

The Texas Library Association (TLA) Conference is one of the biggest regional library events you’ll find. Which isn’t surprising since we all know everything’s bigger in Texas! We turned to Teacher Librarian Shannon McClintock Miller to give us a few pointers on how to get the most of this great show.

1.   What are you most looking forward to about the conference?

SMM: I Love TLA! Especially all the authors, illustrators, and my dear friends in Texas. It’s great to see everyone and learn together. The community they have in Texas is so inspiring. I can’t wait to see all the new things authors and illustrators are working on and to see what new things the publishers have coming out.

2.   TLA is a huge conference! What’s your strategy for picking sessions to attend?

SMM: It is definitely hard to find the time to do and see everything I want to. I usually go through the conference agenda ahead of time and decide which sessions I really don’t want to miss and then schedule the rest of my time in Houston around those sessions. I am drawn to sessions that feature authors, and of course since the conference focus this year is literacy I want to make sure to attend those sessions. I also try to look for something new to learn or people I haven’t heard speak before.

3.   You are a featured speaker. What is your session going to be about?

SMM: The 25 AASL Best Websites and Apps that Rocked This Year. It’s going to be a great session that librarians will walk away from with amazing new ideas and resources. I’m on the committee that chooses these sites for AASL so it’s going to be fun to share what we’ve discovered this year. I’ll also share our picks for the best apps.

4.   Are there particular products, services or publishers you’re excited to visit with in the exhibit hall?

SMM: The authors that speak in the exhibit hall are such a treat! I like to hear as many of them as possible. I always make sure to visit with the technology providers I already use to see what new things they’ve got available. And of course I make a point to stop by the booths that have products and services for school libraries. I’m really excited to visit the Capstone booth (#1621) this year because it’s their 25th anniversary and they’’ll be celebrating at the show. On Wednesday, April 20, there will be performer in the booth singing some of the Cantata Learning songs. I will definitely make sure to stop by between 3:00 – 5:00pm that day.

5.   How do you think school libraries have evolved to meet the needs of teachers and students?

SMM: School libraries are really a force for change and innovation in education. School librarians are championing everything from new technologies and makerspaces to virtual learning and global communities. It’s exciting to see school librarians take risks and try new things. School libraries are places where students can express themselves, explore and really take ownership of their learning. They’ll continue to evolve in ways we can’t even imagine and I’m excited to be part of that transformation!

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