SLJ Summit 2021

Join us Thursday, October 28 for SLJ Summit: In Community. Beyond geography, community can mean a lot of things. We all work and live in the context of community, and the fact of our interdependence—how all aspects of our lives, our very fates, rely on how we function together—has never been made more apparent than in our shared experience of the pandemic.

Event Hours: 9:00 AM ET - 5:00 PM ET




Please note that the event environment and the sessions have attendance capacity limits. If on the day of the event you find that you are unable to access the environment or join a session, please know that sessions will be available for on-demand viewing within 24hrs, and the entire event will be accessible for three months from the event date.

Please make sure your computer and browser are up to date. Chrome tends to work best. The event platform does not support IE11 + Windows 7 or older versions.

By registering for this event or webcast, you are agreeing to the School Library Journal Privacy Policy and Code of Conduct Policy and agreeing that School Library Journal may share your registration information with current and future sponsors of this event.

If you have any questions, email us at



9:00 AM - 9:30 AM ET | Exhibit Hall Opens


In Booth Chats

9:40 AM - 9:55 AM ET How to say author’s names: The Author Name Pronunciation Guide (TeachingBooks)
10:00 AM - 10:15 PM ET Make Your Library Talk: Book talks directly on your shelves (TeachingBooks)

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM ET | Antiracism, History, and Fighting for Truth
Opponents of so-called “Critical Race Theory” are dominating social media, confronting school boards, and sparking legislation banning the discussion of racism in classrooms nationwide. This panel will cover what Critical Race Theory actually is, current and
pending legislation in states around the country and the response by educators, and how to advance antiracist teaching at this critical moment.


Christina Joseph, editor, writer, content strategist, and adjunct professor
Rodney D. Pierce, 2019 NC Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year

Deborah Wei, Zinn Education Project-Teach Truth campaign organizer

Nelva Williamson, Advanced Placement History Educator at Houston ISD

Welcome Remarks: Scott Sustacek, President, Capstone


10:15 AM ET | Sponsored Session

Capstone with Vice President of Publishing Beth Brezenoff
Hear from Capstone's Vice President of Publishing Beth Brezenoff on the importance of librarians!


10:15 AM - 10:30 AM ET | Break / Visit the Exhibit Hall 

In Booth Chats
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM ET JLG Live Chat - Community of JLG Members - AM Session 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM ET 3-minute author visit with Joanna Ho on Eyes that Kiss in the Corners (TeachingBooks)
11:30 AM -11:45 AM ET Teaching Ideas for your Library: Elementary, Middle, and High School (TeachingBooks)

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM ET | Keynote

Reverend Jacqueline J. Lewis, PhD, is a public theologian and the first Black or female senior minister at the progressive, multicultural Collegiate Church in Manhattan, which dates to 1628. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and Drew University, she is the creator of the MSNBC online show Just Faith and the PBS show Faith and Justice, in which she led important conversations about culture and current events. Raised mostly in Chicago, she now lives with her husband in Manhattan.

Book: Fierce Love (Harmony Books)
Introduced by: Kathy Ishizuka, Editor-in-chief, SLJ



11:05 AM - 11:45 AM ET | Reading in Community
Focused online reading groups flourished during the pandemic, some galvanized by the social justice movement. Get inspired learning about how they came together.
Jarred Amato, high school English teacher, cofounder of Project LIT Community
Dhonielle Clayton, author, founder of Black Girls with Magic and Books
Marva Hinton, education journalist, host, ReadMore podcast
Kelly Starling Lyons, author, founding member of The Brown Bookshelf

Introduction: Nick Glass, Founder & Executive Director,


11:45 AM - 12:00 PM ET | Break / Visit the Exhibit Hall


In Booth Chats
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM ET Author Interview - LIVE TODAY with Dr. Cylita Guy (JLG)
12:10 PM - 12:25 PM ET  Easy & Powerful Way to Stay Current on over 100 National Awards & Distinctions (TeachingBooks)
12:45 PM - 1:00 PM ET 5-minute audio author visit with Anton Treuer on Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask (TeachingBooks)

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM ET | Tips and Tricks for Integrating News Literacy in the 6-12 Classroom
Today’s students live in the most complicated news and information landscape in history. It is essential for our students to determine fact from fiction, fight misinformation and have the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy. Join this session to learn practical, hands-on ways to teach news literacy skills to your students. Presenters will share various free, ready-made classroom resources and programs all educators can use in a short lesson or an extended unit. 
Shaelynn Farnsworth, director of network expansion at the News Literacy Project
Kelly Vikstrom-Hoyt, director of library services at The Overlake School, WA, and NLP’s 2021 News Literacy Educator of the Year

12:35 PM - 1:20 PM ET | When “Anti-Critical Race Theory” Comes for Library Collections
Ruby Bridges’ autobiography. Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming. These are among many titles being challenged in the current movement to excise history and any reference to racism from schools. This conversation among an ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom representative and school librarians who have fought high-profile challenges will discuss the current climate of book challenges, the specific needs of book challenge policies in these times, and the reasons to report a challenge to OIF and resources to fight it.

Christine Emeran, Youth Free Expression Program Director at NCAC
Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director for the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom
Debra Quarles, head librarian at Shaker Heights Middle School 
Kara YorioSLJ News Editor


1:25 PM - 1:55 PM ET | Move Over, Melvil!
How school librarians are eliminating bias and racism in the 145-year-old Dewey Decimal System.
Jess deCourcy Hinds, librarian, Bard Queens, NY
Karleen Delaurier-Lyle, Information Services Librarian, Xwi7xwa Library, Unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory; University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Sara Lissa Paulson, librarian, City-As-School, NY, NY; adjunct professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Queens College


In Booth Chat
1:35 PM - 1:50 PM ET Creating Collection Analysis Reports for Diversity and Inclusion (TeachingBooks)                                                                                                                


Two Sessions Running Concurrently

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM ET | Mobile Outreach: Rolling into the Future
The pandemic spurred innovation in mobile outreach to children. Trailblazing librarians provide the latest information on new strategies, funding, and more.
Kim McNeil-Capers, Queens (NY) PL
Katrina Ford, Anaheim (CA) Public Library
David Kelsey, president, Association for Bookmobile and Outreach Services
Cathy Zimmerman, Scott County Library System, Iowa


2:00 PM - 2:45 PM ET | Fostering Professional Learning Communities Through TikTok, Clubhouse, and Other Free Platforms
Have you ever had an idea that you’ve wanted to share with other professionals, but didn’t know how? This session will showcase four school librarians who have utilized free webinar hosting platforms, Clubhouse, Tiktok, and podcasting to share ideas and resources to build a learning community. The group will discuss ways to join this global community, offer links to a variety of professionals who are creatively showcasing their ideas, and provide information on how to create and share your own content. School librarians are #BetterTogether when we work as a community and learn from one another.
K.C. Boyd, Host of Boss Librarian and Friends on Clubhouse
Amy Hermon, Creator of School Librarians United Podcast
Amanda Hunt, School Librarian TikTok
Amanda Jones, 2021 School Librarian of the Year


2:45 PM - 3:00 PM ET | Break / Visit the Exhibit Hall


In Booth Chats
2:45 PM - 3:00 PM ET JLG Live Chat - Community of JLG Members - PM Session
2:10 PM - 2:25 PM ET Resources to Support Social Emotional Learning (TeachingBooks)
3:10 PM - 3:25 PM ET 5 + Ways to Engage Families in Your Library Programming (TeachingBooks)
4:05 PM - 4:20 PM ET New Games = Literacy Fun (TeachingBooks)

Two Sessions Running Concurrently

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM ET | Culturally Responsive Teaching—Now More Than Ever
Culturally responsive teaching, culturally relevant teaching, culturally responsive pedagogy-- whatever name is used, the premise is the same: it connects students with culture, language, and life experience to what and how they learn in school. It is not new, but done properly, it may be a big part of the answer to achieving true equity in education and pushing back on those who want to keep the white, European narrative the central and only story that is taught.

Selena Carrión, NYC ELA teacher, LMS
Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Professor, UNC School of Information and Library Science
Barbara Leilani Brazil Keys, M.Ed., Equity Education Specialist in Albemarle County Public Schools
Seema G. Pothini, educational equity and diversity consultant, Minneapolis, MN


3:00 PM - 3:45 PM ET | Trauma-Informed Library Services 
Adverse childhood experiences such as racism, neglect, abuse, and family dysfunction can have a long-lasting impact on individuals. Professor Rebecca Tolley, the author of A Trauma-Informed Approach to Library Services, and a panel of professionals will provide an overview of what studies say about trauma, the principles of trauma-informed care, and the opportunities libraries have in the area of trauma-responsive services. The session will also include discussions of empathic language models, safe zones for LBGTQ patrons and those suffering from PTSD, and self-assessment tools.
Janet R. Damon, Ed.S, MLIS, Senior Manager of Library Services, Denver Public Schools

Dr. Melissa Gardner, Campbell County (KY) Middle School Library 

Beth Pelayo, LRC Director, Library Media Specialist, St. Charles (IL) East High School
Professor Rebecca Tolley, East Tennessee State University


3:55 PM - 4:25 PM ET | In conversation with: Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Mike Daria
Kathy Carroll, school librarian, Westwood High School Library Information Center, Columbia, SC, 2020-2021 President, American Association of School Librarians
Dr. Mike Daria, Superintendent, Tuscaloosa City Schools


4:30 PM - 5:00 PM ET | SLJ’s Best Books 2021 Reveal
With SLJ editors


Pre-Recorded Sessions

Creating a 360-Degree Virtual Library Space
This session allows school librarians to learn how to create a 360-degree virtual library space that allows their school community to see the physical space in 360-degrees and add pins linked to information that promotes all of the great things that happen in the space. It goes well beyond the typical website or Google Classroom and is a great way to advocate and share the important work we do. I will share free tools to allow school librarians to do this as well as explain a newer tool I've used--Matterport--for this purpose.
Presenter: Andrea Trudeau


Drawing from Life: Revisiting Our Pasts Through Graphic Memoir
Memoir has long been a cornerstone of the graphic novel format. Charise Mericle Harper (Bad Sister, First Second) and Yehudi Mercado (Chunky, HarperCollins), authors of graphic memoirs aimed at middle grade readers, will explore how they used comics to explore intimate, often painful childhood experiences, in a conversation moderated by SLJ Reference & Professional Senior Editor Mahnaz Dar.

Building Community Problem Solvers
In this session, help students build skills such as design thinking, human centered design, understanding data, etc. and making real-world connections to how to use those skills in their local community. Student examples from my time as a high school librarian include beginning a program at a local assisted living center to connect older and younger citizens; STEAM opportunities for underserved elementary and middle school populations, redesigning a historic walking tour, starting a mental health advisory, and more. Support student agency, social capital, and developing solutions-oriented skills through the library.
Presenter: Dustin Hensley, library media specialist, Elizabethton (TN) High School,
& students


Responding to Legislation around Critical Race Theory in Texas 
Anti-CRT legislation and school board protests are sweeping the country. How can librarians best prepare for potential challenges? Two Texas librarians will share proactive measures which build capacity in their teams, offer scenario practice, and build strategic partnerships within and beyond their districts.
Becky Calzada, District Library Coordinator, Leander (TX) ISD
Carolyn Foote, former district librarian, Austin, TX; free-range librarian and consultant



Keynote Speakers


The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis—Author, Activist, and Public Theologian—is the first female and first Black Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a multiracial, welcoming, and inclusive congregation in New York City, which dates to 1628. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Dr. Lewis and her activism work have been featured by the TODAY Show, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among others. Her new podcast, Love.Period., is produced by the Center for Action and Contemplation, and her forthcoming book, Fierce Love, is now available for preorder.



Jarred Amato is a high school English Teacher and Project LIT Community Co-Founder. Born out of one classroom in Nashville, TN, Project LIT Community now includes more than 2,000 chapters nationwide. Our chapter leaders are committed to increasing book access, promoting a love of literacy, and empowering our students as readers, writers, and leaders. You can follow @projectLITcomm to learn more about our grassroots literacy movement.

K.C. Boyd is a librarian, book blogger, and motivational speaker, and a library media specialist for more than 20 years. She was a 2015 Library Journal Mover and Shaker and the recipient of the 2021 American Library Association’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) Distinguished Librarian Award.

Becky Calzada is a Texas educator with 34 years of experience; she is currently the District Library Coordinator in Leander ISD, a fast-growth suburban school district northwest of Austin, Texas. Becky serves on the American Association of School Librarians Board as an AASL Director-at-Large, is an advisory member of The Center for the Future of Libraries Advisory Group, a member of the Legislative Committee for the Texas Library Association, and is a Past Chair for the Texas Association of School Librarians. She is an avid reader and has presented at state and national conferences including TLA, TCEA, ALA, and NCTE. Becky can be reached on Twitter @becalzada.

Selena A. Carrión (@SelenaCarrion) is an experienced educator, librarian, writer, and activist working in NYC. Selena currently works on projects at Teachers College, NYSED, NewSchools, and PBS. Her writing has been published in NCTE, Chalkbeat, and ACSD among other publications. Selena grounds her work in critical pedagogies, anti-racist teaching, and the equitable transformation of our schools.

Kathy Carroll is the immediate past president of the American Association of School Librarians. She currently serves on the AASL Board of Directors, the ALA Council, the ALA Nominating Committee, and the ALA Transforming ALA Governance Task Force. Carroll was on the PRAXIS National Advisory Committee for School Media Specialists in 2020 and is a former Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Site Visitor. A 2007 ALA Spectrum Scholar, Kathy is a school librarian at Westwood High School in Blythewood, SC. What is her dream job? She has it!

Dhonielle Clayton is a New York Times Bestselling author of "The Belles" series, the co-author of the "Tiny Pretty Things" duology, a Netflix original series, and the author of the forthcoming middle grade fantasy series "The Marvellers." She has taught secondary school and is a former elementary and middle school librarian. Clayton is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and owner of CAKE Literary. Up next: Shattered Midnight (Fall 2021), The Rumor Game, and a few surprises. Fiind her on Instagram and Twitter: @brownbookworm.

Mike Daria serves as the superintendent of the Tuscaloosa City Schools. The school system has 11,000 students and is located in Tuscaloosa. Prior to becoming superintendent in 2016, Daria served as an English teacher, assistant principal, principal, human resources director, and assistant superintendent. Daria graduated from The University of Alabama with a doctorate in educational leadership. He earned his National School Superintendents Certification from the American Association of School Administrators in 2019. Daria serves on various local agencies such as the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation and Junior Achievement of Tuscaloosa. He is married to an incredible wife, Susy who teaches at The University of Alabama. Susy and Mike have two sons, Nicholas who attends the University of Alabama, and Tyler who is in high school.

Janet Damon is the Senior Manager of Library Services at Denver Public Schools collectively working towards inclusive and affirming libraries in an urban district serving 92,000 students.  She is also the co-founder of Afros and Books, a collective of Black, Biracial, and LGBTQ+ librarians.  Janet centers literacy as a lever for social justice and activates the community as a source of resiliency and collective care through projects like Black Dads Storytime, Black to Nature Book Club, and pop-up literacy events across the city.  She has been recognized by Library Journal as a 2020 Mover and Shaker Change Agent and awarded the Leadership Lamp for Equity in Denver Public Schools.

Karleen Delaurier-Lyle is Anishinabek, Cree, mixed settler ancestry and a member of the Berens River First Nation. She was born and raised on the unceded, ancestral, and traditional territory of the Syilx/Okanagan People. She received her BA from UBCO in Indigenous Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. Afterward, she earned her Master’s in Library and Information Studies at UBC Vancouver.

Sarah Dupont is Métis, from Prince George, BC and an alumnus of the University of Northern BC. She received a Masters of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta, where her research interests focused on information seeking behaviors of urban Métis youth. Ms. Dupont oversees the operation and direction of Xwi7xwa Library.

Christine Emeran is the Youth Free Expression Program Director at NCAC. She served as a research consultant at UNESCO and UNESCO-International Institute for Education Planning in Paris, France, including initiatives on knowledge societies, primary education decentralization policies, youth program on climate change, and lifelong learning. She holds a PhD in sociology from the New School for Social Research, New York, MA in International Education from New York University and BA/BS in International Business from the American University. Dr. Emeran is the author of New Generation Political Activism in Ukraine 2000–2014 (Routledge, 2018) and a book chapter titled “The March for Our Lives Movement in the USA: Generational Change and the Personalization of Protest” (When Students Protest: Secondary and High Schools, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2021).

Shaelynn Farnsworth is the News Literacy Project’s director of educator network expansion. Shaelynn has over 20 years of experience in education. She spent the first part of her career as a high school English teacher in Conrad, Iowa, where she reimagined teaching and learning in her classroom and became a leader in the convergence between literacy and technology. Shaelynn focused on developing student skills in information consumption, creating innovative ways for students to demonstrate understanding, and inspiring healthy skepticism in the digital age. She was recruited by a regional state education agency in Iowa, where she was a school improvement consultant for seven years. Shaelynn supported districts throughout Iowa in the areas of literacy, technology, AIW, and systemic change. She was a member of the state’s literacy, social studies, and technology leadership teams. Shaelynn holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa.

Carolyn Foote is a former district librarian in Austin, Texas and now a free range librarian and consultant.  Honored as a White House Champion of Change in 2013, and with the AASL Library Collaboration Award in 2019, she focuses on collaboration, information literacy, library design and advocacy for libraries. She has written for numerous publications including School Library Journal, and frequently presents at conferences like ISTE and ALA.  Her blog is Not So Distant Future.( and she can be found on Twitter @technolibrary.

Katrina Ford is a Senior Librarian with the Anaheim Public Mobile Library Services Team. She has been working in youth services, mobile libraries, and the outreach field for the last seven years specializing in youth programming, partnership creation,  and grant writing. Before becoming a librarian, she was a credentialed elementary and middle school teacher specializing in the sciences, math, and music. When not overseeing the day to day operations of the Mobile Library and the STEAM Adventures program, she enjoys reading, writing, exploring new places around Southern California, and spoiling her kitties – Symphony, Queen Tabitha Tomisina Gwendolyn, and Shadow – and Maggie Poochea del Hound - her dog who thinks she’s one of the cats.

Amy Hermon has been a school librarian in the Metro Detroit area for 15 years. She is the creator and host of the School Librarians United Podcast, with a listening community across the United States and 114 countries. In her podcast, Hermon interviews school librarians throughout her community of listeners. 

Amanda Hunt, aka TheNextGenLibrarian, is a middle school librarian, with a decade of experience at both elementary and secondary campuses. She is currently chair of the TLA Mavericks Graphic Novel Reading List Committee, and co-chair for TxASL Talks Editorial Board. This past TLA TxASL MVP 2021 Honoree and voracious reader has certifications in multiple #edtech tools. Visit her website: and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat @thenextgenlibrarian.

Charise Mericle Harper has written more than 50 books for children, including the Crafty Cat, Fashion Kitty, and "Just Grace" series, and The Good For Nothing Button. Charise is excited and slightly nervous to share Bad Sister with the world. It’s not easy to admit you were bad, even if now you are very, very good. 

Dustin Hensley is the library media specialist at Elizabethton (TN) High School, and an adjunct professor in the School Librarianship program at East Tennessee State University. He was named a Library Journal 2021 Movers and Shaker for his role in developing a growth mindset in students and nurturing student voice. 

Jess deCourcy Hinds and her students have been dismantling Dewey for over a decade, presenting their research at conferences such as ACRL/NY (Association of College and Research Librarian) and LACUNY (The Library Association of the City University of NY). Hinds has also spoken about Dewey on NPR and WNYC's "On the Media." Her essay, "Oh Dewey Where Would You Put Me?" appeared in the New York Times "Modern Love" column.

Marva Hinton is a freelance journalist who primarily covers issues related to education and equity. She's also a contributing editor for Edutopia, an online publication for teachers and school administrators. Marva hosts the ReadMore Podcast, an interview show that primarily features authors of color. She lives with her family in South Florida.

Sandra Hughes-Hassell is a Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science and a Past President of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Her research and teaching focus on equity and inclusion in youth services librarianship. She is co-creator of Project Ready, a series of free, online professional development modules for school and public youth services librarians interested in improving their knowledge about race and racism, racial equity, and culturally sustaining pedagogy ( Her most recent book is Collection Management for Youth: Equity, Inclusion & Learning (ALA, 2020). Prior to becoming a faculty member, she worked in school reform in the School District of Philadelphia.

Amanda Jones is the 2021 School Library Journal Co-Librarian of the Year, a 2021 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, the 2020 Louisiana School Librarian of the Year, and an AASL Social Media Superstar Program Pioneer. She is currently the Vice President of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians and a member of the AASL21 National Conference Committee. Learn more about her at  

Christina Joseph is an editor, writer, content strategist, and adjunct professor whose expertise spans race relations, immigration, education, healthcare, and government. She spent more than 20 years in the newspaper industry. A graduate of Spelman College and Syracuse University, she lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.

David Kelsey has been the outreach services librarian at the St. Charles Public Library in St. Charles, IL, since 2015. The 2021 president of the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS), he has spearheaded outreach groups for the Reaching Across Illinois Library System, System Wide Automated Network, and Library Integrated Network Consortium. Kelsey has been recognized as a 2017 ALA Emerging Leaderand a 2021 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, among other honors.  He received his MLIS from the University of Rhode Island.

Barbara Leilani Brazil Keys is an equity education specialist in Albemarle County Public Schools. She began her teaching career in public schools in Oakland, CA, and continued her teaching in Manoa, Hawai’i at a charter school serving Native Hawaiian students.  At Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, VA, she served as the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) department chairperson. In 2015, Leilani was named Equity and Diversity Educator of the Year in Albemarle County for co-creating a certification program for teachers implementing Culturally Responsive Teaching. 

Kelly Starling Lyons ( is a founding member of "The Brown Bookshelf," teaching artist and award-winning children's book author. Her mission is to center Black heroes, celebrate family, friendship and heritage and show all kids the storyteller they hold inside. Many of her books have won accolades including a Caldecott Honor for Going Down Home with Daddy, Geisel Honor for Ty's Travels: Zip, Zoom, Christopher Award for Tiara's Hat Parade, and Bank Street Best list for Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice & Sing Inspired Generations. You can follow her on Twitter @kelstarly

Kim McNeil-Capers is the Director of Community Engagement and Bookmobile Outreach at Queens Public Library. Kim coordinates system wide outreach and training for 65 community libraries.  In 2018 Kim received the Advocacy Award from the Third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) and in 2017 was Library Journal’s Mover & Shaker recipient known as the human bridge of connectivity.

Yehudi Mercado is a former pizza delivery driver and art director for Disney Interactive, and is currently a writer-artist-animator living in Los Angeles. His books include Sci-Fu, Hero HotelRocket Salvage, and Fun Fun Fun World. He is currently show running the Hero Hotel podcast for the PINNA audio network and writing and directing an original animated short for Nickelodeon.

Sara Lissa Paulson, school librarian, City-As-School, New York City has worked as a school librarian in NYC’s alternative elementary, middle, and high schools for over 22 years, and has taught future librarians at Queens College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies since 2015. She has degrees in Comparative Literature, Spanish, Bilingual education, and Library Science. Paulson has written for The Horn BookPublisher's Weekly, and has been a reviewer at SLJ since 2008. 

Kristin Pekoll is the Assistant Director at the Office for Intellectual Freedom. She is a former YA librarian from Wisconsin and a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan who happens to live in Chicago Bears country. She is the author of Beyond Banned Books: Defending Intellectual Freedom throughout Your Library published by ALA Editions in 2019.

Elizabeth Pelayo is the LRC Director and Media Specialist at St. Charles East High School, in St. Charles IL.  She is a monthly blogger for AASL Knowledge Quest and author of "Trauma Informed School Libraries: A Safe Space For All". She is a member of the YALSA Teen Top 10 committee as well as the Illinois Lincoln Award Book committee.

Rodney D. Pierce is a seventh-year middle school Social Studies teacher in Nash County Public Schools, where he co-chairs the district’s Equity Council. Pierce was the 2019 North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year and the inaugural Teacher Fellow for the NC Equity Fellowship through the Center for Racial Equity in Education. He is also a Fellow of Carolina Public Humanities, the UNC-Chapel Hill Southern Oral History Program, and the Public School Forum of NC’s Education Policy Fellowship. Pierce’s research on re-segregation of the state’s public schools through charters was published in The Washington Post in 2019. He has worked as an education consultant for the NC Museum of History and on the NC Department of Public Instruction’s K-12 Writing Team for the state’s new Social Studies standards and unpacking documents. Pierce has appeared on MSNBC's The Reidout and the Tamron Hall Show on ABC to speak about the teaching of American history in public schools. He currently serves on the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee and is pursuing a Master of Education degree in New Literacies & Global Learning at N.C. State University.

Seema G. Pothini is an author, national presenter, and relentless advocate for equity in education. Her passion centers on removing barriers so that youth can thrive in the educational system and not be marginalized because of some aspect of their identity, especially their race or socioeconomics. She relies on her lived experiences as a child of immigrant parents, classroom teacher, district integration specialist, adjunct professor, president of non-profit boards, youth leader, and numerous other roles to help fuel her work. She is also the co-author (with Paul Gorski) of the book, Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice and currently serves as the Director of Ally Management for the Humanize My Hoodie Movement and as an independent consultant with the Equity Literacy Institute.

Debra Quarles has more than 20 years of school library experience in both urban and suburban school settings. Concurrently serves as the head librarian at Shaker Heights Middle School and a library substitute for local library branches in reference, children/youth services and teen center. She is pursuing a doctorate at Kent State University.

Rebecca Tolley is a professor and librarian at East Tennessee State University. She is the Interim Director of Research and Instruction Services and coordinates the Sherrod Library’s research consultation service. She speaks and publishes on topics such as organizational culture, customer service, and cultivating empathy in library workers.

Andrea Trudeau, M.S.Ed., NBCT, and AASL's 2020 Frances Henne Award winner is a self-proclaimed no-”shh” librarian who is in her 24th year in education. She created and leads a welcoming and active learning commons. Trudeau is a doctoral student at Northern Illinois University in Instructional Technology. The focus of her dissertation research: the application of immersive virtual reality with middle school students as a means of embracing and extending Rudine Sims Bishop's "Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors."

Deborah Wei is a lifelong educator and community activist in Philadelphia  She helped found Asian Americans United in 1985 to organize low-income and working class Asian Americans; its victories include winning reform in the School District of Philadelphia for immigrant students and families, improving language access across the city, tenant and worker organizing, and stopping the construction of a stadium and a casino in Philadelphia Chinatown. She was a founder and founding principal of the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School in Philadelphia, which serves as a model for best practices in serving immigrant and refugee families. She has worked with a number of organizations which include the American Friends Service Committee, where she worked on lifting the voices of the Pacific region in US national discourse, and the Philadelphia Folklore Project, where she worked on supporting vernacular cultural forms as acts of resistance. In addition to Philadelphia, she has worked in schools in Hong Kong, New Delhi, India and in Los Angeles, California. Currently, she is a #TeachTruth campaign organizer with the Zinn Education Project.

Nelva Williamson was raised in Massachusetts in a small town of Buzzards Bay on Cape Cod. My parents were from the South where we visited every summer while I was growing up. I say this to frame the context of my life; being a Black girl in the North with deep roots in the South; I grew up loving history. My uncle taught African American Studies at FAMU in the 60s. He travel all over the world and I wanted to be just like him….the smartest person in the room! My family legacy is education. Being the great granddaughter of one of the founders of Morris College in Sumpter, South Carolina, going to college was in our family DNA. I graduated from Texas A&M University in 1978 when the quota for Black students was 100. In fact, there were more international students on campus than Black students. While at A&M I was one of the charter members of the Black Awareness Committee, the first Black organization to be part of the Memorial Student Center Network. We formed to advocate for Black programming to be part of the MSC and as a social outlet in a place that was often purposely socially isolating for students of color. I really cherish my days at Texas A&M, as they made me really appreciate knowing who I am, a proud Black woman. I have studied African American history at the graduate level at Boston College, the University of Houston, Yale University, and University of North Carolina. I have been an educator in the Houston Independent School District for 41 years. I taught at Sharpstown High School, Gregory-Lincoln Education Center and currently at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. Each school added to my teacher toolkit and strengthened my resolve to teach the authentic history of our diverse country. I believe that if students don’t see themselves on the pages of the textbook, it is up to me to bring the history to them. My way of teaching authentic history was not always appreciated but I did what I felt was the right thing to do by and for my students. I have been doing that for years, but it was during my 21 years at GLEC that I really focused on the rich local history of Houston and the Fourth Ward aka Freedmen’s Town. With the current laws that censor teaching authentic history in Texas, I have found a new push to not just teach truth in my classroom, but to raise awareness about the harm these censorship laws have on young people’s education everywhere. I currently teach African American Studies, Mexican American Studies, Advance Placement US History, and Advance Placement World History. I am the chair of our campus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee hoping to give the teachers and staff an opportunity to better understand underlying issues regarding race, racism and gender equality. I am the current campus representative for the Young Women’s Preparatory Network Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Professionally I am an active member in Houston Area Association of Black School Educators, Texas State Teachers Association, National Education Association, Houston Federation of Teachers and Texas Federation of Teachers. I am also an active participant with the Zinn Education Project which has led me to be featured in articles with ABC News online, School Library Journal, The Guardian, Huffington Post online, Houston Matters and National Public Radio. Additionally, I have shared my love of history with the greater Houston community by being the keynote speaker for Shell Houston’s Juneteenth program (2021). I was co-director for the Summer Workshop for African American Texas History 2021 (SWATH) which focused on censorship laws in Texas’ history and civic classrooms and restrictive changes to voting rights in Texas. I am the proud mother of sons Eric, Artis and Timothy and the co-parent of three awesome adult stepchildren Corey, Isaac Andrew and J’nae, as well as the grandmother of ten fabulous grandchildren.

Kelly Vikstrom-Hoyt is the Director of Library Services at The Overlake School, an independent school for grades 5-12 in Redmond, Washington. She has worked in libraries since she rejected working in the field of her major: applied math. She began her career in the footsteps of greats like Margaret Edwards and Deborah Taylor at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD before transitioning to a career in secondary school libraries. She won the 2021 Educator of the Year award from the News Literacy Project and has dubbed herself the News/Information Literacy Ninja.

Cathy Zimmerman started her library career at Scott County Library 15 years ago working as a bookmobile and branch substitute. The bookmobile service grew under her leadership to serve rural communities and the local school district as well as early childhood centers and daycare programs. Senior outreach provides programming to two senior facilities for independent/assisted living and memory care units. A member of the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS). Zimmerman received the ABOS 2020 John Philip Excellence in Outreach and the RUSA 2021 Exceptional Service Award. 



Platinum Sponsors  




Gold Sponsors  




Silver Sponsors



Booth Sponsors




We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing