OLA Super Conference – My First Time #TLchat #OLASC

After getting my teacher-librarian specialist last year, I started transitioning into the 20200205_144018-COLLAGEteacher-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)

Teacher-Librarian Sketchnotes+

This year, beginning in April, I embarked upon the journey to getting my 3 part specialist as a teacher librarian. Why not in Math you ask? Well, as a BScH psychology major I only had room for the minimum 5 full year credits in Math I required to get me into teacher’s college. So an Honours Specialist in Math would require me to go back & take 3 more uni-level Math courses. No thank-you (can someone please tell me why we don’t allow teachers to submit Math leadership experience in lieu of Math credits to be admitted to an honours specialist course?). So instead I took part 1, part 2 and part 3 of the Teacher-Librarian AQ. Started in April. Submitted my final assignment on Friday. YAY!

I wanted to put together the sketchnotes & visual summaries I created as part of these courses. Somewhere to house them all together. So here they are.

PS: I really enjoyed my part 1 & part 2 through ETFO online – not just for elementary teachers. I did not enjoy – and would not recommend – my part 3 AQ through Queen’s. Too bad as Queen’s is my alma mater & I wanted to love it.

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)