Justifying Conference Attendance

The following arguments will help make the case to your administration that attendance at the February CSLA conference will benefit the entire school because:

  1.  You will save your school money in times of shrinking budgets.
  • CSLA workshops and sessions provide time-saving, money-saving and innovative ideas that all teachers and students can use.  There are links to Common Core ideas that will save your school money in selecting the right program for your students, for example, the workshop ” I’ve Got A Digital Tool For That! Tools to Create, Collaborate and Connect” with Shannon McClintock Miller.
  • You will learn new ideas from the workshops and sessions, and equally as important, from fellow teacher librarians whose expertise and experience in the field will enhance your ability to serve your teachers and students.  Take a look at the Preview Guide for workshops.
  • The many exhibits will give you an opportunity to review products and services that might fit the exact needs of your school. This networking with vendors is invaluable, often providing cost-saving solutions to some of your school’s needs.
  • The “Exhibitor Learning Sessions” are an ideal way to see demonstrations of new products and preview new product lines.
  • One of your important duties is selecting resources for your library and school, and the CSLA conference includes experts in Young Adult and Children’s literature.  We have four author panels for you to attend, as well as the California Young Reader Medal Banquet, with CYRM winner Lisa McMann presenting.
  • If you register before Dec. 19th, you will save even more money – save $50 on full registration.
  1.  You will become a more effective teacher librarian or library paraprofessional
  • Innovative ideas, strategies, and technology that you learn at sessions and from colleagues will serve your users and help you manage your time more efficiently.  These include many of the latest cloud-based tools and social networks that students enjoy and teachers need to know.
  • Your network of library resources will grow from meeting people from all over California at the conference. Some of the benefits from past conferences have included connecting with the California State Library, resources from the University of California including the California Digital Library  and Calisphere educator resources, etc.   All of these are free resources that make you and your teachers more effective and provide additional resources for your students.
  • Sometimes very simple ideas can enhance your efficiency as a Teacher Librarian or library paraprofessional – for example, learning from an experienced TL specific techniques to involve your administrators and teachers so that they utilize library resources and services more effectively.
  • Learning from experts in the field what has made their program successful can help you implement the new ideas, or adapt them to your own situation.  We may think we cannot or do not have time to do something innovative until we learn how it was done by another.
  • You will be more valuable to your school because you will have the tools to teach the Common Core State Standards, Model California School Library Standards, Digital Literacy, Internet Safety, Cyber Safety for students, Copyright and more.
  1.  You will learn how to advocate for your library program
  • Our advocates in Sacramento share important legislation that affects school library programs.
  • The school library consultant to the California Department of Education recommends important ideas and strategies to support site library programs.
  • Other TLs often have great ideas on how to make you INDISPENSABLE to your school, and district.
  1. You will bring fresh new innovative ideas to your school that will energize your teachers and students and, most of all, YOURSELF!!
  • ‘Leave behind “conference guilt” – the sense that leaving your campus for PD disadvantages students and teachers. A day of PD many inspire months of great ideas.’ Carolyn Foote, School Library Journal, October 2014, p. 20.
  1.  You will bring recognition to your school library and enhance its reputation by participating in professional development and showing your commitment to innovation and improving services to all stakeholders.

Promise yourself that when you return you will provide your administrator with a written report and share the information you learned from sessions, workshops, vendors, informal meetings and special events with your school staff.