The K-12 Library Connection: Create Your 2023 Growth Plan

Create a professional learning plan to realize the impact YOU want to achieve in 2023.

New Year, New Plan!

We are all familiar with the proverbial wisdom that failing to plan is planning to fail. The new year is an ideal time to reflect on your practice, identify your growth goals, and create a professional learning plan to achieve your goals.

Not sure where to start? The Colorado State Library is here to support you! Follow these four steps to achieve your 2023 professional learning goals.

Identify Your Development Needs

In order to grow as school library professionals, we first need to identify our professional learning needs. In the often overwhelming and time-constrained climate of K-12 education, however, it can be challenging to pause and strategically assess your practice. Use the new year as inspiration to focus on your own professional growth.

Review each of the five areas of the Highly Effective Schools Through Libraries (HESTL) Rubric (Plan of Action, Librarian as Teacher/Guide, Leadership, Climate/Environment, Management) to identify your strengths and development needs. In what area(s) and skills do you want to grow in 2023? 

Select Your Professional Learning Activities

Now that you’ve identified your development needs, what professional learning activities do you want to participate in to address those needs? As you research options, consider your learning preferences, budget and availability. Some conferences offer scholarships, and this sample letter created for the AASL 2023 conference can help frame your request for time and funds.

Listed below are events and resources for developing your 2023 professional learning plan. And as new opportunities are announced, stay in the know by registering here to receive the Colorado School Library News You Can Use weekly email. 

Conferences and Workshops



Professional Learning Networks

  • Colorado State Library School Library Hotline listserv: The CSL School Library Hotline is a free service that provides a space for Colorado school library staff to pose questions and share resources. Moderated by the Colorado State Library.
  • Future Ready Librarians: This private Facebook Group is for educators interested in innovation, instructional leadership, student-centered learning approaches and improving the learning experience for all students. Moderated by educators selected by the Future Ready Schools Network.
  • AASL Member Forum: The AASL Member Forum requires AASL membership and is a space for AASL members to pose questions, share resources, support one another, and discuss current issues and trends in the school library profession.
  • Highly Effective Schools Through Libraries program: The Colorado State Library provides free, individualized support to all school library staff who express interest in earning a HESTL credential. Contact HESTL Coordinator Tammy Langeberg at to join the HESTL Spring Cohort  or to ask questions about the HESTL program.

Apply Your Learning and Reflect

Students win when we are curious about our teaching practices, apply new learning, and reflect on impact. Apply and reflect on what you learned. What new ideas and strategies helped you to better serve students, support your school community, and/or enjoy your role as a school library professional?

Share Your Learning

The school librarian role can sometimes feel isolating and sharing our successes is an important way to strengthen our Colorado school library community. Share successes big and small via the School Library Hotline, school-level and district-level staff meetings, meetings with your school and district leaders, and local conferences like CALCON23 and InnEdCO2023 (the proposal windows are open now). And let the Colorado State Library be your megaphone– please contact Suzi Tonini at to schedule a time to meet virtually or in-person to share how you are piloting new ideas!

Sign Up for Colorado School Library (CSL) News You Can Use

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Professional Learning Opportunities, January 2023

Click here to view program abstracts and registration/login information. Can’t attend the live presentation? Most webinars offer free access to the recording with registration.

1/7/23  Teaching Copyright K-12: Ready to go and it’s all free (Copyright & Creativity)

1/9/23  Making Digital Citizenship Meaningful (edWeb)

1/10/23  Cultivating Racial Equity and Inclusion with XR  (Association of Southeastern Research Libraries)

1/10/23  Recharge and Refresh with Wellness Educator Shayna Marmar (Public Library Association)

1/11/23  NCompass Live: Best New Teen Reads of 2022 (Nebraska Library Commission)

1/11/23  Simplify Reading for All Students (School Library Journal)

1/11/23  AASL Town Hall | New Year: Reflection & Goals (AASL)

1/17/23  TeachersFirst Tech Tools Smackdown (TeachersFirst)

1/18/23  Level Up Your Book Displays (Niche Academy)

1/19/23  What’s New in NoveList Plus? (EBSCO)

1/19/23  The Occupational Outlook Handbook: Information on Hundreds of Occupations in the United States (Federal Depository Library Program)

1/19/23  Body Positivity and Justice: Powerful Middle Grade Stories of Girls Fighting for Their Rights (Mackin)

1/19/23  Celebrating Creativity While Developing Critical Thinkers (Follett)

1/25/23  NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech– Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today! (Nebraska Library Commission)

1/25/23  Lateral Reading Mindset: Contextualizing Information Resources (Niche Academy)

1/25/23  Power in Art: Elevate Student Voice with Editorial Cartooning (News Literacy Project)

1/26/23  How to Really Reach the Latino Community (Colorado State Library)

1/26/23  The Impact of STEM Role Models and Mentors (National Girls Collaborative Project)

1/27/23  National NewsLitCamp: Trust and Credibility (News Literacy Project)

1/27/23  What’s It Really Like? Join the 2023 Mock Newbery LIVE! (School Library Journal)

1/31/23  What’s the Point of APA Style? Relevance of a Writing Style to Life After Graduation (APA Style)

1/31/23  Podcasting 101: Using Podcasts in Your Classroom (TeachersFirst)