Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 ILA Conference-Rachael Dabkey

Not only did I get to attend all three days of the 2013 ILA Conference, I was also able to volunteer some of my time to help facilitate the poster sessions on Thursday morning. Maybe it's because I've never been to ILA before, yet alone attend a full conference, but I left at the end of each day feeling inspired and enthusiastic about putting all of the ideas I learned into action. I was in the company of colleagues and even fellow classmates from my graduate program at Dominican University. It's times like these when I know that I have chosen the right field.
Over the three days, I attended 7 sessions, including:
  • Interactive Learning Spaces
    • I learned a bit about library space and a bit more about technology in the library. I even got to play with some cool tech toys, such as Sphero, a Kurio tablet, and Little Bits.
  • Turning Conflict into Collaboration
    • "Resolving conflict involves taking risk because you're showing your own cards." This session discussed the types of conflict, the root causes of conflict, and ways to handle conflict.
  • Toddler Art: Active Learning Without a Mess
    • This was a fun and informational session on planning and implementing a Toddler Art program in your library. The presenters provided us with examples and tips for doing a Tiny Tot and Preschool Art programs as well. These art programs incorporate four, if not all five, of the skills in Every Child Ready to Read.
  • Burn, Lexile, Burn: How to use the Common Core State Standards in the Public Library
    • This was the most beneficial session that I attended. I learned the background behind the Common Core State Standards and left with ideas for things that we can do in our library to further support these standards.
  • The Elusive Library Non-User
    • This session discussed ways to reach out to library non-users in your community, such as surveys both written and phone-interview style, as well as what you can do in house. One of my favorite ideas was from the director at Lincolnwood Public Library. She said that they made a graffiti wall for kids, where they stuck post-it notes to answer the following question: "What can't you do in the library that you would like to be able to?"
  • Early Literacy: What's it all About?
    • I previously had the pleasure of attending a STAR Power presentation by Saroj Ghoting, who presented this session. Although much of what she shared wasn't new for me, I still walked away with more terminology and a more fluid understanding of Every Child Ready to Read.
  • Supporting the Common Core State Standards and STEM in Storytime
    • This session discussed making your library space a language-rich environment as well as incorporating math and science concepts into storytimes.

I also attended a Makerspace Lab in the exhibit hall. I got to see a lot of innovative technologies that are being used in libraries, such as 3D printers and teaching basic computer programming to children. Overall, I had a great experience and look forward to being able to attend in the coming years.

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