A New Direction for a Conference Staple

A New Direction for a Conference Staple

The Board Book Social has been a key component of the annual AISL conference for a number of years now. I have to admit that when the initial gathering was announced and the preparations were being put in place, I had no plans to attend as I thought there would be discussion of books enjoyed by toddlers (Board Books!) Of course, eventually I came to understand the social as a great opportunity to discuss books of professional reading in a relaxed setting with colleagues. There was always lovely food and liquid refreshments as well. Many of the conversations and much of the networking that has taken place at these events has been beneficial to the attendees. In recent years, though, the members of our AISL Board have noticed somewhat of a downturn in participation. This seems like the right time to explore a new direction for book selection and for the social.

Initially, one title was selected by the board members for discussion at the social. Later the line-up expanded to two titles with attendees choosing to read and discuss either. All of the titles selected to date have focused on topics of interest to information professionals, especially those engaged in working with young people, and the membership at large has been canvassed for suggestions. This year, we would like to propose a bit of a change. The idea is to expand the scope of the selected title or titles to include trending fiction and non-fiction titles of interest to librarians working with any level of students. In the interest of evolution, we are reaching out to you, the membership, and especially those who will be in attendance at AISL in Atlanta in April. We ask that you submit titles for consideration. In so doing, you would also be expressing your willingness to lead discussion of that book.  Once we have received a healthy number of submissions, we will poll the conference registrants to gauge interest. With this design we hope to offer opportunities for discussion that would be engaging for all. The social will continue to feature light appetizers and beverages.

We hope that the submissions run the gamut from serious professional development titles to interesting non-fiction to up-and-coming fiction so that everyone can find a title to their liking. This event offers a wonderful opportunity to mingle with and get to know other conference attendees in a relaxed setting. If this piques your interest you can submit a title to Board member, Renee Chevallier at rchevallier@ursulinedallas.org. The Board Book Social itself will take place on Wednesday evening following the events of the day. We aim to make this a must-do at the conference!

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3 Responses to A New Direction for a Conference Staple

  1. Shelagh Straughan says:

    There is so much I love about this – first of all, kudos to all involved in this discussion for role-modelling how to review and improve programming! Well done….now to choose a book!

  2. Shannon Acedo says:

    This sounds like fun! Will ponder titles and think about a book to suggest. Hmmmmm…

  3. Katie Archambault says:

    Well said, Renee, and thank you so much for leading the charge. I really look forward to seeing which titles this dynamic group nominates. 🙂

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