MLA Conference Recap

better_together_-_smallAs the legion of librarians descended on Mankato, MN for the 2014 MLA conference, there was excitement in the air. Several commented on how they couldn’t quite believe that they had physically disengaged from their workplace, but having done so, felt excited about two days of learning.

The event began with keynote speakers Tiffany Eatman Allen and Susanne Markgren. They focused on simple and painless steps to add professional development into (and change up) library careers. They engaged the audience in live polling, and offered a rich resource list too.

  • Their presentation includes ten professional development action steps along with the results of the live polls.
  • While the presentation is good, they also shared a wonderful pdf authored by Educause titled, Creating a Professional Development Plan, which is enormously helpful in many ways. It includes skills and values assessment check lists, which can help you focus on the type of job you may thrive in! It also includes helpful exercises in forming an action plan for further developing yourself.
  • Got a question you want to ask about your library career? Tiffany and Susanne are part of the Library Career People team, so use their web form to get their advice!
  • Follow them on Twitter: @LibCareerPeople

Other Helpful Conference Links  and Takeaways:


Session participants were asked to sum up the 23 Mobile Things program in one word or phrase.

  • “Refreshing, invigorating!”
  • “Much better than a poke in the eye” (spoken by a possible luddite!)
  • “23 Mobile Things keep you 23 steps ahead of your patrons.” That’s the idea folks….

Are you sad that you were unable to register for, or finish the 23 Mobile Things program last year? No worries, due to popular demand, we will be doing a second round of the program beginning in mid-January 2015. Now is a great time to get a strategy for securing  a mobile device so you can easily do the program. Put that smart phone or tablet on your Christmas list soon!