Tag Archives: MLA Conference

CMLE Scholarship: MLA 2017

This guest post was written by Violet Fox, Metadata Librarian at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University.

The theme for the 2017 Minnesota Library Association’s Annual Conference was “Radical Librarianship,” and I couldn’t have been more excited! I was excited to hear from library workers not only about the great things that libraries do for our users, but also how we as a profession should strive to recognize and address our shortcomings.

I was delighted to be able to present alongside some of my favorite library folks: Hannah Buckland (Leech Lake Tribal College), Tina Gross (St. Cloud State University), and Jessica Schomberg (Minnesota State University, Mankato). In our session, we talked about how centralization in cataloging often prevents libraries from responding flexibly to the needs of their users, and encouraged all librarians to argue for the value of local control in our standards and vocabularies in order to provide respectful and responsive metadata.

A number of MLA 2017 presentations gave me ample material to reflect on. Standouts included Safiya Umoja Noble’s session on how increasing reliance on opaque algorithms results in upholding societal inequity and oppression, as well as an interesting session from librarians at Dakota County Library (Christie Schultz and Lori Veldhuis) on their valuable project to make their world language collection more accessible and attractive to patrons.

Alhough I don’t do usability testing or user surveying in my job, the most exciting session I attended was “UX is Social Change: the Feminist Impact of User Experience Work” by librarians at Metropolitan State University (Christine Larson, Jennifer DeJonghe) and Hennepin County Library (Amy Luedtke, Tony Hirt). The presenters talked about how they use feminist principles within their work, in part by centering patron experiences and recognizing that patrons have knowledge and experience that we don’t. They also discussed their efforts to recruit UX participants intentionally, and acknowledged that it can be uncomfortable to have one’s design ideas critiqued. I very much appreciated the presenters’ unapologetic embrace of “disciplined empathy” in their work, and their presentation encouraged me to find ways to do the same in my own day-to-day work.

I’m grateful for CMLE’s support to attend MLA 2017 and I’d like to encourage Minnesota library colleagues to attend and present at next year’s conference!

Do you want to attend a conference or take part in some other professional development? Apply for a scholarship from CMLE today!

A Quick MLA Annual Conference recap!

duluth-bridge
The landmark Duluth aerial lift bridge

It is always great to meet library colleagues – you have so much to talk about right away! Going to conferences is a very good strategy for meeting up with colleagues; and attending a state association conference lets you put faces to the names of people you may be emailing with, talking with on listserves- or maybe did not even know yet!

This year the Minnesota Library Association’s Annual Conference was in Duluth, September 29-30. From everything I saw, did, and enjoyed there, I can say that a good time was had by all! And it was definitely a learning experience, with so many great sessions and presentations, and many opportunities to connect with people from across the state.

Do you want more information about it, or to see some of the events? MLA has you covered!

It all looks fun, doesn’t it?? Sign up for next year’s conference, which will be held in Rochester! Apply to CMLE for some money to offset your registration. If there is enough interest, we can rent a van and drive a group over one day! (Trust me: it’s ALWAYS fun to travel with library people!)

There were so many different sessions, looking at so many different types of libraries and library issues, it was impossible to see it all. No matter what you like to talk about and learn about in libraries: it was here! There were exhibitors, from assorted library vendors; all ready to chat with everyone about products and strategies to make libraries better. There was a poster session, with a variety of ARLD (Academic and Research Division of MLA) people presenting current research, professional activities, and things interesting to the members.

Our own Karen Pundsack, Executive Director of the Great River Regional Library, was part of a panel early on Thursday: MILE 2017: Leading for Life. This panel talked about the MLE’s Institute for Leadership Excellence, their experiences, and what new members might expect. Four librarians from the Hennenpin County Library talked about “Sustainable Social Media for Libraries.” Four librarians presented “50 in 60 Book Blast – Fiction.” Doesn’t this sound exciting? “Buckle up and enjoy the ride as we talk about 50 books in a variety of genres including: Scary Fiction, African Authors, Pretty Books, Books with a Twist, and Austenesque. It’s fast and furious, but always fun, entertaining, and educational!” Two people from the Washington County Library talked about “Coding Camp: Teaching Middle School Students how to Code Python with Minecraft.” A couple of libraries from the University of Minnesota presented “ReThink: Connecting Libraries to Metacognition, Student Learning, and Student Success“This is another one of those skills that extends beyond any specific library type, so it’s valuable for us all.

CMLE was represented in a great session on advocacy. “Library Legislative Process 101” was presented by Barbara Misselt, Director, East Central Regional Library and Jami Trenam, Associate Director of Collection Development, Great River Regional Library. “Library advocacy is for everyone, not just library directors and administrators. Join both seasoned and not-so-experienced library advocates at this roundtable to explore and share how we can advocate for library services for Minnesota citizens at the legislature.” This is such an important topic for all library people to explore, it was great to see it at MLA!

A diverse panel of people from around the library world presented “It’s All About Relationships: Build Your Best Diversity Outreach. Outreach to racially and ethnically diverse communities has always been part of librarianship, but in recent times has been moving from the periphery to the very core of what we do. “As more librarians learn the basics of social justice and community engagement, we need to push for ever-deeper, collaborative relationships with our patrons.” Jason Roy, Director, Digital Library Services, University of Minnesota Libraries presented on A New Look for Minnesota Reflections: Enhancing the User Experience. This presentation discussed the work done to create these customizations, including the use of the CONTENTdm API, the Blacklight discovery platform, and several open source image and document viewers. Remember our recent blog entry on libraries accepting passports? Marcia Anderson, Director, Grand Rapids Library, and a Representative, Customer Service Office of the Regional Passport Agency in Minnesota gave a presentation on the pros and cons of accepting passports in the library.

That evening, there was a social and networking event at the Glensheen Mansion! “The Minnesota Multicounty Multitype Library Systems and the Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth invite you to the Glensheen Mansion for fun, food, and networking. There will be guided tours of the mansion and grounds – including a rare peek into the family library at Glensheen led by Director Dan Hartman – chili buffet and a cash bar.” This was a very fun event, with a lot of opportunities to talk about history and libraries, to chat with people from all over the state, and enjoy learning the history of the house, the inhabitants, and all the household items.

duluth-crabby-olbills
Crabby Ol’ Bills: it’s a landmark, not JUST a good place to have doughnuts! (Though, it’s also that!)

What else happened? So many things! For more information look over the schedule and get some ideas about things you might want to learn about, or people who you might connect with from around the state. You can see all kinds of topics and learn about people who are doing things that you are interested in trying. Don’t hesitate to send an email to people who are involved in things you would like to know more about (politely, of course!). Conferences, and the after-conference discussions,  are a great way to learn about different ideas to try out for yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

MLA Annual Conference

MLA-2015-Conference-LogoThe 2015 MLA Annual Conference is fast approaching. This year’s event will be at the St. Paul RiverCentre on Thursday-Friday, October 8-9, 2015.

REGISTER NOW!

Search, Create, Inspire, this year’s conference theme, chosen by MLA President Maggie Snow, is an opportunity to showcase and share the work we do every day – searching for answers, creating learners, inspiring minds to grow and communities to take action! Other features will include:

  • Keynote and featured presentations by authors
  • More than 60 breakout presentations
  • Sessions tailored to your area of interest, including academic libraries, children and young people, Friends of the Library, diversity, intellectual freedom, government information, leadership excellence, paraprofessionals, public libraries, reader advisory, reference services, rural libraries, technical services, and trustees/advocates. View the Schedule now!
  • An exhibit hall with 50+ vendors showcasing library products and services
  • Hundreds of library professionals to network with

No Money? A CMLE scholarship of up to $200 is yours to use for registration, hotel, mileage, meals, or to subsidize the cost of your employer hiring a substitute worker so you can be away. If you approach your boss to say you have found a way to contribute  $200, they will know you are invested and have taken initiative. The application process is easy, CMLE would love to exhaust its scholarship budget this year, so go for it!

Finally, remember you can stay up to date with upcoming events in our events table.

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!

MLA Annual Conference

better_together_-_smallThe 2014 MLA Annual Conference is fast approaching. This year’s event will be at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, MN on Wednesday-Thursday, October 8-9, 2014.

REGISTER NOW!

Better Together, this year’s conference theme…, will focus on creating partnerships and building communities. Other features will include:

  • Keynote and featured presentations by authors
  • More than 60 breakout presentations
  • A conference-within-a-conference titled: We’re All in This Together: Strengthening Libraries Through Professional Development
  • Sessions tailored to your area of interest, including academic libraries, children and young people, Friends of the Library, intellectual freedom, government information, leadership excellence, paraprofessionals, public libraries, reader advisory, reference services, rural libraries, technical services, and trustees/advocates
  • An exhibit hall with 50+ vendors showcasing library products and services
  • Hundreds of library professionals to network with

 

No Money? A CMLE scholarship of up to $200 is yours to use for registration, hotel, mileage, meals, or to subsidize the cost of your employer hiring a substitute worker so you can be away. If you approach your boss to say you have found a way to contribute  $200, they will know you are invested and have taken initiative. The application process is easy, CMLE would love to exhaust its scholarship budget this year, so go for it!

Finally, remember you can stay up to date with upcoming events in our events table.