iSchool offers first Midwinter Getaway for school librarians

School and youth services librarians will not have to wait until the next Summer Getaway for professional development and networking opportunities. Next month the iSchool is offering its first annual Midwinter Getaway. The event, which will be held February 16-17 on the Urbana campus, is open to all information professionals serving youth and builds on the success of the annual Summer Getaway.

Midwinter Getaway will feature "Best of The Bulletin Book Talk & Tasting," which will highlight favorite books picks of 2018, including award-winning Blue Ribbon & Gryphon literature and nonfiction for youth. It also will offer a three-hour interactive, professional learning workshop at the CU Community FabLab. Participants can pair the Midwinter Getaway with discounted admission to the iSchool's Center for Children’s Books (CCB) Pre-Sale on February 17. 

"Participants will gain exposure to the best in current youth literature and also have the opportunity to expand their library collection without breaking the bank," said School Librarian Program Coordinator Ann Ohms. "Our afternoon workshop with the FabLab will give librarians tangible ideas for designing maker-learning experiences and increase exposure to a wide-variety of low cost tools for their work with youth."

According to Ohms, Summer Getaway and Midwinter Getaway experiences are carefully planned after considering the feedback, needs, and requests of practicing librarians serving youth. She developed Midwinter Getaway based on a suggestion from Rebecca Kasten (MS '09), a school librarian at Westfield Elementary School in Champaign who wanted a weekend experience that mirrored ALA Midwinter but was designed for school and youth librarians.

"We are fortunate to have many in-state opportunities for professional conference attendance via the Illinois Library Association (ILA) and Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE); however, conference costs can be prohibitive," Ohms explained. "Individuals can attend both Saturday and Sunday of Midwinter Getaway for just $40. Both experiences also serve as a natural connection point for professionals to discuss the joys and challenges of work with youth and expand their professional learning networks."

Midwinter Getaway registration opens on Monday, January 28, and is limited to the first thirty registrants. More information is available on the event website.

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