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2017 Spring Conference Keynote Speakers
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Keynote Speakers


Heidi Hayes Jacobs - Sunday

Keynote Address:  Engaging Right-Now Learners in the Right-Now Library 

What are the possibilities for designing contemporary libraries that will engage our 21st-century learners?  Dr. Jacobs will share exciting examples of innovative shifts in learning spaces, furniture, schedules, grouping patterns, and curriculum designs that librarians and colleagues are creating to compel students to meaningful inquiry. 

Based on her new book to be released February, 2017, with ASCD and co-authored with Marie Alcock, Bold Moves for Schools: How We Create Remarkable Learning Environments.     


About the Keynote Speaker:  Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs is the author of twelve books and an internationally-recognized expert on curriculum design and creating modern learning environments. Her latest publication, Bold Moves for Schools: How We Create Remarkable Learning Environments, co-authored with Marie Alcock, is to be released by ASCD February 2017, and will be the basis for her dinner presentation.  Heidi has worked throughout the world with education organizations, state education departments, local school districts, software companies, and textbook publishers. In 2015 she received the MAIS award for her contributions to global education.   



Michelle Luhtala - Monday Luncheon

Keynote Address: Transforming Libraries in Transitional Times.

Solid ground is elusive in education, and most particularly in millennial librarianship. The moving parts keep shifting. Effective librarians must become adept jugglers to empower learners with innovative programing. There is no one recipe for success, but the ingredients may include any of the following: curating digital collections, creating makerspaces, implementing mobile learning initiatives, repurposing library spaces, blending learning, and promoting independent reading.

About the Keynote Speaker: Michelle Luhtala

Michelle is the library department chair at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, She has "webinated" monthly in Mackin's Emerging Tech community at since 2010. Starting in the fall of 2017, Michelle will teach online at both Rutgers University and Southern Connecticut State University. She was names a 2015 Library Journal Mover & Shaker. She blogs at 


John Schumacher (Mr. Schu) - Tuesday Brunch

Keynote Address:  Cool, Loud, and Everywhere:  Being a Reading Advocate

John Schumacher (aka Mr. Schu) is nationally renowned for his expertise in children’s literature and for igniting a passion to read. He will share his experiences in promoting a culture of reading among students, staff, and parents.


About the Keynote Speaker:  John Schumacher (AKA Mr. Schu)

John Schumacher (aka Mr. Schu) is a blogger, part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs. You could say every day is a giant book party for this teacher-librarian. In fact, Library Journal named him "The Xtreme Librarian" for the high level of exertion – and some gears and stunts – he uses to get kids reading, and Instructor Magazine named him a “Cool Teacher” for redefining what it means to be a teacher-librarian. John served on the 2014 Newbery committee, which named Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, "the most distinguished contribution to children's literature." He blogs daily at<>.

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