February 26, 2018 - Michael Salinger

ECIS Librarian Triennial 2018

Librarians are trouble makers.


Made from flower petals.

Sara and I have been wanting to get to India for years and our opportunity finally came this year. Last year when we were in Shanghai our librarian and partner in crime Barbara Boyer told us about the ECIS triennial conference. ECIS stands for Educational Collaborative for International Schools. This particular conference happens every three years and it’s for librarians – and collaborate we did.

Barbara, Sara and I presented on using performance poetry with students for whom English is an additional language. In the international scene English is often the third or fourth language these kids are acquiring – so English as a second language doesn’t quit cut it as a designation.  Our session went great, we had an engaged bunch of participants, but we didn’t expect anything less from a clutch of international librarians.

Sara and I have done dozens of international conferences but this one was truly special because of the breadth of locations from which the participants came. We have often said how much fun it would be if we could have a party where all our friends from across the globe could meet and interact. This was as close as I think we are ever going to get.  We reconnected with folks we have worked with from all over the blue marble. Bonnie and Miriam from Warsaw, Brooke from Serbia, Kate and Sarah from Jakarta, Bobbi and Barbara from Kenya, Terry from Zambia, Jeanette from Sudan, and folks we are going to be visiting yet this year, Sarah from Lima, Melissa from St. Petersburg and I’m sure I forgot some folks but you get the picture.


The conference provided transportation to and from events and for evening excursions.

We also got to meet a new librarian friend Jeremy Willette from the host school the American International School of Chennai – he was also the grand poohbah of the conference. (more on the school in my next post – we got to stay for the week following the conference and visit) One common thread that weaves through the hearts of all these folks – the open sharing of story and information. Librarians are trouble makers – they want an educated population – the most dangerous foe to those who would want to subjugate people is a critical thinking citizen. This is the goal of librarians.

And we got ourselves a bit of eduction – taking breakout sessions on graphic novels, PYP, research in IB, story telling, non-fiction writing as well as attending the keynotes by Mr. Shu and Shannon Miller. Jeremy put together a streamlined wonderful event including dinners out and shopping excursions. the only complaint I heard, and i heard it quite a bit, was that the event was too short – folks only wanted more!


A little getting down during the gala dinner event – that’s Jeremy to the right.

Of course – librarians are a demanding bunch who Kurt Vonnegut noted: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and destroyed records rather than have to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the media. The America I loved still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.

yep, librarians are troublemakers.

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“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
“Sara and Michael bring magic, and a contagious love of words to both students and teachers alike!” Georgia Heard - Author of Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School More testimonials...