On October 6, 2011, I presented at the Nebraska Library Association annual conference. I shared free online resources to use at the library. Approximately 50 people attended the 50-minute presentation.
Find the list of resources I discussed here.
Find It on the Web handout
Find the PowerPoint presentation here.
Find It on the Web presentation
I really enjoy going to conferences and workshops and look for opportunities to attend them. It is a great way to meet other people in the profession and to learn new things. Money is a factor; I would love to go to ALA annual or midwinter but both the membership to ALA and the conference registration are too expensive. I have attended the Nebraska Library Association annual conference twice and will attend again this year.
Speaking at a conference is something that is relatively new to me. Last year I participated in the New Members Round Table poster session at NLA annual. A coworker and I created a poster and presented our idea to a small group. It was a good introduction to presenting; it was low-key and there weren’t a lot of people there. This year I have signed up to present by myself at NLA. I am not totally comfortable speaking in front of a group, so this will push me out of my comfort zone and give me valuable public speaking experience.
As an aside, the New Members Round Table of NLA is sponsoring a resume/cover letter review session at NLA this year. You can have your resume and cover letter reviewed by hiring managers in Nebraska for free and meet with them at the conference to hear feedback about your materials. If you are interested, please contact me. My contact information is on my blog.
In 2011, I attended the Nebraska Library Leadership Institute at the St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, Nebraska. Thirty people from public, academic, and school libraries across the state were selected to attend the five-day Institute led by Becky Schreiber and John Shannon of Schreiber Shannon Associates. Participants were divided into four learning groups and each group had two mentors, experienced librarians that observed, guided, and advised the groups.
Each day, we completed interactive learning activities, listened to presentations by John and Becky, and participated in group discussions. Every evening, we learned about our mentors during Mentor Moments.
Highlights of the Institute:
- Learned about our personality/leadership types using the Enneagram model
- Identified strengths, weaknesses, ability to take risks, reactions to change, and self-limiting behaviors
- Developed personal action plan to overcome weaknesses and develop strengths
- Created vision statements, strategic goals, and funding proposals
- Participated in learning group to complete strategy game, case study, problem solving exercises, and creative skit
- Developed connections with people from libraries across the state
- Presented to a group of 40 people in a simulation of requesting for funding from city council and library board
Participating in professional organizations is an opportunity to meet people, develop professionally, and contribute your talents. Currently, I am a member of the Nebraska Library Association (NLA) and the Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA). Being a member of my state organization has been extremely beneficial to my career. At the first NLA event I attended, I met a woman who told me about a job opening at her library system; because of this conversation, I have the job I do today. Since then, I have been involved in the New Members Round Table and currently serve as their secretary/treasurer. This involvement has helped me meet new people and given me the opportunity to present at events. I am running for office for other sections as well. I have not participated in any MPLA activities because it has not been convenient to do so.
Recently, I have been debating about joining the American Library Association (ALA). The membership dues are higher than NLA and I am concerned that, like MPLA, it is more challenging to become involved. However, I am considering expanding my job search across the country and the conferences would be a great place to meet people from other libraries. Has anyone participated in the ALA Emerging Leaders program or in ALA? What are your thoughts on the value of being a member?
Just yesterday I had a conversation with two other young librarians about face-to-face networks. Has anyone participated in an informal “after-hours” library network? Thoughts? This could be a fun way to meet others who have a passion for libraries, to share ideas, and to help one another reach new levels in our careers.
The following is a booktalk I did in a 9th grade classroom. The teacher asked us to talk about books that would be interesting for students in 9th grade that were reading at about a 5th grade level. My coworker and I chose 15 books to booktalk, many of which were claimed by students by the end of the class period.
By Neil Gaiman
Coraline is bored. Coraline is so bored that she’ll do anything. She and her parents have just moved into an apartment. Below them are two old ladies that are of questionable mental state. Above them is an old man who keeps talking about his circus mice. Coraline likes to go exploring, especially outside. But one day it is raining. She is so bored, that she counts all of the doors and windows in her apartment. There are 21 windows and 14 doors. Out of these 14 doors, 13 open and close like normal doors. But the fourteenth door – the big, carved, brown wooden door – is locked. She asks her mother where this door goes. Her mother tells here that it goes nowhere, and unlocks it so Coraline can see that behind the door is a brick wall. That night, though, Coraline is lying awake in her bed when she hears a “creak”. Then she sees a shadow in the hall, a black shape that looks like a person. When she turns on the light, there’s nothing there. The next day, Coraline is still bored. When her mother leaves her at home alone, Coraline decides to take another look at that mysterious door. She climbs up on a chair and takes down the key ring. There is a cold iron key that must go to that door. She listens for her mother. She’s alone, so she puts the key into the keyhole and it turns. She stops again. Still alone. She slowly turns the doorknob and opens the door. Instead of bricks, there is a dark hallway that smells like something very old. She carefully walks down the hallway, until she sees something very familiar. The carpet is the same carpet in her hallway. The wallpaper is the same is her wallpaper. The picture hanging in the hall is the same picture that hangs in her hall. She looks around, confused. She couldn’t have gotten turned around in a hallway. Then she hears someone call her name. It’s her mother – only it’s not. The person standing there looks like her mother, only her skin is white as paper, she is very tall and very thin, and her fingernails are dark red, long, curved, and very sharp. And one more thing – instead of eyes, she has big, gleaming black buttons. “Coraline, we’ve been waiting for you for a long time.”