This conference report is by Laurie Fleming, an HVLA member, library assistant and textbook coordinator at Friends Academy and a very soon to be graduate of Queens College School of Library and Information Science. Laurie recently attended the New Leaf Learning conference for school librarians who use Follett's Destiny library management software, are considering Destiny, or are looking for something new in professional development. We had never heard of this conference until recently and it turned out to be really worthwhile so we thought we would share here.
I recently attended the Follett New Leaf in Learning Conference in Schaumberg, Illinois for two days and came away with a much better understanding of Destiny, ideas for learning motivation, and inspiration for the fast changing educational environment of school libraries. The two key note speakers, Kevin Honeycutt and Ian Jukes, gave funny, yet dynamic and inspirational presentations on the global changes of American education and the American student. The choice of sessions was varied in macro and micro orientation and immediately useful for my current positions.
The first session I attended was Textbook Distribution and Collection. The session gave very helpful ideas for my position as Textbook Coordinator. The Destiny Quest session focused on ways to use Destiny Quest with middle and upper school library programs. Many schools use DQ as the library's home page and as the primary method of distributing essential library information.
My last class of the first day was a review of Destiny Reports, which provided suggestions for the use of various reports. At the end of the first day, Follett gave a lovely reception with exceptional food, drink and music, allowing for socializing and exchanging of ideas.
The second day I attended a fascinating session called “Project Graduation: The Digital Advantage” presented by Manuel L. Isquierdo Ed.D., Superintendent of Tucson Schools. He described how they increased graduation rates in a highly disadvantaged district from 40% to 80% through putting laptops in students’ hands. Another interesting session by two middle school librarians gave all sorts of practical ideas for motivating reading and education through the school library. Throughout the entire conference, there was ample opportunity to meet individually with technical consultants on specific problems or questions on Destiny and time to compare notes with other librarians from all over the country.
This is a “must go to” conference for any user of Destiny. Not only was the conference entertaining, it was inspiring and educational for educators, administrators and school librarians. I took away practical ideas for motivating learners as well as stimulating ideas on where education is headed through greater use of technology. I would highly recommend the conference to new and experienced librarians alike.