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Friday, December 7, 2018

Great Youth-Focused Sessions Included in Web Conference

Those of you who have been part of the Wisconsin library scene for a while probably already know about the Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference, and you'll be glad to know that there is a great line-up of 14 webinars for the 2019 Conference.  If you are new to the scene, welcome!  Hopefully you will find this web conference a great way to get some practical, relevant, and inspiring professional development without having to brave icy roads or temperatures!

All sessions will be recorded, and this year we are going to caption the recordings to make them even more accessible.

This year there are 3 sessions in the Youth Services Track on Wednesday, January 23.   I'm excited about all three of them, and hope you will be, too.

10:30 am:  60 Teen Programs in 60 Minutes with Linda Jerome, LaCrosse Public Library
Are you always on the lookout for teen programs for your library?  We will explore 60 successful teen programs that range from passive to massive, crafty to techy and silly to serious.  Register here.

1:00 pm:  What Makes a Great Children's Librarian?  with Marge Loch-Wouters, Loch-Works Consulting
You know them, you've seen them, you may even be one!  But what factors contribute to making someone a great children's librarian?  You may be surprised at both the universality of the answer as well as the specialized skills and talents that separate the ho-hum from the wowsers!  We'll look at nature vs. nurture; perception vs. reality; what top children's librarians say are the "must-haves" and the "definitely-don't-needs;" and reflect on getting to greatness.  Learn how you can step up your game at any time or place in your career (or, if you are a director, how to coach your staff) to achieve amazingness in youth work.  Register here.

2:30 pm:  Let's Talk About Race with Jessica Anne Bratt, Grand Rapids Public Library (Michigan)
This webinar will engage participants in thinking about their power and privilege in representing diverse viewpoints as a storytime instructor.  a self-reflection of the society implications of ignoring race and race talks and how it shapes bias for the next generation.  Participants begin by exploring their own storytimes and how they become more informed in encouraging caretakers to talk about race and model inclusion.  Attendees will learn about microaggressions and solidarity work in how our storytime power can be used to inhibit or advance equity and social justice in the library.  Register here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Getting Invited, Excited, and Ignited at the WLA Conference

WLA Conference 2018 logo, Excite Ignite Invite
Many thanks to Danielle Welch, Programming Specialist at the Prescott Public Library for this guest post.  Danielle is one of the IFLS 2018 WLA Conference Scholarship recipients.

A few pieces of advice for anyone interested in attending a WLA conference. First, plan on attending all of the mixers and ceremonies that are offered. You only have a small amount of time each year that you can visit with people who have the same passion for books, libraries and learning that you do. Jump in with both feet! Please do not be afraid to talk to people, to introduce yourself or give them your business card. People are there to visit and find out what you do, what works at your library or what doesn’t work. Sharing your experiences with someone who walks in your vocational shoes can create friendships through common experiences.

Second, don’t feel like you need to purchase all of the meals that are offered at the conference. Some of the best conversations happened spur of the moment or over a meal out with a group of attendees. Third, attend as many sessions as you can and take as many notes as you can without your hand cramping. There is so much great information that your brain simply cannot process it all at once. Reviewing notes later will help remind you of all of ideas and programs that inspired you!

Some of my biggest take-a ways from the 2018 WLA Conference:
  • ·       Do not limit the power of children and teens. Their power in your library and in your community is immeasurable. Children and teens can assist with programming, can make recommendations that will increase circulation, can be great community advocates for your library and can really make your job FUN!
  • ·       Libraries are offering more and more non-traditional events such as healthcare classes, memory care classes and in less formal formats. Think outside the box when it comes to programming at the library. It may take some convincing of patrons because of their preconceived notions of what a library should be, but eventually the community will benefit from this out of the box approach.
  • ·       Lean on your friends in the library community. They are a wealth of knowledge!
  • ·       Love what you do! People in your community can see that passion for your profession in the services, books, and programs you provide. If you are invested in your library and community, that can help build community partnerships and advocates for library.
I am grateful for the opportunity to go to the 2018 WLA Conference. The Prescott Public Library and our community will benefit greatly from the information I gathered. I would recommend that anyone in the library world attend, learn all that you can, bring it back to your community and hit the ground running!