Thursday, November 29, 2007

Phoenix Sans Sun

We're at the first stop of our trip, the School Library Journal Leadership Summit at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. Ironically in this land of almost unabated sunshine, yesterday was overcast and today it has rained cats and dogs. There is a flash flood warning in effect. The locals are thrilled, as they have been suffering a drought in these parts for the past eight years, but also apologetic to those of us who came here anticipating brighter skies. Last night, after a welcome reception at the hotel we were bused to Scottsdale for its Arts Walk, where galleries and jewelry stores hold open houses. It was pretty low-key, with very few people out and about, but our travel fatigue might have negatively influenced our impression.

This is the third SLJ Summit in as many years, the first being in NYC and last year's in Chicago, and I have been to all three. The SLJ folk have outdone themselves with this venue. The resort is lavish and we feel very privileged to have been invited to come here to learn about Evidence Based Practice and how it can be applied to school libraries. Today's speakers were a varied group of practitioners from academia, health care and architecture, as well as colleagues from our own profession. SLJ and the Summit's sponsors - Scholastic Publishing, Gale, Follett Library Resources, Capstone Press and Gareth Stevens - treated us to a delicious lunch today and abundant cocktail receptions last night and tonight.

Tomorrow we have a full day, starting with a breakfast speaker, then presentations of three case studies on EBP in school library programs, and finally a wrap-up by Dr. Ross Todd, who is always entertaining and provocative. mr. lo will investigate the spa while I attend to my professional growth. Sunday we check out and head for sunny (we hope) California and the real start of our vacation.

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