ASLA reflection

It’s been over a month since the excellent ASLA13 conference concluded. I’m sorry to say that ill health, family commitments and preparation for the 2013 Readers’ Cup has prevented me from posting earlier.

It was a wonderful conference held in an excellent venue (Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart) and the opportunity to meet many colleagues face to face for the first time was exciting.

Brilliant presentations from people like Professor Barry McGaw, Dr Mandy Lupton, Dr Hilary Hughes, Dr Jill Abell, Erica McWilliam, Anne Whisken, Jane Viner, Pru Mitchell and Anne Girolami, Kate Reid and Hamish Curry were humorous, thought provoking and informative. (Great to note how many teacher librarians have completed higher degrees.)

A brilliant conference dinner with the aptly named guest speaker David Brill held at Peppermint Bay was another highlight.

Another wonderful thing was to have time to chat, whether it was over breakfast, dinner, coffee, lunch or morning or afternoon tea (all excellent quality) – just not having to rush off to our real lives made forging connections much easier.

One of my new friends, Joachim Cohen who is a teacher librarian who works for SLANSW compiled ab excellent Storify as well as ‘conference minutes’ – a one minute youTube video of his takeaways from each session. Such a brilliant idea and rather than me recreating the wheel, Joachim has permitted me to embed the relevant reviews of each session that I attended.

My session presentation can be accessed here.

Congratulations to Karen Bonanno and all the ASLA13 crew on an amazing conference. I hope we Melburnians can give conference attendees in 2015 as warm a welcome as the Tasmanians did this year.

ASLA conference debrief – at long last

It’s been remiss of me not to write about the brilliant ASLA conference I attended in October. Held at the magnificent St Ignatius College, Riverview between 2-5 October, the conference was a time to finally meet up with online friends like Stacey Taylor, Marita Thomson, Anne Weaver, Jessica Jorna, Nadia Merchant, Trent McAllan, Chris Betcher and Robyn Knowles and spend time with those I’d already had the privilege to meet like Cathy Oxley, Carmel Galvin, Karen Innes and Anne Whisken (hope I haven’t missed anyone – let me know if I did!) It was also a time to be challenged and informed.

Staying on campus was a great experience as the conversations flowed all day and at dinnertime and beyond. The themed dinner was a lot of fun. It was terrific that lots of people that couldn’t attend followed the conference on Twitter via the #asla2011 tag.

Unfortunately I didn’t arrive in time for Karen Bonanno’s keynote, but you’ll find it here.


Judy O’Connell’s keynote was thoughtful and challenging.


Dean Groom’s keynote was as awesome as the man himself.

ASLA 2011

View more presentations from pmhs


I’m sure all of the delegates learned as much as me and couldn’t wait to get back to school to put some of the ideas into practice. What does worry me are the people who don’t attend these conferences or don’t follow the conversation from home. I know we can’t get to every conference we’d like to, and often following the # and associated links really is the next best thing. But what about the people who don’t do either? How are they being challenged to move with the times?