After getting my teacher-librarian specialist last year, I started transitioning into the teacher-librarian (TL) role last semester. This semester I am full time TL. During exam week between semesters I took off to Toronto for my first time attending the Ontario Library Association’s Super Conference. I took the train (which had been a while and it is LOVELY to sit & relax while you travel). Stayed in a hotel in Chinatown and walked everywhere I needed to go including the Metro Centre where the conference was held downtown. I knew a grand total of 2 people there (out of thousands of attendees), one of whom I’d only knew via Twitter & email.
I did my best to sketchnote most of the sessions I attended.
At lunch in the food court across the street I heard my name called out & was very confused in this city of people I don’t know:
This one above apparently caused a stir from a right wing reporter who seemed to think the conference wasn’t staying in it’s lane enough, keeping topics to ebooks and such 🙄. Although I didn’t hear about any of the hoopla until after I’d attended the session (which was excellent by the way!).
A keynote to end the first day:
Amazing (but short) keynote by the queen of data visualization herself:
Also on Thursday & Friday they brought in a yoga instructor to do some morning yoga before the first sessions got going. Conferences mean you spend most of your day sitting. So I really loved the yoga offered (+ walking everywhere in the city +workouts in my hotel room in the morning too).
I attended 3 more Friday sessions that I didn’t sketchnote for various reasons:
- Images & Imaginations: A primer on visual research methods
- The A-Z of LGBTQ for K-12 (which got me rethinking our pink sticker strategy for marking LGBTQ books – will likely move to an online booklist for students to look up in the stacks & maybe a bookmark with the most popular titles?)
- Closing ceremony with Choir! Choir! Choir! (who doesn’t want to sing some Journey with thousands of people in 2 part harmony?)
My thoughts about Toronto:
- I loved walking everywhere
- I don’t love the business & noise of the city (I am so thankful we live the full time cottage life!)
- Lots of smokers walking the streets
My thoughts about the conference:
- Heavier on public & research librarian topics (as opposed to teacher-librarian ones)
- Looking forward to putting in a couple of proposals for next year’s conference!
– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)