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Teacher Librarian Day 2015 Recap

February 27th, 2015 was definitely a day for the record books.  The Denver Post reported that the 3.3 inches of snow that blanketed the already snowy Denver Metro streets broke a 103-year- record for the most snowfall in the month of February.  While the monster 22.2 inches of accumulation that Denver received in just twenty-seven days may tame the faint of heart, it didn’t stop the nearly 200 teachers, librarians, and educators who braved the ice, traffic, and slick roads to attend the 11th annual Teacher Librarian day hosted by TPS at MSU Denver and the History Colorado Center, making TLD 2015 the most attended TLD conference ever!

This year’s theme was Vital Viewpoints, which juxtaposed many talks, demonstrations, and presentations on a diverse range of subjects to see what new viewpoints participants would form by the end of the day.  The fun behind TLD 2015 was that every attendee would have their own unique experience that would drive them to make new connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.  Although not every topic was related, the idea was to build upon experiences and lessons learned to form new perspectives and insights-just like primary sources have the power to do with students!

Lee Ann Potter presenting at TLD 2015.
Lee Ann Potter presenting at TLD 2015.

TLD 2015 kicked off with a keynote presentation that was both near and dear to our hearts and theme.  We were thrilled to welcome Lee Ann Potter, Director of Education Outreach at the Library Congress, as our keynote speaker.  Lee Ann spoke to participants about the relationship between perspective and attention, and how both influence learning, by weaving an engaging personal story of inquiry using a variety of primary sources from the Library of Congress collections!  Lee Ann’s presentation was a favorite of many TLD attendees, one participant said, “I loved Lee Ann Potter because she made me think of ways I can use the principle of primary sources as a means to teach multiple perspectives!”  Another attendee expressed how relevant Lee Ann’s presentation was by saying, “She had information I could take back and use tomorrow!”

As with years past, TLD 2015 featured eight additional TED-style presentations from a diverse group of presenters.  Along with Lee Ann Potter,  participants enjoyed talks given by Michael Gavin, Kent Willmann, Alex McDaniel, Jeff Loats, Stevan Kalmon, Jason Hanson, and TPS  Western Region Director, Peggy O’Neill-Jones.  Although the subject matter of each talk may have seemed unrelated, participants found  connections and common themes between the different viewpoints shared by presenters.

 Here are a few of the connections made by some of TLD 2015’s participants:

 It makes me think about my background and how I look at things and my kids at school.  What I got out of it was that I need to be more  thoughtful about what each person brings to the way they learn, and what they can absorb when they are learning, how it connects,  and helping students know that you have to look at how someone else is thinking about it to understand the big picture.


 I’d like to do more social justice work with my students and many of the presenters and displays echoed that thought/theme.


Visual information is key to tapping into nonverbal learning styles!



New to the TLD format this year was the “Passport Breakout” tables.  We had over twenty tables placed throughout museum exhibits featuring quick presentations where participants learned about a diverse range of subjects from Using Google Drive to See How Students View Primary Sources to 20 Tech Tools to Local Issues, Local Government.  The breakout sessions gave participants a chance to stretch their legs, see even more of History Colorado Center’s exhibits, and network with colleagues – all while learning worthwhile practices and gathering new and helpful resources.



We closed the day with a very special Educator’s Night at the Museum reception where attendees were able to wander through museum exhibits, including the all-new 1968 exhibit, commemorate the day with fun photos in the 1968-themed photo booth and button making station, plus live music by the Silvertown Trio, appetizers, and refreshments.  It was a perfect ending to a fun-filled, action-packed day of professional development, networking, and primary sources!  What new Viewpoints did you take away from TLD 2015?


View all of our pictures from TLD 2015 here!