Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hanging out with a new me

Who knew that going to Charlotte could be a life-changing experience? (Well, I suppose a few NASCAR drivers at the Speedway have seen their lives flash before their eyes!). I drove to Charlotte with plans to rev-up at the NCSLMA program, attend some cool sessions at AASL, pick up some freebies in the exhibit hall, catch up with old friends, and maybe enjoy some local cuisine. What I didn't expect was to start thinking big, and to begin seeing my professional life in a new way.

It all started during the opening session when I decided to log in to Twitter to follow the conversation @#aasl2009. I began by reading other people's tweets, and then I thought about the technology friend who'd introduced me to Twitter. I knew that she couldn't come to the conference, so I decided to start tweeting about what I was hearing as a way to connect with her and to share my learning. Surprisingly, the more I tweeted for her, the more engaged I became. Now I'll admit that I used to be an avid Twitter-basher, but in Charlotte I appreciated how Twitter prompted me to take charge of my personal learning, discover some exciting new sessions, hang out in the blogger's cafe (which, honestly, I would not have explored otherwise), and connect with some amazing people in our profession.

My metamorphosis continued . . . as I listened to leaders like Ross Todd, Joyce Valenza, and David Loertscher, while I shared ideas with some inspiring new people during small group discussion, and when I started thinking about the library media center as a learning commons. I heard the words "ubiquitous" and "21st century learning" everywhere. Now these ideas have found a growing place in me.

I went to NCSLMA & AASL thinking about what I would get out of the conference, but I left thinking about what I still need to give -- both to my profession and to my students. It's a little scary hanging out on the edge of the future (to paraphrase Doug Johnson), but it's also an exciting time & place to be. I can't wait to see and experience what the next year brings

One more thing --

connecting, learning, leading... you'll hear that theme from me this year as I peer out from the edge of our profession, looking squarely into the future. I invite you to join me out on the edge -- be a part of the conversation, hang out with me and with Deanna Harris (our new President-Elect), and get involved in NCSLMA, your professional organization.

Kelly Brannock,
NCSLMA President 2009-2010


  1. Thanks for the information. I could not afford to pay to attend so glad folks are posting info. One fellow media person did attend the session on copyright and found the info was not based on the 2008 Code of Best Practice. We need to have some crucial conversations about how to implement. THANKS again!!!!

  2. It's funny, but I too looked at Twitter in a new way after attending AASL. The web 2.0 "smackdown" and the session with the "unquiet librarian" both featured live feeds to the back channel, which were an amazing addition to the conversation. As you mentioned, I found myself being even more engaged as a result... further, I found myself wondering when our school districts are going to learn to embrace/harness the power of these new technologies -- as opposed to continually fighting then. We need to stop blocking and start building using these exciting new tools.