Each year we are very fortunate to be able to send about half of the 48 librarians in our district to the Texas Library Association annual conference. It is always a great time of learning and relationship-building for our group. When the conferees return, that learning and relationship-building continues as we all meet to hear information about some of the sessions they attended.
This has always been one of my favorite staff development sessions that we do each year, but I really look forward to it since we changed the format last year. In the past, the conference attendees made brief presentations on the sessions they attended to the whole group. While the information was interesting, two hours of “sit and get” wasn’t very much in keeping with current educational best practice.
Last year, we changed the format to a mini-conference, where participants can choose six out of twelve presentations that they would like to attend. Yesterday’s meeting consisted of sessions on virtual field trips, the state database program, gaming in the library, Second Life, digital booktalks, and more. Our schedule for the afternoon is posted here.
What I love about this meeting is the creativity that is shown by the presenters. We give them some very minimal guidelines and off they go! Yesterday we saw tic-tac-toe, interactive Powerpoints, games, discussion, a Promethean desktop flipchart, etc. all used as ways to involve the audience and make the presentation interactive. It’s so much fun to see all of the learning and sharing going on!
Thanks to all who presented yesterday. You all did a fantastic job!