Do you need some suggestions on important ideas to talk about with your legislators and other stakeholders? We have them right here! Remember: Legislative Day is Feb. 22. If you can’t attend in person, send an email to be sure your legislator knows about the important work you are doing in libraries!!
The Minnesota Library Association (MLA) and the Information
and Technology Educators of Minnesota (ITEM) support state funding for the following programs that sustain library services in Minnesota:
CMLE continues to serve as your sources for news around the profession. There are a lot of changes happening nationally that affect libraries, and library activities and missions. We are sharing information from our professional organizations with you to help you sort through ideas for yourself, and to have professional information to share with your stakeholders.
Sharing information freely, and understanding the value of valid and reliable resources as part of information literacy, are cornerstones of our professional work. These are issues we deal with every day in the library. Any changes to these core ideas are a problem for us, and we want to be able to address them.
People sometimes ask what kinds of things would be appropriate topics for library advocacy. Certainly anything you feel impacts your work in libraries, or libraries across the country, would be very appropriate to discuss! You should feel empowered to talk with your legislators (local, state, and federal) to share your experiences and your views. (If you want to practice an elevator speech, or having another set of eyes look at an email draft – CMLE is here to help you!)
“At the MLA conference in Duluth we recorded two sessions which are now available free to members. These are the first of several webinars that will be made available to members over the course of the year. Some of these may be recording other MLA events such as the keynote at PLD or ARLD day and may expand to specific continuing education events that will be happening around our state. In most cases these continuing education events will be both in-person and online events. The brand new Continuing Education Committee is currently examining topics, locations and methods to bring these events to MLA members. This will be an additional opportunity for members to present outside of the conference. This new initiative for our members is very much in the planning stage so stay tuned!”
More with Less: Project Management for Beginners – Listen Now!
Speakers: Kelly McBride, Director, Osceola Public Library and Anthony Molaro, Ph.D., Professor, St. Catherine’s University
BiblioTech – Bringing the Library to the Public– Listen Now! Laura Cole, Administrator, BiblioTech
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
Ideally, you are able to attend a library conference of some form at least once a year. If you have a job that counts on you staying up-to-date, a conference is a great way to sharpen your skill set. I understand that professional development dollars are tight, but think beyond the dollars for a moment. Faced with incredibly big jobs, high work expectations beyond what we thought possible, and a world of fast-paced change, why go to a MN library conference?
Here are myTop 10 Reasons to Register for the ITEM or MLA Fall Conferences Now….
You have an excuse to buy a cool outfit, a new pair of shoes, or gasp…a new bag (even though you have hundreds)
Informal conversations: Whether it be at a lunch table, in the commons area between sessions, or over cocktails at happy hour, a conference is an excellent place to figure out what your peers are worried about, working on, and thinking about. Be brave, strike up a conversation! You can save yourself a ton of time and work by talking to others who will share.
Bags: While in the exhibit area, you have the opportunity to collect yet more bags for your collection of hundreds; some that include cat portraits!
Free books: many companies are handing out free advanced copies of books!
Do you hate talking on the phone with sales people, but need some new products, pricing, or information? Bribe a colleague to go with you (for the free candy) to the exhibit areas, and plan ahead of time how you will exit any sales talk that has gone far enough. Tag teams rule!
Authors: Library conferences always include author talks, and we do love anything an author has to say!
Eyeglasses: Have I mentioned that librarians also love to show off their hip eyewear, and why is it that most of us are almost blind?
Keynotes: Conference planners think long and hard to bring in big names and popular folk that have appeal, and it is rare to be thoroughly disappointed, very rare!
Breakout sessions: There are usually so many to pick from, that you often have a hard time. Me, I intentionally look for the rooms bursting at the seams with people. I want to know what everyone is so geeked up about! If it is something I know very little about, I really should be there! Am hoping for a session on Cosplay.
The evening social event: You will have a blast and get to know the playful side of people. The multitype library systems (CMLE is one of them) offer fun events like trivia or literary games. Prizes and bragging rights come with the territory too! Did I mention free food? Can it get better?
What have I missed? What do you love most about conferences? Add it in the comments! Ready to register now?
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 on these two conferences alone, so go for it!
Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/o4jqtd7, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0