November 25, 2015

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Austin Power! A Snapshot of School Librarian Leaders | SLJ Summit 2013

Librarians from around the country made their way to Austin, TX, on September 28–29 for SLJ’s annual Leadership Summit, “Transformation Through Effective Collaboration,” where they discussed the future of libraries and ways to forge partnerships to ensure student success.

Librarians are “the most glorious and sublime creatures in the world,” journalist Annie Murphy Paul declared in her keynote. Murphy Paul, who wrote our November cover story, posited that, in a world of scripted lessons and tests, librarians have “a special role” as “cultivators of interest” and “knowledge builders.” During the session “Allies in Leadership,” the administrative team from the Vancouver (WA) Public Schools stressed that teacher librarians should connect with their communities; step out of the library; own their roles as teachers; and collaborate on district leadership teams.

The “Storytelling in Transition” panelists spoke about innovative ways to approach the timeless task of telling a story across platforms, genres, and mediums. Closing keynoter Antero Garcia cited examples as far-reaching as Kanye West and John Green to share how teachers and librarians could inform and empower students to transform their communities through participatory culture.

On stage and off, the Summit convened key players and collaborators who are shaping a vision for the future. For an in-depth look at SLJ Summit takeaways, see an extended version of this story. Ongoing coverage will expand on the themes of the two-day event.

All photos by Jack Plunkett/Ap images for SLJ.

Slide 1

Limitless Libraries’s Stephanie Ham.

Slide 2

SLJ’s Rebecca T. Miller

Slide 3

Texas school administrator Joel Castro

Slide 4

ALA President Barbara Stripling

Slide 5

Capstone’s Amy Cox

Slide 6

Attendee with Wonder Woman tote bag.

Slide 7

Vancouver (WA) Public Schools’s Layne Curtis, Lisa Greseth, and Mark Ray talk teamwork.

Slide 8

Annie Murphy Paul piques audience’s interest

Slide 9

Publisher Ben Schrank and author Jessica Anthony discuss graphic novel 'Chopsticks'

Slide 10

Antero Garcia chats up participatory culture

Slide 11

Librarian Jennifer Reed poses with Moonbot Studios’s Limbert Fabian, Brandon Oldenburg & their wives and , Rocco Staino.

Slide 12

Smart stakeholders Deborah B. Ford, Michael Campbell, Brad Richason, Eric Fitzgerald, Randal Heise, Terri Soutor, Miriam Gilbert, and Dave Schroeter, with moderator Joyce Valenza.

Slide 13

Nancy Jo Lambert, Matthew C. Winner, Carolyn Foote, and Laura Given

Slide 14

Attendee signs the Declaration for the Right to Libraries

2013 SLJ Leadership Summit Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor: Capstone; Silver Sponsors: Brain Hive; GALE Cengage Learning, Junior Library Guild, Lerner Publishing Group, Mackin VIA, Rosen Publishing, Rourke Educational Media


This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz ( is Senior Editor of School Library Journal's Reviews and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She recently received her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.