The first workshop, given by David Loertscher, a professor at San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science, was titled "Linking into the Center of Teaching and Learning--21st Century Style." He has many idea about ways to make the library a place where teachers and librarians work together to create a learning commons where students are challenged to use higher level thinking skills. He was very enthusiastic about using technology to make that happen.
The second workshop was "The Best of the Best: What's New in YA Literature" by Michael Cart, a nationally-known author and lecturer, who spoke for 2 hours about books published in 2008. He had more on the list to talk about, but ran out of time. I made lots of notes on my copy of the list and will be looking for some of the books to add to our collection.
In the evening I was present for the opening night reception at the exhibit hall. There were food stations serving sandwiches and vegetable platters for people attending the conference. The food is courtesy of the exhibitors. The variety of exhibits is similar to the ads you saw in the School Library Journal. There are publishers and book sellers, library furniture companies, schools of library science, automation system companies (like Follett, which sells and services our Winnebago Spectrum system), subscription services, Internet content providers, and representatives from related organizations like California Reading Association and the California Young Reader Medal program.
Tonight was a scouting expedition. By that I mean I walked through and talked to a few people to see what was there, but I didn't spend anything. Many of the exhibitors put out bowls of candy to attract people, so I have started a collection to share with my library science students. (Another favorite form of librarian bait is pens. My collection is growing.)
Another exhibit was the winners of the poster contest. The top winner was an eighth grade girl. Her theme was "Set yourself free @ your library." You can see her poster to the right. I'll share the pictures of the other winners when I get back.