November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Scenes and Resources from the Summit | SLJ Summit 2014

Superintendent Mark Edwards keynoted the event.

“Superintendent of the Year” Mark Edwards from Mooresville, NC, keynoted the event. All photos courtesy of Joey Tichenor.

Inspirational and groundbreaking school librarians from all over the United States descended upon St. Paul, MN, on October 25─26 for School Library Journal’s 10th annual Leadership Summit Fire it Up! Sparking Creativity and Motivating Students.” With thought-provoking presentations by 2013 Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Mark Edwards, and his library media specialist team from Mooresville, NC, and Stephan Turnipseed, president of LEGO Education North America, library leaders gathered together to discuss the importance of sparking creativity and engagement in their students, schools, and communities.

Take a sneak peek at some of the scenes from over the weekend, including a slideshow (photo credit: Joey Tichenor). Check out the full schedule and some of the resources that were shared during the two-day learning experience. And look out for more coverage in the coming days.

Created with flickr slideshow.


Summit coverage:

Joyce Valenza, SLJ blogger and director of the MLIS Program at Rutgers University School of Communication & Information, blogged “Live from the Summit” on SLJ’s “NeverEndingSearch”

Keynote panel:

Superintendent Mark Edwards:

“Mooresville School District, a Laptop Success Story”

“Mark Edwards & Project Connect: Take Your Place at the Table: Thrive as Part of the Solution Your School Needs | Editorial”

“Project Connect Brings School Librarians, Superintendents to the Same Table”

Smart Stakeholders panel

Smart Stakeholders panel moderated by Michelle Luhtala, New Canaan High School, CT: (l. to R.: Monte Kuehl, ABDO; Dottie Coven, Baker & Taylor; Terri Soutor, Brain Hive; Eric Fitzgerald, Capstone; Scott Chain, Follett; Dave Schroeter, Gale/Cengage Learning; Deborah Ford, Junior Library Guild; Trisha McDonell, LEGO Education; Randal Heise, Mackin Educational [not pictured]; Patricia Stockland, Lerner Publishing; Roger Rosen, Rosen Publishing).

Leadership panelists:

Joyce Valenza presented a padlet in which attendees were invited to share what animal they felt most represented their leadership style. 

K.C. Boyd: “Chicago Hope: High School Librarian K.C. Boyd”

Michelle Colte: Michelle Colte Named School Librarian of the Year

SLJ Summit turns 10.

SLJ Leadership Summit turns 10.

School librarians and educators led 15-minute fast-learning sessions:

Andy Plemmons: “School Librarian of the Year Finalist Andy Plemmons: Expecting the Miraculous”

Pernille Ripp:”Why Reading Sucks: Talking honestly with kids might make them more passionate readers”

Tori Jensen, Media Specialist, LEAP High School/St. Paul Public Schools and Leslie Yoder, digital literacy and learning specialist on St. Paul’s success story: “St. Paul to Create 15 New School Library Positions”

St. Paul Children Deserve and Power of Community were some of the resources they shared during their presentation.

Lauren McBride: “How a VA Librarian and Her Book Club Raised Funds to Provide 15K Meals for Students in S. Sudan”

Other highlights:

#SchoolLibrariesMatter video by Capstone Publishing debuted at SLJ Summit: “The Changing Role of the School Librarian.”

During the conference, there were several special announcements, including the presentation of the winners of the “Build Something Bold” Library Design Award, presented by SLJ and LEGO Education and the SLJ/Brain Hive Buzz Award:

“SLJ and LEGO Education Announce the Winner of the ‘Build Something Bold’ Library Design Award”

“Meet the Recipients of the ‘Build Something Bold’ Library Design Award”

Denise Sumnida, winner of the SLJ Buzz Award, sponsored by Brain Hive: (source:


Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

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