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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WLA Conference

WLA Logo
I've read a few accounts of the WLA Annual Conference, and I have to add my accolades.  I have had a whirlwind fall with more work-related obligations than usual--I've been out of the office more than in, it feels like.  I wrapped up October with a much-needed family vacation, which was fabulous, but also meant I was out of the office even more!  And then I got dumped out of the family car on the way home from North Carolina for several days with my library colleagues from around the state.

Tending somewhat toward introversion, it was a bit of a stretch for me to go from 100% family-friend time straight to a conference.  But I found this conference to be one of the most inspiring, connecting ones I have attended!  Even though after the wild fall I was tired, and kind of longing for my own bed and 2 days in a row in my office, I also relished the chance to be around so many generous, kind, smart, and passionate colleagues. Ashley Bieber (LEPMPL) told me she thinks of the annual conference as being sort of like summer camp--a great chance to get together with old friends you don't get to see often enough, make new ones, and learn some cool stuff--and spending time on different turf with the kids from the neighborhood (yay for all the IFLS-area librarians who were able to attend!).  Would that I would have had a summer camp experience like that!  But I love the analogy.

I met some new folks at a Youth Services Section Meet-Up and while sitting at the YSS Booth in the exhibit hall.  I cheered on the River Falls Public Library (WLA Library of the Year) and the other amazing award-winners.  I hung out with friends from across the state and system.   I attended fantastic sessions--I left every single one with a nugget of an idea that I'm excited to implement:  Every Day Advocacy seems much more in my reach, difficult conversations a little less terrifying, aspiration-based planning a more realistic aspiration, I'm thinking about future presenters for professional development, and much more.  I truly applaud all the conference planners and presenters, almost all of whom are volunteering to make this happen.  Thanks for putting yourself out there!

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