SLJ Summit: The Future of Reading

Tomorrow morning I leave for Chicago. I've never been there and I'm SO excited.

I'm honored, humbled, floored, & flattered (and frankly gobsmacked!) to have been asked to come to the School Library Journal’s 2010 Leadership Summit! As the summit starts today I think I can safely announce why...and it makes me squirmy, happy, and strangely bashful to do so! GAH!

20 days ago I got this email out of the blue...
"On behalf of Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and School Library Journal, I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected as one of five people to attend SLJ’s Leadership Summit as part of the Cengage Learning /SLJ New Leaders program. The Cengage Learning/SLJ New Leaders program is designed for school librarians who are new to the profession, and have already displayed leadership within their building, district and/or state; are advocates for students, libraries, and 21st century learning; and are actively engaged in sharing and collaborating with colleagues through social networking and other venues. After reaching out to prominent leaders within the library field for their recommendations, you have been selected by School Library Journal and Cengage Learning to participate in this exciting new program."

What the what!? WOW! Pinch me!

"At the event, you will be paired with a mentor selected by School Library Journal who will introduce you to key individuals and leaders in the field, and who will be available to help guide you during the next year as you move forward in your career." - and guess who that's gonna be?

Who is my mentor? I just found out and Squee! She's been my unofficial mentor of the last year and a half (heck, she's a mentor for us ALL, right?!) and an inspiration to me since I started stalking errr avidly attending her presentations since the Atlanta NECC conference, then the AASL Reno, I could go on! ...non other than our own hip, awesome, generous, & amazingly inclusive - Dr. Joyce Valenza! (For proof of my admiration see how often I've quoted or mentioned Dr. V in this very blog - heck, I'd say I'm an acolyte! What's going to happen at the Summit? I don't know! But I'll share it with you, dear reader! YAY!

The Future of Reading and the Future of Libraries

Speaking of inspirational mentors... Buffy J. Hamilton is another voice out there that I constantly am turning towards. On Facebook there was this note Rethinking the Third Millennium Library to Foster Connection and Flexibility by The Third Teacher that was published about the physical future of the library and whether books will be included in it. Buffy replied to it....and it's definitely worth reading! Here are my thoughts.
In the library of the future - will there still be books? Great question! I think there will always be a place for print media. Yes, there will be digital readers, audio books, electronic tablet, and formats we have not even dreamed of. Will there be Immersive book experiences with glasses or helmets that let you enter the virtual world of the book and watch the characters play out the story? Who knows!? But what I do know, is that books will be there on a shelf - because there will always be those who want to hold, smell, and read a book page by page.
Besides, Jean-Luc Picard shows us that they will always be prized. "Make it so!"

Collaborative, comfortable, and creative learning areas will be also be there. Perhaps overstuffed sofas, digital reclining chairs with surround sound headrests, and comfy ottomans that can be pulled in and gathered together for impromptu collaboration. Hard, sterile chairs - no. Cold impersonal "electronic stores" of information - I don't think so.
What I do that I can't wait to see! And....bring it on!
I love books, I love reading, and I love my personal learning network. (That's YOU!) Thank you all so much and stay tuned!!
Photo from: Cannon Design embraced this ideological shift in their design for the new Adlai E. Stevenson High School Student Learning Center.


  1. Couldn't happen to a nicer professional colleague! CONGRATS! I'll look forward to your tweets and blog posts from Chicago (and after!)

  2. That is so freakin' exciting, Gwyneth!!! I can't wait to read all about it, I'm sure it's going to be an incredible experience!

  3. Gwyneth, congratulations on being chosen for this summit. I wholeheartedly agree that you deserve it. You have contributed so much to our profession, and I believe you are just getting started! Best wishes for a successful summit.

  4. Thank you all so much! I am truly honored to have you as colleagues and friends and can't wait to see you next F2F whenever or where ever that will be! EduCon? ISTE11? AASL11? Big hugs and blushing pink ovah heah!


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