Librarians Playground

Change display time — Currently: Central Daylight Time (CDT) (Event time)
Location: La Nouvelle Ballroom
Experience live: All-Access Package

Participate and share : Playground

Dr. Desiree Alexander  
James Allen  
Martha Bongiorno  
Ashley Cooksey  
Marge Cox  
Meggan Ford  
Ginann Franklin  
Ashley Gardner  
Sherry Gick  
Amy Hermon  
Kristina Holzweiss  
Cindy Hundley  
Jana Hunt  
Amanda Jones  
Namya Joshi  
Jennifer LaBoon  
Nancy Jo Lambert  
Elissa Malespina  
Dawn Murray  
Katie Pendleton  
Andy Plemmons  
Diana Rendina  
Kate Turnbull  
Chris Young  

Explore a wide range of relevant and hot topics in the world of school librarianship. Individual stations and presentations will center on digital resources, reading promotion, makerspace ideas, digital literacy and more.

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Library/media
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Digital Citizen
  • Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
  • Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.
Related exhibitors:
, Book Creator
, StickTogether Products


Dr. Desiree Alexander, Educator Alexander Consulting, LLC

Dr. Desiree Alexander is an award-winning, multi-degreed educator, speaker, and author. She is Founder CEO of Educator Alexander Consulting. She holds various teaching, administrative and technology certifications, including Google Certified Trainer, Innovator and Partner and Microsoft Office Specialists. She is a 2022 & 2021 Texas Computer Education Association Featured Thought Leader, 2020 International Society for Technology in Education Featured Voice, 2020 Future of Education Technology Conference Featured Presenter, 2019 Better Business Bureau Customer Commitment Award Honoree, 2017 40 Under 40 Awards Honoree, 2017 Center for Digital Education Top 30 Technologists, Transformers & Trailblazers among other honors. Learn more:

James Allen, Kentucky Department of Education

James Allen is currently the Statewide School Library Lead and a Digital Learning Coach for the Kentucky Department of Education in the Office of Education Technology. Previously he was a school librarian for sixteen years. James is an organizer and regular moderator of #KyLChat which gives librarians across Kentucky a place to share and explore new ideas. James is also a Google for Education Certified Innovator, Google Earth Education Expert, and a leader on the ISTE Librarian Professional Learning Network. You can find James on Twitter @TLJamesA and his website

Martha Bongiorno, Adobe for Education
ISTE Certified Educator

Martha Bongiorno is a school library activist and is currently serving as a school librarian in Metro Atlanta. She supports students and educators by pushing boundaries of traditional education to empower learners as thinkers and creators to make positive change in their communities. With her unique perspective from the heart of the school, she explores how the tapestry of learning is interwoven with literacy, technology, creativity, and student voice. Martha serves others as President of Georgia Library Media Association, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Master Trainer, a Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador since 2016, a Wakelet Ambassador, and an Adobe Creative Educator.

Ashley Cooksey, Arkansas Tech University

Ashley Cooksey(she/her/hers) is the Director of the Technology Learning Center and an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Arkansas. She is also a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher. Ashley is a member of the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media and is chair of its leadership development and public relations committees. She was awarded the Pat McDonald Outstanding Individual Achievement Award from AAIM in 2019 and the Technology Leader of the Year Award in 2021. Ashley was named an AASL Social Media Superstar, Advocacy Ambassador, in 2018. She is an ISTE-U Future Ready Librarianship course leader.

Marge Cox, Independent Educational Consultant

Marge enjoyed a 40 year career in public education and now works as an independent educational consultant. She is the author of The Elementary School Library Makespace: A Start Up Guide and has another book connecting books and maker activities scheduled for release in December, 2022. The books and maker activities for today focus on STEAM options. Come and enjoy connecting STEAM, literature and inexpensive actions you can easily put in place in your classroom. You'll leave with some small items to remind you of your adventure here and ideas to use in the upcoming school year.

Meggan Ford, Johns Creek High School

Meggan Ford is a librarian just north of Atlanta. She is a self proclaimed crazy cat lady and a huge lover of Saturdays with coffee and a good book. This past year Meggan's library program was chosen as the exemplary library program for the Georgia Library Media Association. In 2020, she was honored to become the Fulton County Library Media Specialist of the Year. Meggan is also a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert and Adobe Certified.Meggan Ford is a media specialist in metro Atlanta. She is a crazy cat lady who loves a great book and all types of technology. The Georgia Library Media Association chose Meggan's library as the high school exemplary library program for 2021. She was also the Fulton Count Library Media Specialist of the Year for 2020. Additionally, Meggan is a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert and Level 2 Certified Adobe Creative Educator.

Ginann Franklin, Currey Ingram Academy

Ginann Franklin is the Director of Libraries and Educational Technology at Currey Ingram Academy in Nashville, TN. As a life-long learner, she holds various certifications, including serving as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Ambassador to promote digital wellness. She was the winner of the Center for Digital Education's Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers award in 2016. This past year she began teaching a Digital Literacy class and loves to connect content with creative learning opportunities. She’s passionate about empowering students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers in order for them to thrive in an information-driven society.

Ashley Gardner, DoDEA- Elliott Elementary

Ashley Gardner attended Mercyhurst University where she earned a B.A. in Music Education and a M.S. in SPED. She has been working for DoDEA's Elliott Elementary since 2018, first as a music teacher and now as an Educational Technologist. She has been recognized as a Tech4Learning Innovative Educator and a Wixie Certified Educator. Her favorite thing about being an Ed Tech is that she gets to work with and empower everyone in the school from the 4-year-olds in Pre-K to the teachers and administrators who are nearing retirement.

Sherry Gick, Five Star Technology Solutions

Sherry is a Director of Professional Development for Five Star Technology Solutions. A former teacher-librarian and special education teacher with 20 years of experience with students K-12, she now enjoys working with educators across the nation on effective technology integration, solid teaching pedagogy, best practices in school libraries, STEM & computer science education, as well as Google applications and tools. She is a Google for Education Certified Trainer and an active member of ILF, ICE, and ISTE. Sherry is a 2015 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a former president of ISTE Librarians Network.

Amy Hermon, Royal Oak Schools

Graduate of University of Michigan and Wayne State University, Amy just finished her 15th year as a school librarian in Metro Detroit. Recipient of MAME’s 2020 Award for the Promotion of School Library Media Programs and building Teacher of the Year for 20-21. Named one of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers for 2022, Amy discovered podcasts could create a listening community even during a pandemic. As host of School Librarians United Podcast, Amy has interviewed more than 110 school librarians in 27+ states, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. 175+ episodes downloaded in all 50 States and over 129 countries.Amy Hermon has taught HS Social Studies for 9 years and has been a school librarian in Metro Detroit for the past 15 years. As creator and host of the School Librarians United Podcast, currently in its 4 season, Amy interviews school librarians across the US and around the world. With listeners in all 50 states and 125 countries, Amy strives to create a listening community and episodes inspired by listener suggestions. There is no greater purpose than providing a platform to raise the best practices, shared resources and advocacy for library programs everywhere and giving voice to school librarians.

Kristina Holzweiss, Syosset High School

Kristina A. Holzweiss is a high school educational technology enrichment specialist librarian She shares ideas and resources about her school library and makerspaces on her website Kristina was named the School Library Journal Librarian of the Year in 2015, a National School Board 2016 - 2017 "20 to Watch" emerging education technology leader, and a 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker. She is also the winner of the 2015 NYSCATE Lee Bryant Outstanding Teacher Award and 2015 Long Island Technology Summit Fred Podolski Leadership and Innovation Award. She is the author of "Hacking School Libraries" and Scholastic makerspace books.

Cindy Hundley, Gutermuth Elementary School

I have been an educator for 29 years, working as a third, fourth, and fifth grade teacher and academic coach prior to moving to the library. As the media specialist at my school, I work hard to implement literacy and technology at all grade levels. For the past two years I have served as a ScratchPals Ambassador, promoting the use of Scratch globally.


I am a librarian at Wedgwood Middle School in Fort Worth, Texas. I/m still having too much fun working with these amazing young people to retire.

Amanda Jones, Live Oak Middle Library

Amanda Jones is a teacher-librarian from Watson, LA. She was named one of EdTech Magazine's Top 30 K-12 IT Influencers to Follow in 2022. Amanda is the 2021 School Library Journal Co-Librarian of the Year, a 2021 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, and the 2020 Louisiana School Librarian of the Year. Amanda is the President of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, an AASL Social Media Superstar, and a member of the Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Committee. She is passionate about school library advocacy and promoting the love of reading. Find out more about her at

Namya Joshi, Sat Paul Mittal school

Namya Joshi is a Grade IX student at Sat Paul Mittal School, India. She is a Minecraft Mentor. Inspired by her own motto #EachOneTeachTen, she has spent the last three years designing and delivering free of cost coding workshops for more than 10,000 teachers, young people, especially girls, in India and all over the world, She has raised awareness about the social issues using game-based learning with STEM to provide and has spoken at numerous platforms such as KEOS2019 Finland, EduDays Microsoft, UNESCO, CONVOKE, Asia Berlin Summit, Adobe Education Summit on the power of STEM and game-based learning.

Nancy Jo Lambert, High School

Nancy Jo Lambert is a teacher librarian and a Google for Education Certified Trainer. She advocates for libraries by sharing the story of the learning that happens in her library. Lambert has been published in a number of professional journals, and was named the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Library Media Specialist of the Year and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Social Media Superstar Curriculum Champion in 2019. She’s the co-founder of #TeachPride and a #FReadom organizer.

Elissa Malespina, Union High School

Elissa Malespina is a member of the South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education and a Teacher Librarian at Union High School in Union, NJ. Elissa is an award-winning librarian and a Past President of the ISTE Librarian Network. She was recently named one of the Top 100 EdTech Influencers by EdTech Digest & a 2022 Mover & Shaker Change Agent by Library Journal.

Dawn Murray, Parkway South High

Dawn is a teacher librarian in the Parkway School District just outside of St. Louis, MO. In addition to LMS certification, she has a bachelor's degree in Secondary English Education and a Master's Degree in Secondary Education. She has a background in restorative practices and culturally responsive teaching and learning and 18 years experience as a classroom ELA teacher. She has presented for the New York Association of School Librarians, the Missouri Association of School Librarians, and All4Ed Future Ready Librarians. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @PSouthLibrary.

Katie Pendleton, Parkway South High

Katie is a teacher librarian at Parkway South High School in the Parkway School District in St. Louis, MO. She holds a Master's in Educational Technology from the University of Missouri and is a Level 2 Google Certified Educator. She holds teaching certifications in German, Math, Physical Education, and Library Media. Outside of work she enjoys traveling, reading, hanging with family, and is a beginner triathlete. Find her library on Instagram and Twitter @PSouthLibrary.

Andy Plemmons, Barrow Elementary

Andy Plemmons is the school library media specialist at David C. Barrow Elementary in Athens, GA and a Google Certified Innovator. Some of his honors include the 2017 AASL Social Media Superstar Award, 2016 Library Journal Movers and Shakers,and the 2015 NSBA 20 to Watch. Read more about his work at Twitter: @plemmonsa Instagram: andy.plemmons or barrowmediacenter

Diana Rendina, Tampa Preparatory School

Diana Rendina, MLIS, is the teacher librarian at Tampa Preparatory School, an independent 6-12 school. Previously, she was the media specialist at Stewart Middle Magnet School where she transformed their library and piloted their makerspace program. Diana has received several awards including the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award and the 2015 American Association of School Librarians Frances Henne award. She coauthored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace and is the author of Reimagining Library Spaces: Transform Your Space on Any Budget.  You can find her at and on social media as @DianaLRendina.

Kate Turnbull, Metairie Park Country Day School

Kate Turnbull is the Director of Professional Learning at Metairie Park Country Day School, an independent PreK - 12 school in Metairie, Louisiana. With over 20 years of teaching in independent schools, she currently serves as a librarian, instructional coach, and science teacher.

Chris Young, Metairie Park Country Day School

Chris M. Young is Director of Libraries at Metairie Park Country Day School in Louisiana. He has worked as a classroom teacher and school librarian in public, charter, and independent schools since 2001. Find him on Twitter @mrcmyoung.

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