Monday, March 27, 2006

PLA 11th National Conference in Boston

As usual, PLA put on a wonderful national conference. I arrived on Thursday afternoon, 23 March, and still was able to attend a number of great programs and other conference events. This was my 5th PLA, having attended previous PLAs in St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Charlotte (presented), and Phoenix (presented). I attended these events in Boston:

Thursday, 23 March

1. WebJunction Reception--good opportunity to meet up with the WJ staff and their activities as well as get a photo taken with a larger-than-lifesize cut-out of George Needham, WJ's "I am curious, George" columnist.

2. Library Journal's Reception for the Best Small Library in America--hung around with new friends from Alaska.

Friday, 24 March

1. 8:30 - 9:45. "If the MLS Degree Needed for a Career in Public Librarianship?" Speakers: Michael Gorman, John Budd with Daniel Walters, moderator. Key quote: "There are activities going on in the libary where you need to be a librarian to carry them out." (Gorman)

2. 10:30 - 11:45. "Launching New Library Leaders." Speakers: Sharon Stack, Molly Raphael, Rebecca Teasdale with Joyce Sjoberg, Speaker/Organizer. Key quote from "7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave": Need for trust, need for hope, need to feel a sense of worth, need to feel competent.

3. REFORMA Northeast Chapter Meeting at the Boston Public Library. Loida Garcia-Febo from Queens Library chaired this well-organized meeting. Great to meet fellow REFORMISTAS.

4. 4:00 - 5:15. "Recruiting Public Librarians for the 21st Century: Lessons Learned form IMLS Grantees." Speakers: Mary-Carol Lindbloom, Bud Pierce with Hedra Packman, Speaker/Organizer. Key quote from Mary-Carol: Lessons Learned: "the Students are our most valuable resource!"

5. 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. All Conference Reception at the Boston Public Library. Wonderful venue, good company, live music, tasty food sampling (mashed potato sundaes, clam chowder).

Saturday, 25 March:

1. 8:30 - 9:45. "Empowering Library Staff to Meet the Technology Needs of Spanish Speakers." Speakers: Laura Staley and Yolanda Cuesta with Hector Marino, Speaker/Organizer. Great list of resources, including advice on gathering information on communicating with prospective patrons and developing culturally responsive programming. Spanish speaking patrons may prefer to bring family members to training events and gather in groups at workstations.

2. "Children Books and Cultures." Speakers: Oralia Garza de Cortes, Elva Garza, and Pat Mora with Rose Trevino as Speaker/Organizer. I made a quick stop to pick up material on dia de los ninos/dia de los libros.

3. 10:15 - 11:30. "Innovation Down Under: What's New in New Zealand. Speakers: Jane Hill, Sue Sutherland with June Garcia, Speaker/Organizer. Key coverage of libraries in Aotearoa-New Zealand that are innovative as community space, sustainability, and the destination library. All provide "extras that create ambiance to bring in new customers" and are "sources of nourishment and replenishment."

4. 11:45 - 1:00 p.m. Closing Session featuring Paco Underhill. His "signage triage" comment reminded me of Marvin Scilken's view on library signage--make them look professional. "There are distinct opportunities in the library where people are willing to absorb information."