2018 AISL Atlanta Conference

This April I attended my first AISL Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. From the moment I boarded the plane in Denver, Colorado I knew I was in for a life changing experience. As one colleague described it, it is like discovering a “field of unicorns”! She was spot on! From the very start, I was immediately welcomed with open arms from fellow unicorns across the country. Within minutes, I was engaged in conversations that made my heart leap with joy! As a solo librarian in a Pre-K- 8th school, it is not often that I find a willing victim who allows me to carry on about cataloging, MLA citations, intellectual freedom, and my endless obsession with Judith Krug! But not here, here I was home.  The conference included several tours of campuses in the Atlanta area and one very powerful visit to the Museum of Human and Civil Rights. The opportunity to visit other libraries was particularly inspiring for me. As librarians, we are constantly facing change in our profession. Our libraries are as unique as our patrons and our spaces are constantly evolving to reflect these changes. That being said, the ability to have such a strong network of professionals with a growth mindset really sets our profession apart. I felt the workshops provided not only were educational and inspiring, but a reminder of the endless and creative ways in which libraries can extend their reach in independent schools. The opportunity to share best practices with other librarians was probably the most significant takeaway for me. It is not often in this profession that you have the chance to talk “shop” and this time was priceless.  AISL did not disappoint with the delicious catered meals and a grand finale SKIP Banquet. These perks however were just a backdrop to the lifelong connections I made with new friends and colleagues. This group of professionals is hands-down the most supportive and inspiring yet. The entire experience was invaluable and you can bet I will be in Boston in 2019!! The goal of this year’s theme Making Connections was surely met! Thank you AISL!

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3 Responses to 2018 AISL Atlanta Conference

  1. Shannon Acedo says:

    So glad you could join us, Erika! I love the unicorn visual. Yes— often we are isolated, sometimes hard to find, but get us together and we really are magic.
    Looking forward to seeing you in Boston!

  2. Katie Archambault says:

    I love your post *almost* as much as I love the adorable picture accompanying it. There truly is something magical about finding your ‘people’. Librarianship is a profession, but it’s also a way of existing that not everyone understands. Having been part of a team and then flying solo, I can empathize with the isolation felt by being the only person in the school who does what you do. Getting to talk shop, address challenges, and gain inspiration at these conferences…it really is the best. I am so so glad that you were sble to attend this year and look forward to reconnecting in Boston! Have a great summer!

  3. Beth Tompkins says:

    Erika, I too share your enthusiasm for the AISL Atlanta Conference! It was also my first attendance. I did not meet you, but I had many, many conversations similar to yours with like-minded librarians, and I learned so much. The organizers’ warm southern hospitality and the enriching events created the perfect environment to make connections, intellectual and personal. As part of the planning committee for Boston 2019, I look forward to welcoming you next year.

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