International Association
of School Librarianship

28th Annual Conference - Birmingham, Alabama USA
"Unleash the Power: Knowledge, Technology, Diversity"

Conference Update: pt. 1, pt. 2

28th Annual Conference in Alabama: Unleash the Power! - 1999 Conference Papers

Birmingham, Alabama, USA
November 10-14, 1999

In Words and Pictures!

Unleash the Power: Knowledge, Technology, Diversity was the theme of the joint conference of IASL/AASL (International Association of School Librarianship/American Association of School Librarians) held November 10-14, 1999 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. It was the 28th Annual IASL Conference and the 9th AASL Conference. Approximately 3000 delegates from more than 35 countries attended the cosponsored conference, which featured workshops, seminars, school tours, a film festival, book discussions, authors and the Third International Forum on Research in School Librarianship. Countries represented at the conference included:

New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom

Lynne Lighthall (Canada) coordinated the IASL side of this yearıs conference.

The IASL Table at the Conference
The IASL Table at the IASL/AASL conference in Birmingham; Pal Svensson (Sweden), Reinhold Heckmann (Germany), Ulf Akerberg (Sweden), and Helga Visscher (USA)IASL delegates at the conference
Among the IASL delegates were Wilailuck Singtaipob (Thailand), Maria Tungatarora (Kazakhstan), Blanche Woolls (IASL President, USA), Lena Astapenko (Russia), Stanislav Bahor (Slovenia), Vita Mozuraite (Lithuania), and Kazuyuki Sunaga (Japan).Presentation of the IASL/Winnebago Award
Jenny Ryan (Australia) accepting the IASL/Winnebago School Library Media Award for Suzette Boyd (Australia) from Kathy Van Kirk (USA) of the Winnebago Software Company.Ruth Cady presenting the International Book Display
Ruth Cady (USA), Coordinator of the IASL International Book Display, presents the books to a representative of the Birmingham City Schools.Pal Svensson modelling a promotional T-shirt for the next conference
Pal Svensson (Sweden) models a promotional T-shirt for the 2000 IASL conference in Malmö, Sweden, for Helga Visscher (USA), the Organiser of the 1999 IASL Auction.Advertising the IASL 2000 conference
Scandinavian delegates at IASL 1999, promoting the IASL 2000 conference in Malmö: Gert Larsen, Sigrún Klara Hannesdóttir, Ulf Akerberg, Pal Svensson, Helle Barrett, Sonja Petersson, and Monica Nilsson.
The Opening General Session featured Dr. Maya Angelou, "a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature." She has received many awards and honors for her writings. Her messages asked us to explore within to understand what is around us, to be the rainbow of a childıs cloud, and since there is a poem for everyone, to help find a poem for each child. "Passionate and exuberant, Dr. Angelou is an ambassador to people worldwide; sharing lessons on the human spirit and what each of us can dream about, strive toward, fail at, endure, and still survive."

Sessions in the Third International Forum on Research in School Librarianship included presentations by Joy McGregor (USA/Canada) "Implementing Flexible Scheduling in Elementary School Libraries", Penny Moore (New Zealand/UK) "Revealing Thinking: Teachers Working Together on Information Literacy", Anne Clyde (Iceland/Australia) "The School Library Web Site: On the Information Highway or Stalled at the Carpark", Ray Doiron (Canada) "University/School Library Collaborations to Integrate Technology into Resource-Based Learning Activities", and James Herring (Scotland, UK) "The Use of the Internet in School Libraries: An International and Comparative Study."

Other sessions, presented by IASL members, included Karen Bonanno (Australia) "EdNA: Education Network Australia -- A One-Stop Education Web Site" and "Unleash Your Professional Edge", Eleanor Howe (USA) "Lead Your Library Media Center into the 21st Century" and "Turn on the Power! Teach Electronic Search Skills to High School Students", Joy McGregor (USA/Canada) and Lyn Hay (Australia) "Teaching and Learning in a Collaborative Electronic Environment", Mary Paulin (USA) "Information Processing: Michiganıs Plan for Integrating Skills into the Curriculum", Gerald Brown (Canada) "Global Perspectives on School Libraries", and Steven Baule (USA) "How to Create the Media Center You Always Wanted or Implementing Change through Facilities Design".

The 1999 IASL/SIRS International Commendation Award, which highlights outstanding and innovative projects, plans, or programs to serve as models for replication, was presented to Jenny Ryan and Steph Capra of the School Library Association of Queensland, Australia. They developed iplo (Information Literacy Planning Overview) as a planning document for teachers in primary, elementary, and secondary schools. Through practical applications of this work, teachers have felt empowered to incorporate Information Literacy skills, including Information Technology skills, into their units of work. SIRS provided a plaque and cash award of US$600.

The 1999 IASL/Jean E. Lowrie Leadership Development Grant was presented to Wilailuck Singtaipob, supervisor for school librarians in eight provinces of Thailand. She has led a pilot project "School Library Media Centers of Thailand" since 1993. The schools in this project use libraries as media centers to serve both teachers and students, teaching them to access information in many places by a variety of teaching methods. This grant enables leaders from developing nations to attend an IASL conference and is named for Dr. Lowrie, IASLıs first President and Executive Secretary.

The 1999 IASL/Winnebago Progressive School Library Media Award went to Suzette Boyd of the Methodist Ladies College in Melbourne, Australia. The award is granted for the implementation of innovative ideas to enhance lifelong learning skills for students. Boydıs Library and Information Centre provides a dynamic environment for independent learners, it embraces technological change and promotes reading. The library is seen as a leading innovator in independent schools in Australia. With a team of 14 library staff, including 6 teacher-librarians, extended hours, and a wide range of programs and services, it is a model of practice in Australia and elsewhere. Kathy Van Kirk, from Winnebago, presented the plaque and check for US$400 to Jenny Ryan on behalf of Suzette Boyd.

The 1999 IASL/UNESCO International Book Project #554 was awarded to four schools this year. The purpose of the award is to provide funds to purchase books for school libraries in developing countries. This yearıs recipients are The Friendsı School in the West Bank, Palestine; Gando Secondary School in Togo, West Africa; Budha Dal Public School in Patiala, India and Isipathana College in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Over US$200 was donated to the UNESCO Project in memory of Gladys Caywood, who chaired that committee for more than a decade. The 1999 International Book Exhibit, coordinated by Ruth Cady (USA) was donated to the City of Brimingham Schools. Books were brought by IASL members from around the world to contribute to the exhibit.

The Annual IASL Auction was extremely successful this year. Helga Visscher (USA) organized the donated items allowing for three days of Silent Auction and the grand auction finale with IASLıs Auctioneer, Gerald Brown (Canada). Money raised at the annual auction is used to support various IASL projects geared to members in the developing nations. This yearıs auction was the 11th Annual Auction and raised the most money ever at an IASL Auction with US$3000. Thanks to all who contributed items to sell, all who bid on items, and to the final donation of by Karen Bonanno (Australia) to round us up to the $3000.

This yearıs Assembly of Associations, led by Becky Knuth, IASL Vice President for Association Relations, heard reports from Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, the UK and the USA. The membership re-elected Peter Genco (USA) as Vice President for Association Operations and Diljit Singh (Malaysia) as Director for Asia/Pacific and elected Kazuyuki Sunaga (Japan) as Director for East Asia and Constanza Mekis (Chile) as Director for Latin America. All terms are for three years and will expire in 2002. Other organizational details include the introduction of evergreen memberships (as opposed to all memberships beginning on the same annual date) and a restructuring of membership fees based on the GNP of each country. Invitations/preparations for future conferences include Sweden, New Zealand and Malaysia.

The 2000 IASL Conference will be held August 6-10, in Malmö, Sweden. The slogan of the conference is "Do you read me?" The theme is Information Literacy -- Key to the Future. For more information about next yearıs conference, please contact Malmö Kongressbyrċ, Centralstation, SE-21120 Malmö, Sweden. Fax: 46 40 23 55 20 or email: The working language of IASL is English.

For more information about IASL, membership or services provided, please contact the IASL Secretariat, Box 34069, Dept. 300, Seattle, WA 98124-1069, USA. Voice: (604) 925-0266; Fax: (604) 925-0566; email: or visit our website School Libraries Online at

Reported from the IASL perspective by Peter Genco, IASL Vice President for Association Operations. Genco is a Library Media Specialist and Technology Team Leader at Fairview High School near Erie, PA (USA) and can be reached at

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