Friday, September 25, 2015: PRE CONFERENCE EVENTS

11:00 am–2:00 pm: Guided bus tour of four Seattle school libraries
THE TOUR IS NOW FULL. If you need to cancel your spot, contact us at so that we may allow someone else to join.

Beacon Hill International School

Librarian Mary Thompson serves the bustling heart of this richly diverse International School with Spanish and Mandarin Immersion classes joining English to give this elementary library a unique window on the world.

Washington Middle School is a large 6-8th grade school where librarian Elaine Harger serves both regular and advanced placement programs and a significant ELL population. A recent roll out of KindleFire tablets to all students offers a case study in the challenges and rewards of eReaders in the middle grades.

Talk about flexible space! Garfield High School librarian Janet Woodward oversees a large recently remodeled high school library containing a glass-enclosed computer lab, a second open computer lab space, all surrounded by perimeter shelving, stacks, tables and casual seating.

A current initiative is enhancing the collection to support integration of fiction by authors from around the world, into the World Literature Curriculum for 10th grade Language Arts Classes.

Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences and librarian Kathleen Johnson have embraced the Library Commons model for this independent middle and high school in a bustling urban setting.

3:00–5:00 pm: Sponsor-led focus groups: An opportunity to sit in with your peers and SLJ Summit sponsors for an up close conversation concerning new products and offerings and product ideas. Focus group participants provide important feedback from the school and library community to the companies who create products relevant for your school, library and students. An option to sign up to be contacted for your participation appears on the registration form.


9:00–?: Casual late night meetup. Meet up with old friends and connect with new ones.

Location: Frolik (inside Motif Seattle Hotel), 1415 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101 (less than 10 minutes walk from the hotel)

*Please note that this will be a cash bar


Saturday, September 26


Facilitated by Joyce Valenza, Assistant Professor and Director of the Master of Information program, Rutgers University

9:30–10:00 am: REGISTRATION

10:00–10:15 am: WELCOME

Rebecca T. Miller, Editorial Director, School Library Journal & Library Journal
Matt Keller, Chief Marketing Officer, Capstone

10:15–10:55 am: KEYNOTE

Marnie Webb, CEO, Caravan Studios

About: Caravan Studios believes in the power of community. Whether you define community by geography, by a shared desire for change, or by a common set of skills, they work to deliver projects that are aligned with needs and make real change.

10:55–11:00 am: Special Announcement

11:00 am–12:00 noon: PANEL

Become Essential: Strategic Information Innovation in Every School – How the Pacific Northwest has taken a pragmatic approach to rebuilding and reimagining teacher librarians to meet strategic student learning needs.

Colet Bartow, School Library Specialist, Content Standards and Instructive Division, Montana Office of Public Instruction

Tara Jones, Research Technology Specialist, Bellevue School District

Jeani Littrell-Kwik, Parent, Bellevue School District

Mark Ray, Chief Digital Officer, Vancouver (Washington) Public Schools

Moderated by Mike Eisenberg, Founding Dean, Information School, University of Washington

Let’s face facts – school library programs nationwide have been steadily declining. Regretfully, school library programs and professionals are not deemed essential to 21st century schools. But, we KNOW that this is wrong, that information-content, services, systems, and skills-are the foundations of learning. It’s time to directly address this disconnect, to focus on the baseline information needs of students and teachers and be willing to question every aspect of library programs in relation to fully meeting those needs. This panel of Northwest educators will provide a clear action plan for teacher librarians to work with school administrators, classroom teachers, and information technology leaders to provide a systematic, comprehensive, and accountable library information and technology program that is recognized by all as vital to the major teaching and learning programs affecting every student and teacher.

12:00 noon–1:00 pm: LUNCH

1:00–1:30 pm: SPECIAL GUEST

Whole Child Initiative presented by Greg Benner, Professor of Education, University of Washington Tacoma, executive director, Center for Strong Schools

A unique partnership between UW Tacoma’s Center for Strong Schools and Tacoma Public Schools is giving teachers and students back time in the classroom and changing how they feel about going to school.

1:30–2:30 pm: PANEL

Smart Stakeholders

Moderated by Michelle Luhtala, Library Department Chair, New Canaan High School (CT)

2:30–2:45 pm: BREAK

2:45–3:45 pm: AUTHOR PANEL

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Susin Nielsen, author, We Are All Made of Molecules (Random, 2015), and Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mother (Tundra,2010).

Neal Shusterman, author of Challenger Deep (HarperCollins, 2015) and The Schwa Was Here (Dutton/Penguin, 2004).

Leslye Walton, author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Candlewick Press, 2014).

Moderated by Daryl Grabarek, Senior Editor, School Library Journal

3:45–4:00 pm: Special Announcement

4:00–5:00 pm: AUTHOR SIGNING

5:30–7:00 pm: RECEPTION


Sunday, September 27

7:40–8:10 am: BREAKFAST BUFFET

8:10–8:15 am: WELCOME

Rebecca T. Miller, Editorial Director, School Library Journal & Library Journal
Adam Lerner, President & CEO, Lerner Publishing Group

8:15–9:15 am: KEYNOTE

Perri Klass, author, physician, and National Medical Director, Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by integrating children’s books and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud into well-child visits.

Reach Out and Read serves more than 4 million children and families annually and builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning in infancy.

9:15–10:00 am: PRESENTATION

The Lilead Project

Leslie Yoder, District Library Services Supervisor, Saint Paul Public Schools (MN)

Stephanie Ham, Director of Library Services, Metro Nashville Public Schools (TN)

Ann Weeks, Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland and Director, IMLS-funded Lilead Project

Dr. Ann Dutton Ewbank, Assistant Professor and Director of the School Library Media Program, Montana State University

The Lilead Project is the first national effort to study school district library supervisors since the 1960s. Effective school library programs depend on leadership at the district level, but there has been little empirical data about the people in this position–until now. Additionally, the Lilead Project brings together supervisors to support one another and to provide professional development for this often overlooked group.

10:00–10:15 am: BREAK


10:15–10:30 am: Sabrina Urquhart, Manager, Students Rebuild, Bezos Family Foundation, Seattle (WA)

10:30–10:45 am: Seth Ciotti, BiblioTEC Librarian, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton (WA)

BiblioTEC STEM Programming

In 2013, Kitsap Regional Library pioneered BiblioTEC, a highly successful, transformative STEM learning initiative, with the support of community partners the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. BiblioTEC engages young learners of all ages with excitement, interest, and motivation in a project-driven connected learning environment. With the recent awarding of an IMLS grant, Kitsap Regional Library is develop systems to empower library staff to create a continuously expanding cycle of county-wide STEM programming. 

10:45–11:00 am: Priscille Dando, Coordinator of Library Information Services, Fairfax County Public Schools (VA)

11:00–11:15 am: Rising from the Ashes (Vista California) presented by the Teacher Librarians of the Vista Unified School District: Nancy Tubbs, Jennifer Stone, Denise Robertson and Ranae Mathias

11:30–12:00 noon: Closing Keynote

Wes Moore, youth advocate, Army combat veteran, host of Beyond Belief and author, The Other Wes Moore



September 26-27, 2015
Pre Conference Events, September 25

Renaissance Seattle Hotel
515 Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98104

Please note that there are no more group rate rooms available. To reserve rooms at the standard hotel rate, please contact the hotel directly at (206) 583-0300 or click here.

Reserve your ground transportation to/from Seattle airport at a discount rate! Click Here