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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reasons to Attend the WLA Conference

Okay, here are a few reasons I am extra-excited to attend this year:

1.  It's in LaCrosse!  That's about as close as it gets for most of us on the western side of the state.  Not so many hours in the car, and prices for hotels and meals are reasonable.

2.  There's a free pre-conference that is a 3-hour extravaganza of Youth Services Information Exchange.  Our fabulous new state consultant for youth services, Tessa Michaelson, will be there, and I know this will be worthwhile, interesting, and entertaining:  "This mega-session will offer attendees the opportunity to share, show, talk, meet, and connect. Discussion topics might include collaborations with school libraries or local agencies, grant opportunities and success stories, program sharing within systems, and professional development on a budget."

3.  A chance to see two amazing children's authors:  Joyce Sidman, acclaimed poet and author of Swirl by Swirl:  Spirals in Nature and This Is Just to Say; and Pat Schmatz, the winner of the 2012 Burr/Worzalla Wisconsin Children's Book Award for her excellent book Bluefish.

4.  The Children's Cooperative Book Center is always there with a huge selection of books published in 2012--what a great chance to look at the books before you buy, find some treasures you might not have known about.

5.  A gazillion great sessions for youth services folks!  Wow!  Everything from book-related programs to creating partnerships with schools to developing quality programming that appeals to boys--and that is just a few, and doesn't include all the terrific programs that will appeal to everyone, youth services or not!

6.  This year, the WLA Foundation fundraiser looks like a blast!  Storytelling by some great tellers, Battledecks (where speakers are given a Power Point and must improvise a presentation based on the slides), and lots of chances to meet and mingle with your colleagues.

If you are considering going and want to cut costs by sharing rooms or rides, send a note to the youth services list serv:  youthservices @ lists(dot)iflsweb(dot)org.

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