School is out, but school librarians from across Tennessee are learning


School is out, but school librarians from across Tennessee are learning

About 100 school librarians from all over the state came to the John P. Holt Brentwood Library to learn new skills and share experiences at a one-day conference on Thursday. // Photo courtesy of John P. Holt Brentwood Library

 

By MATT BLOIS

School librarians from across Tennessee gathered at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library on Thursday to learn new skills and share their experiences with colleagues.

The conference included workshops on eBook software, fake news and ACT prep courses. At the end of the workshop participants broke up into groups to discuss new trends or concerns about school libraries.

The library offered 100 spots at the conference free of charge, and it filled up almost immediately. The conference was the first event in the library’s new meeting rooms near the main entrance. Construction finished last week and staff members were still learning how to use the projectors and sound systems in the rooms earlier this week.

The conference started with a talk from Brentwood author Ruta Sepetys. She writes historical fiction for young adults, and many of the librarians have her books on their shelves. In other sessions, librarians learned how to set up maker spaces — places where students can build things like robots, furniture or works of art. 

Reference Services Manager Katie Creecy and Community Outreach Coordinator Brigid Day organized the conference. Creecy said they decided to take on the project after several school librarians in Williamson County mentioned that they wanted more professional development opportunities.

They’ve been working on the event for about a year. That meant sending out surveys to librarians to find out which workshops would be most useful and visiting other library conferences to get new ideas.

Creecy said that the conference went so well that many of the librarians were asking whether there would be another event next year. Creecy hadn’t originally planned on repeating the conference, but after receiving such positive feedback she said she would consider bringing it back.

School librarians spent time networking at the conference at the Brentwood Library on Thursday. // Photo courtesy of John P. Holt Brentwood Library

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