MEMO Conference Summary: A CMLE Scholarship

The following was submitted by a CMLE Scholarship recipient.

Submitted by: Wanda Erickson, Upsala Area Schools K-12 Librarian

6:30 a.m. came much too early for this night person!  Two mornings in a row I grumbled out of bed to meet my ride (Deb Disher, Holdingford’s master Media Specialist) and beat the sun into St. Cloud.  You will all laugh with me as I jerked awake Friday morning at 6:20, my alarm set for 7, because Deb was to arrive at 7.  Some have a reading dyslexia; I have a math dyslexia.

But I try not to miss the MEMO Fall Conference and especially appreciate the multi-year contract in St. Cloud as it means I can attend more easily.  Thursday evening’s vendor reception allows me to scout out the vendor area, talk to the various sales reps and begin to place my name in drawing bins.  (Whom do I talk to about not winning anything this year?)

Buffy Hamilton, Cathy Jo Nelson and Marcia Thornton Jones jogged ideas through my brain.  Participatory librarianship = a BIGGER vision!  PR will not make you relevant; YOUR vision for how the library can contribute does!  Develop 23 Things On a Stick for students and call it 5 Things In Our Pockets (put jeans pockets or old card pockets on a bulletin board-kids collect laminated activity cards when they complete each task-master Flip video camera, layout a poster, read an ebook, teach another student to request a title).

Assisting Joan Larson at the book tables in the past has whetted my appetite for more.  This year I volunteered to help with the author visits and the book tables.  What a wonderful time!  I gathered information from the authors to disseminate to my public library staff, who invest Legacy funds in author and illustrator visits.

I am a Boomer librarian who is not transitioning easily to life in the cloud.  I ponder the definition of library.  Where do my libraries live and just exactly when did they transform because I missed it?  Can a Skyped author visit really encompass the same energy as a F2F visit?  Seeing Pat Bauer and Dave Geister in full costume cannot be reproduced.  And, perhaps, there is no substitute for ‘real’ experiences.  After all, I learned one can storyboard very effectively with post-it notes on a laminated piece of cardboard.