2020 AAIM Conference


AAIM's 2020 conference will focus on empowering Arkansas' library media specialists to create a driving vision for their library media programs. Sunday is dedicated to students and digital literacy. Monday focuses on literature and our roles within the school. Tuesday focuses on encouraging leadership and developing a strategic plan to implement new learning. A popular addition from last conference, fair-style mini-sessions, will be presented on Tuesday. Mini-sessions give everyone time to celebrate and share ideas. AAIM’s annual conference is an excellent way to build connections with other teacher librarians in Arkansas, grow by engaging in quality professional development, and celebrate our successes and achievements. Make plans now to join our professional learning community for three days of connecting, celebrating, and growing. Click here to view for a full overview of our schedule.


Registration is $170 and includes membership, conference fees, and one ticket to Monday’s luncheon. Registration is live! Click on this link to register for the 2020 AAIM Conference and/or Preconference.

Can't attend conference but want to maintain AAIM membership? Click on this link for our membership form.


This Attendance Justification letter outlines the benefits of AAIM membership and conference attendance. It can be used by potential attendees as advocacy to attend the spring conference. Feel free to share this letter with administrators to justify why you need to attend the AAIM conference.


This year we are excited to host a Google CS First and Applied Digital Skills workshop Saturday morning. This workshop is a collaboration between AASL and Google with nationally recognized presenter and school library media specialist, Sherry Gick. In the afternoon, we'll hear from local expert, Cassandra Barnett as we dive into inquiry and how we can use the guided inquiry process in our libraries/classrooms to create a culture of authentic learning and student engagement. Lunch will be provided. Cost for registration is $45 and limited to 40 participants.

Sherry Gick

We are excited to have Sherry Gick facilitating our preconference morning. Sherry is a Director of Innovative Learning for Five Star Technology Solutions. A former teacher-librarian with 20 years of experience with students K-12, she now enjoys working with teachers, leaders, and librarians across the state of Indiana and beyond 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, AASL, ALA, and ISTE. Sherry is the former Chair for the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee, a 2015 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, and a former president of ISTE Librarians Network.

Cassandra Barnett

Cassandra Barnett will facilitate the preconference afternoon. She has been a school librarian for 40 years in both elementary and secondary school libraries. She is currently the Program Advisor for School Libraries at the Arkansas Department of Education. In her position, she provides professional development, promotes best practices in school library programs, advocates for school libraries within the state, and looks for collaborative opportunities for school librarians. She is also is a project leader for the Arkansas Declaration of Learning, a pilot project training teachers and school librarians in object-based learning.

Conference Featured Speakers

Olivia Van Ledtje

What Matters? The Future, It’s Me!

Liv’s work as a “book activist” has gone global and inspired her to understand her place in the world through technology creation and connected learning opportunities. In this keynote, Liv shares 5 idea keys that matter for connected learners—hear how these ideas have helped Liv #SparkChange. Learn more about Liv (better known as LivBits) on her website, TheLivBits.com.

Dr. Jeff Whittingham

Jeff Whittingham is a professor at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Prior to joining the faculty at UCA, Dr. Whittingham spent 13 years in the middle level classroom teaching grades four through six. He holds a B.S.E, M.S.E, and Ed.S. from Arkansas State University and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. Dr. Whittingham has published articles in journals of the International Literacy Association, National Council for the Social Studies, Association of Middle Level Education,.and the American Association of School Librarians. He is the co-author of Technological Tools for the Literacy Classroom and Online Teaching: Tools and Techniques to Achieve Success with Learners.

Stacy Smith

During Monday's luncheon we will hear from Stacy Smith. As assistant commissioner, a role she began in March 2016, Smith oversees the largest division at DESE (formerly known as ADE). She will speak in regards to Arkansas' RISE initiative and focus on the role of the Library Media Specialist supporting the literacy instruction that is taking place in the classroom (from collaboration with teachers to fostering a school-wide community of life-long readers).

Breakout Sessions

Applications to host Breakout Sessions are now being accepted. Please click on the link to fill out the form. Each year, we rely on the experts right here in Arkansas to share knowledge and expertise with us. Hosting a breakout session is a great way to celebrate your successes and help others.

Event Location and Lodging

The 2020 AAIM Conference will be held at the Hot Springs Convention Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas April 5-7. Our preconference will be held in the same location on April 4.

Our preferred hotel is Embassy Suites by Hilton Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. For reservations, you can click on this link or call (501) 624-9200. Our group code is AIM.


You are invited to attend to the 2020 AAIM Conference taking place April 5-7. The spacious Hot Springs Convention Center will host our annual conference that is expected to draw more than 500 educators from across Arkansas and neighboring states. Below you will find links to the 2020 Vendor Packet and Forms.