Photo credits: Geoffrey Baker and Dennis Wood
A frequent speaker, guest lecturer, and workshop leader, Valerie Gross, has delivered 100+ keynotes, workshops, seminars, and webinars, drawing the participation and input of thousands of professionals from all 50 states, and 59 countries from around the world, including:
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Would you like to learn about a simple strategy that will make you, your library, and our profession indispensable for centuries to come? Based on Transforming Our Image: The Education Advantage, this presentation explains how a growing number of libraries are ushering in a new era with this effective approach.
What are these libraries doing differently? They are repositioning their libraries as a key component of the education enterprise, alongside schools, colleges, and universities.
As libraries from all U.S. regions begin implementing this concept, they are finding that their inherent value is no longer questioned. They no longer need to constantly explain why they are important. No one looks at them anymore with a puzzled look, asking, “Tell me again what you do?” Instead, the library systems enjoy heightened respect in their communities and optimal funding. This is because they are now assigned the same enduring worth assigned to other educational institutions.
Implementing this powerful approach is simple. It does not require changing anything we do—only what we say. The strategy:
This game-changing vision has the power to dispel—permanently—all misperceptions. From the very words we use, everyone will recognize the true value of libraries. Just like schools, colleges, and universities, libraries are education—a timeless, economic imperative that merits immense respect and maximized funding.
Learning Outcomes. At the conclusion of this presentation, you will have gained the skills and confidence you need to describe your work and profession in terms that people understand and value. You will explore proven techniques to:
This presentation focuses on A+ Partners in Education.About A+: Launched in 2002, A+ Partners in Education (A+) is a comprehensive, formalized partnership between and among Howard County Library System, Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), and Howard Community College (HCC). The partnership improves student academic success.
Replicated in numerous jurisdictions across the country, A+ is successful due to key partnership components, which include:
In Howard County, A+ signature events include Kindergarten Here We Come!, Movin' Up to Middle School, the annual Youth Empowerment Summit (part of Choose Civility Week), BumbleBee, HCLS Spelling Bee, Battle of the Books, DEAR (Dogs Educating & Assisting Readers) Graduation and Celebration, Rube Goldberg Challenge, and HiTech Expo.
(To experience the excitement via video, a short video of DEAR is included in this March 23, 2013 Baltimore Sun article, and highlights of the 2014 HCLS Spelling Bee are captured in a short video included in this March 8, 2014 Baltimore Sun article.)
A+ has become an established element of Howard County’s culture. Since 2002, A+ has disseminated, 56,000 student and educator library cards, and facilitated more than one million interactions between HCLS Instructors and HCPSS and HCC students, parents, and faculty (Howard County's population is 300,000).
Available for any library to adopt, the A+ name and logo are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Learning Outcomes. At the conclusion of this presentation, you will be able to:
As lead organization of “Choose Civility, Howard County, MD,” Howard County Library System (HCLS) is honored to be the headquarters organization for all Choose Civility Chapters, which include Washington County, Maryland; Southern Maryland (Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's counties), Freeborn County, Minnesota; Portland, Maine; and Miami, Florida.
HCLS instructors teach students ages 11-18 the critical skill sets needed for 21st century careers. Attendance since the popular initiative’s launch in June 2012 has reached 5,100. HiTech’s curriculum comprises four modules: Interact, Improvise, Invent, and Instruct (the Academy), each incorporating progressively greater levels of instruction. The annual HiTech Expo showcases student projects. Upcoming classes include Genetics: Biology and Nanotechnology; Gamification; Advanced Robotics; Wearable Technologies; and Augmented Reality.
Leveraging the best technology, teaching tools, and experts to deliver a top-quality STEM education experience, HiTech incorporates an innovative methodology that blends instruction with experiential learning and peer to peer communications. A launching point for the STEM career pipeline, HiTech produces the next generation of brilliant scientists, mathematicians, and engineers needed in the community and nationwide.
The initiative capitalizes on Howard County’s advantage as home to a number of major STEM-oriented employers and higher education institutions, with many providing leadership and guidance as members of the HiTech Board of Advisors, including Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Mindgrub Technologies, Northrop Grumman, University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering, Maryland State Department of Education, Howard County Public School System, Howard Community College, and University of Maryland Baltimore County's Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology.
The Urban Libraries Council (ULC), a membership association of leading public library systems in the U.S. and Canada, named Howard County Library System (HCLS) a “2013 Top Innovator” for HiTech. In announcing the award, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton said, “On behalf of the ULC community throughout North America, I congratulate Howard County Library System for being selected as a 2013 Top Innovator. HCLS staff are commended for setting the pace for growth, change and innovation in the field.”