Monday, October 28, 2013

Tues., Oct. 15, ILA Conference Highlights from Anne

These are highlights from my day:
· I saw the opening speaker that really emphasized the importance of having a positive attitude and surrounding yourself with positive people.

·     The first program I went to was about using volunteers creatively in the library to give me new ideas of how to use our teen volunteers this summer (tutors, book buddies, STEM programmers, tour guides, and more). They discussed the importance of matching volunteers with tasks based on their interest. One library had a referral program within the community, so they could match up volunteers with outside opportunities if they didn’t have something in-house that would fit. The best advice I received was to have a volunteer help me with some of the administrative tasks [one ILA speaker said some people actually like doing these] so I have more time to get to know the volunteers.

· The awards luncheon had the best and richest chocolate cake. If you weren’t there, I’m sorry you missed it. I really enjoyed hearing about other librarians' accomplishments in the field. It was inspiring!

· The second program was entitled Outrageous Outreach! I learned some about out of box ways libraries are engaging their communities beyond the traditional sense through flash reads, local discounts through showing your library cards, book cart drill teams, edible book contests, mini-golf library fundraisers, circulating American Girls, and much more.

· The third program was about presenting. The speaker, who formerly worked in the advertising industry, discussed how slides should have less text and more visuals. The speaker encouraged us to watch past TedTalks of Steve Jobs or Garr Reynolds to get good ideas on how to present. He also told us we should avoid Prezi since it makes people dizzy.

· The fourth and final program I attended was about Common Core and it was great to hear from other public librarians that are trying to figure out their role in this new movement. Two of the librarians were from Hinsdale and I talked to them about nonfiction selecting and some of the trends we are seeing in the publishing industry. I gave them my card in hopes we can keep this conversation going. They presented on many different topics including incorporating nonfiction in storytimes and bibliographies with Lexile, trying new STEM programming that goes beyond our comfort zone, like gaming and Makerbots, beefing up certain areas of the libraries’ nonfiction collection, including folk tales, literature, math, and other areas.  

As always, it was so great to be able to go to ILA Annual Conference and learn from the other librarians from around the state.

~ Anne Bensfield, Youth Services Librarian

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