Wednesday, April 2, 2014

After the Conference-2014 Edition

It seems like March has been the month of conferences this year!  I attended both PLA and the Michigan Library Associations Spring Institute (SI).  If you are a children's librarian and live within driving distance of Michigan, it is definitely worth checking out.  SI is two days of concentrated presentations, author visits, networking, and more.

In a world of crazy scheduling, I did two presentations and 1 speech at SI on the same day this year.  Guerrilla Storytime took place in the morning on Friday.  At lunchtime, I got to present the Pletz Award (highest Michigan YS award) to one of my favorite Michigan librarians-Anne Clark.  You may recognize her as So Tomorrow.  While this is normally a fun award to present, it was made extra special this year as I actually knew the winner.  The list is endless as to why she deserved the award and I did talk for three typed pages with reasons.  I think one of the biggest, though, is that she doesn't realize that she is at the top of our profession, even with all that she does.

My afternoon session was spent presenting about how to use apps in story time.  There will be a post appearing on Little eLit in the next week or so with a link to the presentation and handouts.  While there are 68 slides, there is definitely some good stuff included, from good apps to use, promotion ideas, review sources, and research.  Plus, in one of my best presentation intros ever, I promised to have everyone out of the room in an hour as I had to get home to watch my Spartans in March Madness.

What else was great?  
  • STEM was a hot topic with two presentations that were totally different.  Even though we are doing a lot of the maker projects in our programs, by calling them Maker or STEM, we are using the trendy terms that parents look for.  It makes us look like we know what we are doing.
  • One library presented on their totally online family summer reading program that they run in conjunction with normal summer reading.  It is all blog-based.  What is neat about it is that there are many things that are tied into local community groups.  Since we know part of our job is to make connections, this concept really interested me.  While it is too late for us for this year, we are looking to start plugging away on it in September for next year's program.
  • David Lee King presented on Tech Trends in Libraries and the Emerging GenerationIf you haven't seen him speak before, he is definitely worth checking out.  In addition to really knowing what he is talking about, he also really knows this demographic and gave us really great ideas to take back to our libraries.  For example, teens like sharable computer screens.  Therefore, you should put your teen computers where you can fit multiple chairs around the screen.
  • Networking!  This was my chance to meet up with other librarians who I know online.

Thanks to all of the great information, I now have more ideas for my ever growing "to do" list.

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