Conference 2016 Wrap-Up

October 5-7 was my state’s annual library association conference.  You can probably guess the state from the included conference logo.  As I do every year, here is a roundup of what I learned, albeit a week later than intended thanks to two back-to-back trips (I was back at my apartment less than 12 hours after the conference before leaving again!).2016mla-conference-logo

Wednesday was half travel and half conference.  My coworker and I arrived and set up our half of our parent institution’s booth then went to sessions.  Sadly, both were a bust.  In the first, the presenter clearly did not know how to use PowerPoint as he never put the slides into Presentation View and just clicked around.  We could not even read the slides to know what he was referring to.  The second presentation I attended has a misleading summary.  I thought we were going to learn about book clubs but it was a 10-minute advertisement for her specific program.  Thankfully, the opening keynote speaker, Josh Hanagarne, of The World’s Strongest Librarian fame was great!  He really knows how to entertain his audience.  I also bought and had him sign a copy of his book.  Afterwards, the vendor fair opened.

Thursday was busy!  The first session I attended was on personal digital archiving.  This session has a lot of great information about how to preserve personal and professional files over time, including addressing various threats to the files.  Instead of going into details, instead I will refer you to the website my former professor and one of her current students created for this project as it will provide more detail than I ever could summarize here:  http://pda.missouri.edu/.  After that session, my coworker and I presented on the services, technology, and new programs our library is offering.  As we operate state-wide, this is important information for librarians to know to better serve their visually and physically disabled patrons.  Following our session, I went to a session on marketing.  This session had a lot of great ideas, about half of which I have heard before.  As the ideas were graphics heavy, not much will help me in my current position, but my notes may be useful down the line.  One major tip to share from this session was a reminder to not use library jargon while marketing products and services and instead use the language the common people would know.  This is a great reminder as I think our profession has a whole, like many others, often forgets this.  After lunch with a group of colleagues from all over the state, I explored the vendor fair; sat in the technology petting zoo with our accessible technology to answer questions; attended the annual association business meeting; and attended the reception my graduate program provides where I both caught up with former classmates and professors and fielded questions about my library to current students.  When the conference day was done, my friend/bridesmaid went out to dinner so we could spend time talking outside of the conference.  Since I moved for my job, we’ve missed our monthly lunches.

Friday opened with the committee and community of interests meetings.  This meant the web committee on which I serve met and redistributed duties and planned changes for the coming year.  Afterwards, I attended a session on course reserves in the library.  It was interesting to see how this academic library chose what was included in their reserves, how they organized the reserves by LC number and not the teacher’s name as in most places I have seen, and how they managed to integrate the resources into their campus’ online learning system.  Following that, I attended the author talk by Laura McHugh, author of The Weight of Blood and Arrowood.  While I went to the book signing she offered locally in August, I wondered if I would learn anything new and I did.  She spoke more about her first book, for which she won an award at the conference, and about the publishing process.  My last session of the conference was the panel discussion my graduate program offered on librarianship past, present, and future.  It mainly covered the experiences the panelist have had and what they expect to see in the future.  It was interesting to learn more about the background of some individuals I am acquainted with and why they chose librarianship as their career.

While not conference related, after the conference ended, my coworker and I went to a local creperie.  I was in heaven after tasting the Nutella-stuffed and strawberry-topped confection I ordered!  Must return to that city and restaurant in the future!

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