Make the Case

You know why you should attend the 2021 AASL National Conference, taking place October 21-23, 2021, in Salt Lake City, UT.  Now is the time to convince your administrator to provide professional and financial support.  AASL can help.  Here are suggestions on how to get your request approved and a sample email you can send to your administrator.

Let’s get started:

  1. Review the Schedule-at-a-Glance and last year’s program book. Outline for your administrator topics, events, or tracks that would be beneficial to your professional growth and your school community.
  2. Create a list of goals and find the sessions that would help you achieve them.
  3. Consider the networking opportunities available and explain the kinds of connections and relationships you will be making at the conference and how they will benefit your school/district.

Bolster your request by explaining the top reasons you should attend the 2021 AASL National Conference.

Reasons to go:


  • Are you a solo librarian? Explain how networking with school librarians from across the country will improve your practice for years to come. Most attendees develop lifelong relationships with school librarians they have met at conference and their support does not end when the conference does.
  • Who isn’t looking for better tools and resources to meet the ever-evolving needs of your community’s learners and educators? There isn’t enough time in the day to research, test, and apply all the new tools and resources available. Attending the AASL National Conference allows you to have conversations, brainstorm solutions, and hear real-life applications in school libraries.


  • There isn’t a comparative event for school librarians. With more than 120 concurrent sessions, 4 general sessions, the IdeaLab, more than 100 exhibitors, and many ancillary events, nothing compares to the 25 hours of professional development offered with your registration.


  • Where else can you receive professional develop at under $12 per hour? ($299 early discount registration/25 hours = $11.96)
  • Salt Lake City is a very affordable city to visit with a light rail system connecting the airport to downtown, as well as free routes in the city, and conveniently offers a wide variety of food options.
  • As an attendee you will receive complimentary coffee on Friday and Saturday morning and food vouchers to use in the convention center/exhibit hall.


  • This year has been tough, and burnout is rampant. Attending the AASL National Conference will recharge the educator in you and you will carry that home to be felt throughout your school community.

Still need help? See the email template explaining the benefits.

Email Template

Use the letter below as a template to ask your administrator to release you from work to attend and cover the registration fee for the AASL National Conference. Areas to be updated or personalized appears in bold orange text.


Dear NAME,

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference is the ONLY national conference specifically for school librarians and the unique role we serve as leaders, instructional partners, information specialist, teachers, and program administrators. This three-day event occurs once every other year and will be taking place in Salt Lake City, UT, October 21-23, 2021. The conference attracts over 2,000 school librarians from across the country coming together to share best practice, resources, and networking.

I believe that supporting my participation at the AASL National Conference will further my professional development, while the knowledge I gain can be used to advance our school community mission and expand learning opportunities for our students and faculty.

This year has challenged educators and I am excited to see what innovative and empowering practices have unfolded as school librarians across the country rose to the challenge of ensuring access to information. School librarians applied technology to transform learning experiences and found ways to encourage reading and literacy even when remote. This conference will speak to lessons we learned as we cared for our students and colleagues in physical, virtual, and hybrid learning environments.

Look at last year’s program book and list some sessions that would be of interest to you as examples of content.

AASL strives to provide an event that balances high value and low cost for attendees. Best of all you can attend with me for FREE! Any full conference registration offers a complimentary registration for an administrator (principals/asst. principals, superintendents/asst. superintendent, or curriculum directors).

I am more than happy to discuss this request and answer any questions you may have. I am confident attending AASL’s National Conference will have a ripple effect throughout our school. As my professional development and knowledge expands and advances, so do the learners we serve and educators with whom we collaborate.