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2021 ARSL Conference Program Descriptions

All times are listed in Pacific Time (PT). Convert to your timezone. Program schedule is subject to change.

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Session will be livestreamed      On-demand virtual session also available 

 

Wednesday, October 20 | 9:00 AM-1:00 PM | Preconference Workshops

Tools for the Good Life
What are your personal strengths? What are your community's aspirations? How does the library fit in with those two things? Using a set of practical tools developed and tested by rural librarians, you will uncover new ways to think about your library and community in this highly interactive and individualized session. The tools are based on findings from the Rural Library and Social Wellbeing research project. It found that little libraries have a big impact on the good life in ways that are beautifully unique to each individual rural community. In honoring your community’s strengths, potential, and wisdom, your library can facilitate the good life.

Hope Decker, Director, Wayland Free Library, NY

Backyard Explorers: Citizen Scientists in Training at the Library
Citizen Science is engaging the public in science research across the country, and around the globe. What is citizen science? What is the role of your library in connecting patrons as volunteers and as physical observation spots? Learn about the Backyard Explorers program to teach families about nature inquiry using fun videos and augmented reality (AR) logbook challenges. Then, we grab avatars to meet in the virtual reality (VR) expo hall to find a project and interact with real scientists. This program is designed for youth and families using mobile devices and home computers.

Nicole Colston, Assistant Research Professor, Oklahoma Water Resources Center (OWRC), Oklahoma State University, OK
Heath Stanfield, Assistant Branch Manager, McAlester Public Library, Southeast Oklahoma Library System (SEOLS), OK
Tutaleni Asino, Director of Emerging Technologies & Creativity Research (ETRC) Lab, Oklahoma State University, OK
Clement Abai, Graduate Research Associate, ETRC Lab, OSU; Ayo Ibukun, OSU, OK

Library Space: A Planning Resource for Librarians  
Do you need to improve your library space, but don’t know where to start? Do you need a renovation or new building, but haven’t got a clue about planning? The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners teamed up with Sasaki, an architecture and planning firm, to create a free, downloadable graphic guide for libraries. It provides a set of best practices that can help librarians and trustees kick-start your own planning projects by considering program and space issues and factors at play in the design of public libraries; learning to identify and articulate needs and make a case for a project to potential funders; and addressing small-scale space challenges on your own, without the need for outside assistance from a designer, furniture vendor, or contractor.

Lauren Stara, Library Building Specialist, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, MA

Wednesday, October 20 | 2:00-5:00 PM | Preconference Workshops

The Post-Pandemic Library: What Will Be Different?  
As we return to “normal” library operations, what long-term differences will we see in our buildings and spaces? Should we go back to the way things were before, or have we learned some lessons over the last eighteen months that can make our libraries better? Change is hard, and we are all looking forward to resuming our regular work lives. But some things about our libraries should (or must) be altered going forward. The shortcomings in our library buildings have been made very clear, and we have all been forced to be creative and resilient to provide library services at all. Before we abandon all the great ideas we’ve generated go back to business as usual, let’s examine what we should keep and what we should let go of. We’ll use principles from Design Thinking and the Innovator’s Compass as the basis for this process.

Lauren Stara, Library Building Specialist, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, MA
Kristi Chadwick, Consultant, Massachusetts Library System, MA

 

Measuring the Digital Divide
The digital divide and equity gaps exposed by COVID-19 will remain in the post-pandemic world. Data-driven decision making is key to addressing digital access gaps. Libraries must go beyond simply collecting information or learning tech skills. Library staff must be willing and able to access, understand and apply data to inform their work. Join the Urban Libraries Council’s Edge team for Measuring the Digital Divide, a workshop that will explore new ways to understand, map, and visualize digital access in small and rural communities. Discover how to use various data sources to calculate the three key elements that define digital access: broadband/Internet access, device access, and digital literacy. Learn how these three metrics can inform library decisions on procurement, staffing, and resource allocation such as the distribution of devices and hotspots. This instruction is informed by data collected from the Edge Assessment that helped ULC identify opportunities to build public library knowledge; libraries will not be required to participate in Edge to benefit. However, ULC will provide three months of complimentary access to confirmed workshop participants who are interested in completing the Edge Assessment.

Lourdes Aceves, Director of Edge, Urban Libraries Council, DC
Betsey Suchanic, Senior Program Manager, Urban Libraries Council, DC

Misinformation Escape Room

In this workshop you will test your wits in a misinformation escape room! How quickly can you solve puzzles involving manipulated media, social media bots, deepfakes and other forms of deception? This escape room was created in partnership with public libraries to fill a need for alternative types of programming to address misinformation. After playing the escape room, we will provide a brief presentation about this project and the results of a pilot study in rural and urban libraries. The second half of the workshop will be small group discussions to share experiences with misinformation in your communities, talk about programs and other strategies you have undertaken, and develop new ideas for libraries to combat misinformation.

This workshop is presented by the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington Information School, WA. Learn more at cip.uw.edu

Presenters: Chris Coward and colleague

Effective Staff Development on Any Budget: Learn Something New Every Day
Effective staff development doesn't have to involve expensive conferences, big-name presenters, or elaborate training software. Instead, libraries can support staff learning by providing regular opportunities for staff to explore new skills in a brain-friendly environment. In this session, participants will learn about key elements of effective learning design, how to make learning a priority, and how to identify which library problems require a training solution. Participants will have an opportunity to define a learning situation from their library and develop a plan with clear objectives and outcomes. Leave with free learning resources, suggestions for tracking staff learning progress, and an understanding of when to call in an outside trainer.

Tiffany Hayes, Director of Library Development, South Carolina State Library, SC


Thursday, October 21 | 11:00 AM–12:00 PM

Public Libraries & the Impact of Community Engagement
Many see the library as the center of the community, but it can also be one of the driving forces of the community through community engagement (and outreach). Community engagement can be something as simple as having a satellite branch to something more complex such as hosting library events all over town. A little bit of engagement can go a long way with increasing library use, forming trust, showing a vested interest in the community, training the community to look to the library in times of need, and expanding equity of access. This presentation will discuss ways the library can engage with the community and the impact and benefits that engagement brings.

Leah Price, Branch Manager, Oconee County Public Library, SC

Customer Service Matters: Killing Your Top 10 with Kindness
Do you or your circulation staff scatter when difficult patrons come through the door? If so, you’re not alone. Join us as we discuss how to provide better customer service to patrons while fostering positive interactions with our co-workers.  By reinforcing a "Service First" mentality within your library, participants will be reminded that all patrons deserve polite and equitable service. Participants will discuss navigating service expectations post COVID and collaborate on how to create their own “inspiration stations.”

Asti Ogletree, Operations Manager/YS Coordinator, East Central Arkansas Regional Library-Cross County, AR
Lori Hunt, ILL Coordinator/Cataloger, East Central Arkansas Regional Library-Cross County, AR

Cataloging & Technical Services Roundtable
Details to come!

If You Build it, Will They Come? Makerspaces Work in Small, Rural Libraries
Nebraska’s Library Commission led thirty-five small, rural libraries through a process that exposed their staff and communities to a makerspace through the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities Project. Makerspace equipment was installed, library staff and volunteers were trained, and soon the community was engaged in “Making.” The host libraries gained knowledge and skills and used the local interest generated to develop their own makerspaces. The panel will share their experiences related to gaining community support, drawing on new volunteers, integrating makerspace activities, and avoiding pitfalls. Although libraries across the country may not have access to a temporary makerspace, they can access templates and policies developed through the program to guide them through the process. If similar maker machines and kits are acquired, their trainers and makers can access the online training videos and learning modules.

JoAnn McManus, Library Innovations Studio Project Manager, Nebraska Library Commission, NE
Sara Lee, Library Director, Central City Public Library, NE
Jessica Chamberlain, Library Director, Norfolk Public Library, NE

Social Media 101
Discover approaches to social media that are applicable to librarians in even the smallest libraries and curated for simplicity. We understand that not every library has tech support. We also recognize that social media should not monopolize your day. This course will teach you the basics of Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. We will walk through what works for you, how to make it easier, and how to take the next step with your social media.

Sherry Scheline, Director, Donnelly Public Library, ID
Brooke Hartle, Director, Hawn Memorial Library, NY
Suzanne Macaulay, Deputy Director, Pioneer Library System, NY

Poverty & Privilege: Intersectionality of Race & Class in Young People's Literature  
How do our shared or differing cultural backgrounds affect the relationships and influence we have with our patrons or students? Two white, award-winning authors and former librarians/educators discuss how unpacking the racial and class biases of our identities better enable us to foster more positive and authentic relationships with the young people in our lives. Learn how examining power becomes a necessity in creating equity and equality for all, how to share these understandings with patrons, and how patrons can co-create these understandings for themselves. Leave with titles of children’s/teen literature to create springboards for understanding and action.

Christina H. Dorr, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty/Seminar Presenter, Kent State University Bureau of Education & Research, OH
Brendan Kiely, Co-Author (with Jason Reynolds), All American Boys, NY

Library Ethics: What Would You Do?
Public libraries face ethical issues all the time. This session aims to create open discussion about library core values and ethics. Borrowing the idea from a session at 2020 Public Library Association Conference, our program provides real library ethical scenarios, followed by a discussion with a panel of experienced trainers. We will discuss sticky situations when personal ethics and professional ethics differ. This is a highly interactive session; audience participation is encouraged. We will provide helpful resources and ample time for audience Q&A.

Gail Santy, Director, Central Kansas Library System and Great Bend Public Library, KS
Maribeth Shafer, Assistant Director, Continuing Education Consultant, Central Kansas Library System, KS
Patty Collins, Youth Services Consultant, Central Kansas Library System, KS

Thursday, October 21 | 2:00-3:00 PM

OurStoryBridge: The Journey in Our First Year
At the 2020 ARSL Conference our library launched OurStoryBridge; since then, communities across the country have used our free tools and assistance to create their own crowdsourced, community-building story projects that result in dynamic, individualized websites that collect and share three- to five-minute audio stories paired with photographs specific to each community. OurStoryBridge projects capture the rich history of communities, with a focus on recording older generations before their history is lost. These projects build civic pride and engagement among students to encourage their growth as involved community members. Get a manual, resources, and ideas to create a similar project at your library.

Jery Y. Huntley, MLS/OurStoryBridge Founder/Volunteer Grants Manager, Keene Valley Library, NY

Mental Health & Libraries  
[Supersession | 2:00-3:00; 3:30-4:30 pm]

Nearly one in five adults and one in six youth in the U.S. live with a mental illness in any given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. While libraries cherish our privilege to serve all, we often struggle in responding to our patrons experiencing mental health disorders. Learn to provide the best response to people having a mental health crisis, including advice on how to improve workplace policies and procedures from a librarian who is a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. This session will increase your knowledge of mental illness, equip you with techniques for effective communication and de-escalation, and provide concrete examples in developing or enhancing positive workplace policies and procedures surrounding mental health.

Taylor Atkinson, Executive Director, Union County Library System, SC

Being-the-Boss Burnout
Being in charge can be rewarding, but it does come with challenges. The demands of the library world have become more complicated in the pandemic, and responding to patron needs in the new normal can be overwhelming. Whether you manage a library of two or twenty, self-care and honest self-evaluation are tools to create a happier workspace for yourself, your staff, and your patrons. This interactive session will provide tools for self-care, proactive management, and battling being-the-boss burnout.

Lisa Cheever, Library Director, Blackstone Public Library, MA

Summer Reading Camp
The ability to read is a required skill no matter where you go in life, and yet many children struggle with learning to read and are falling behind their peers. Learn how one library created and implemented a Summer Reading Camp using small groups and focused child-specific planning to work with forty struggling readers in their community over fourteen weeks through a partnership with Save the Children. Discover how to help children become more confident, advance their skills, learn strategies when struggling, and find the joy in sitting down with a good book.

Jessica Leigh Nuckolls, Head of Youth Services, Orangeburg County Library, SC
Ashley Jackson, Holly Hill Branch Manager, Orangeburg County Library, SC

Curating & Maintaining Vibrant Collections for Users with Print Disabilities
Almost all libraries have materials for users with print disabilities, such as large print books and audiobooks, but are those collections being given the attention they deserve and are they serving as many users as possible? According to two recent studies, large print collections are a still vital part of library services, and their usage has not diminished in the age of electronic resources. Learn what users with print disabilities need and want, and how best to create and maintain vibrant print disabled-friendly collections, no matter how small or large.

Holly Hebert, Assistant Professor, MLS Program, Middle Tennessee State University, TN

Inclusion in Staffing & Culture
There has been a lot of talk in the past year about Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). This session will focus on the last part of EDI, which is in fact the first and most important step towards a truly equitable and diverse organization: Inclusion. We will discuss the meaning and importance of inclusion and look at a variety of ways to make inclusion a natural part of your staffing and culture. Join us for an interactive and practical workshop to help you attain your EDI goals.

Claudine Perrault, Village Librarian, Estes Valley Public Library District, CO

 

Shark Tank: Library Lessons from the Private Sector
Scrub Daddy kitchen sponges--a SPONGE!!!--was a 250 million-dollar Shark Tank success, catapulting its creator into the entrepreneurial stratosphere. What can small and rural librarians learn from entrepreneurs and the business sector? A lot! This presentation is designed to spark new 21st Century approaches to your library's services, from understanding the essentials of business plans and investor needs (i.e. your tax payers and donors) to differentiating your services and forecasting future library growth. This interactive session will help you ideate and pitch your library services to your community with "Sponge Daddy" success!

Elektra Greer, Director, Nederland Community Library, CO

Thursday, October 21 | 3:30–4:30 PM

Digital Stewardship & Community Preservation at Your Library
Does your library hold unique physical items of significance to your community? Have you digitized them and put plans and policies in place to ensure their long-term preservation and access? This session will preview WebJunction’s new, comprehensive set of free online courses designed specifically for small and rural libraries and tribal archives, libraries, and museums. We will walk through the digital stewardship lifecycle together and highlight material in the courses that can guide you with planning and policies, community-centered curation, digitization, and securely storing, managing, and providing ongoing access to the digital collections you create.

Dale Musselman, WebJunction Learning Manager, Webjunction/OCLC, WA

MiLibraryQuest: A Multi-Library Collaboration Project
MiLibraryQuest is a fun, virtual activity meant to engage and encourage tweens and teens to explore the websites of participating libraries. You too can create a Quest activity by following some simple steps and collaborating with other libraries in your region or state. Attendees will leave with tools to begin their own library quest for tween and teen patrons!

Cindi Place, Library Director, Bellaire Public Library, MI

Crisis Leadership: Moving from Reactive Survival to Proactive Planning  
As we prepare for the “next normal,” library leaders can hit the reset button and pivot from reactive survival to proactive planning through clear strategy and intention. Two library directors from small and rural libraries will share how they’ve influenced organizational change using the Five Cs of Crisis Leadership: compassion, courage, commitment, candor, and communication. This framework allows for nimble planning with formal and informal avenues for gaining fluid community and staff input while offering an empathetic approach to change fatigue and its effects on culture and motivation. Not a cookie-cutter approach to planning, the process can be catered to redefine purpose and priorities within organizational capacity to emerge even stronger and more relevant to the needs of our unique communities.

Krista Riggs, Library Director, Madera County Library, CA
Connie Urquhart, Library Director, Camas Public Library, WA

How to Grow a Seed Library
Learn how to develop a robust seed library with a very small budget. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of food security and gardening. A seed library is a great way to build food security in your region and increase access to fresh food. Planting a garden with saved seed is a roots-up revolution! The Banks Public Library Seed Library started with a few donated seeds that fit in a plastic tub. Now, a few years later, the seed library has 300 varieties, a digital inventory, and a loyal following. Thousands of seeds have been distributed to the community, and strong partnerships have been forged in the local food community. Participants in this program will leave with everything they need to know in order to start a seed library of their own: a materials list, budget considerations, digital templates, and a list of potential partners.

Susan Cackler, Library Supervisor/Programs Coordinator, Banks Public Library, OR
Lisa Power, Library Assistant, Banks Public Library, OR

Staying Curious: Harnessing Cyclical Inquiry to Affect Positive Change
Have you ever noticed how curiosity has the power to shift “crisis” into “opportunity” like winter shifting into spring? The seasons move in cycles and so does the process of change. The 5D Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry gives us one potential map for navigating that process. Join us as we explore the 5D Cycle together and get curious about how we can apply this model in order to affect positive change in our libraries and our communities.

Kate Brunner, Early Learning Librarian and Regional Literacy Specialist - Western Region, Growing Readers Together, Colorado State Library, CO

Policies of Yes
What is included in policy and what constitutes procedure? How do we convey policies to our patrons in a relatable and friendly manner, especially in tough situations? Five years ago, our library revamped all of our policies – combined some and tossed out others. With regular review and framed with equity in mind, we’ve created solid, balanced policies and procedures that serve both our library and our users. Join this discussion on approaching policy development in a way that gives staff permission to be flexible while providing excellent service. 

Jennie Garner, Library Director, North Liberty Library, IA


Friday, October 22 | 11:00 AM–12:00 PM

Scan, Preserve & Engage: Starting a Community Digitization Project
Access to primary sources online is needed like never before, but countless treasures remain hidden in the private collections of individuals and families. These images, texts, objects, etc. represent stories that have not yet been told. It’s time to change this, and your library can help! Libraries, being community centers, are in a unique position to help build, share, and preserve local history by offering digitization services. This session will outline the ScanDay initiative of the North Dakota State Library and will provide a template any library can use to start their own community-based scanning and access project to preserve memories for future generations.

Trevor Martinson, Digital Initiatives Specialist, North Dakota State Library, ND

Promoting Your Library’s Collection: A Plan for Small but Mighty Libraries
If the idea of promoting your library’s collection seems overwhelming, this session is for you! Learn how to combine your two greatest assets (your staff and your materials) to drive circulation numbers, re-engage your community, and prove your library’s value. In this interactive session, you’ll get a step-by-step plan to make the promotion of your books and materials manageable, successful, and fun. You’ll learn which tactics are the most productive, how to put social media and email to work to reach readers, how to promote your collection to people without reliable internet access, and how to measure the results of your promotions to learn new information about your community and make future promotions even more successful.

Angela Hursh, Senior Engagement Consultant, NoveList, MA

Facilitating Community Wellbeing
Much can be learned from how rural libraries foster the good life in their communities. Some of this happens naturally. However, bringing awareness to our library service and then making some intentional shifts can elevate the library’s impact. In this session we will explore the multi-faceted wellbeing indicators present in rural communities and the role libraries play in increasing them. In a series of exercises, participants will reflect on their own communities and libraries. They will develop a plan to make some small but impactful changes.  A toolkit that can be used after the session, will give participants resources to continue this reflective practice.

Hope Decker, Director, Wayland Free Library, NY

“I’m not a doctor”: Ethics and Best Practices in Health Reference
In many small town and rural communities, the local public library is the primary source for health information. Reference interviews for health information can be challenging and intimidating. What are the correct terms and spelling used to search for the health topic in question? Are the sources you find authoritative? How do you respond if the patron becomes emotional or shares private or personal information?  Through discussion and role-playing activities attendees will come away equipped to address health-related questions through knowledge of authoritative health information resources, clarify the difference between providing health information versus medical advice, and tips for maintaining patron confidentiality and privacy. This session will provide basic knowledge and improve your ability to conduct a health reference interview confidently and ethically at your library.

Emily Hamstra, Outreach and Access Coordinator, Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 5, WA
Carolyn Martin, Outreach and Education Coordinator, Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 5, WA

Working with Library Boards: Assets, Advisors & Advocates
Boards are critical to the success of the library’s reach and impact in the community. As civic leaders, board members have their finger on the pulse of community need. It is critical for library leaders to educate and support the board in understanding the library’s mission and vision and their role in implementing it. Discover microlearning opportunities in board meetings to keep board members informed about critical issues. Leave with tactics to continually elevate board strengths and resources that holistically contribute to the board’s role as an asset, advisor, and advocate for the library. Join our conversation as we share our successes and challenges in maintaining and sustaining this VIB (very important board) relationship.

Veronda J. Pitchford, Assistant Director, Califa Group

Friday, October 22 | 2:00-3:00 PM

Supporting Social Ties Among Older Adults During COVID-19 & Thereafter  
In many small towns, the public library is a vital social center for older adults. How have libraries been keeping older adults connected to each other and to the library during COVID-19? This session presents the results of the Social Connectedness, Older Adults, and Public Libraries Survey, completed by a random sample of 332 small and rural public libraries in April 2021. Participants will also have the opportunity to brainstorm amongst themselves on how they can leverage community partnerships to better support the social wellbeing of their aging populations.

Noah Lenstra, PhD, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina Greensboro, NC
Patrick Bodily, Library Manager, Independence Public Library, OR
Taylor Atkinson, Executive Director, Union County Library, SC
Jane Napier Ramos, Director, Sherburne Memorial Library, VT

Terrific Tweens! Bringing Inclusive STEAM Learning Experiences to Our Favorite Age Group
Working with tweens is both a challenge and a joy. They are changing physically, cognitively, and emotionally, and while they have a deep desire for autonomy, they still display kid-like behavior and like to play! Libraries can tap into these unique qualities by providing a safe place for tweens to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math concepts. Try resources from the STAR Library Network (STAR Net), ALA, and the Emmy award-winning SciGirls PBS Kids television show. Hear how rural libraries can engage tweens in meaningful STEAM experiences through interactive activities, diverse STEAM role models, and intentional strategies that create inclusive learning spaces for girls and Latinx communities.

Claire Ratcliffe Adams, Education Coordinator II, Space Science Institute, CO

Retirement: Time to Ease on Down, Ease on Down the Road
Over the course of your career, you spend quite a bit of time planning your professional development, envisioning your career path, and deciding on the degrees or training you need in your professional life. Conversely, how much time do you spend planning a transition away from that life in a healthy, graceful manner? Join us for a discussion of why, when, and how to retire, and hear from a panel of recent retirees their best practices and wish-I-hadn’ts. We’ll discuss transitioning to a fixed income, implementing a succession plan at your library, and adapting to life as a retiree.

Robin Newell, Executive Director, Emporia Public Library, KS

Free for All! An Overview of Free Resources for Digital Outreach  
In this session, we will explore some free online alternatives to often-pricey online library outreach software, including using free Google programs to create digital book displays and online reading programs and other easy-to-use freeware for making digital content like graphics and videos. Attendees will also receive access to examples and templates to practice their skills and make content tailored to their own needs.

Jessica Rodrigues, Head of Youth Services, Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library, IL
Laura Munoz, Head of Patron Services, Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library, IL

Reading Diversely: The Importance of Incorporating EDI in Readers’ Advisory Practices  
[Supersession | 2:00-3:00; 3:30-4:30 pm]

Do you suggest books to library patrons, create book displays, offer form-based readers’ advisory, or otherwise provide direct and indirect readers’ advisory at your library?  Providing a diverse array of selections to choose from offers people the opportunity to see both themselves and others in their reading lives by providing mirrors, windows, and sliding doors. Join us as we break down exactly what reading diversely means, offer concrete tips and tools for ensuring that your recommendations provide an authentic perspective, and provide suggestions for incorporating EDI principles into your library’s readers’ advisory mission.

Halle Eisenman, Content Development Manager, NoveList, MA
Yaika Sabat, Readers’ Advisory Librarian, NoveList, MA

Statistics That Tell a Story: How to Make Data-Informed Decisions that Positively Impact Your Library & Community  
If you work in a library, you collect statistics… statistics that are accumulated into all kinds of reports that supposedly "tell the story" of your library. But do they really? What if we could gather, analyze, and use this existing data for decision making, strategic planning, demonstrating impact, and supporting marginalized and underserved communities—to tell the REAL story of our libraries? This session will reveal some practical tools and strategies that you can utilize today to get you started on the path to evidence-based practice, gleaned from the Research Institute for Public Libraries held virtually last December. 

Jackie A. Mills, Library Director, Mt. Angel Public Library, OR

Are We Finished or Are We Complete? Radically Re-Envisioning LIS
Social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are significant topics within the profession, but are they actually integrated into the fabric of library and information science? Among the areas that require particular understanding and dedication are our critical and pedagogical practices. "Decolonizing" or re-envisioning our profession requires looking outside of our discipline and Western norms to engage with diverse scholarship and perspectives to build a foundation for what a more equitable profession looks like.

Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, Augusta Baker Endowed Chair, School of Information Science, University of South Carolina, SC

Friday, October 22 | 3:30–4:30 PM

Bridges to Your Community: Tools for the Good Life  
Find out how this panel of small and rural librarians from across the country used a set of tools created by other small rural librarians to enhance the good life in their communities, and how you can too! The tools are based on findings from the Rural Library and Social Wellbeing research project. It found that little libraries have a big impact on the good life in ways that are beautifully unique to small rural libraries. In honoring the community’s strengths, potential, and wisdom the library can facilitate the good life.

Hope Decker, Researcher, Director, Wayland Free Library, NY
Patricia Smith, Director, Robert W. Rowe Public Library, IL

Spreading the Word: The Challenge of Climate-Related Programming in Rural Libraries  
Explore the difficulties faced by rural libraries in programming related to the ecological emergency. We’ll start with a brief introduction to the current scientific consensus surrounding this topic and the various social, political, cultural, and economic factors shaping our responses. We’ll look at how libraries are already responding to this crisis before delving into how rural libraries, in particular, are uniquely positioned to assist rural populations with adaptation and mitigation measures. Potential avenues for action and change will be outlined.

Patrick Depret-Guillaume, Branch Manager, The Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County, MD

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome: Leading with Radical Acceptance
For many of us, feelings of falling short are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much – hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake – to make us feel that we are not okay. Learn how to lead with Radical Acceptance by recognizing our strengths and weaknesses with compassion and accepting situations that are outside our control. Radical Acceptance doesn’t mean that we are non-reactive to challenges. Instead, we can use that acceptance to overcome challenges and become more self-aware. This session will teach how to radically accept what comes in our lives so we can overcome our feelings of inadequacy.  Regardless of your position at your library, you can learn to lead and overcome.

Patrick Bodily, Library Manager, Independence Public Library, OR

Asset-Based Partnerships for Small and Rural Libraries
Every small and rural library responds to the information needs of the community. And the truth is, libraries do better when they don't do it alone. By examining the assets of the community and building strategic relationships, small and rural libraries can more effectively address larger community goals. With a focus on tapping the strengths of the library and your community partners, learn to analyze, utilize, and measure what each party brings to the relationship, while serving your community together.

Chance Hunt, Associate Teaching Professor, University of Washington, WA

 

Everyday Advocacy
How can you advocate for your library every day in ways big and small? Stay close to stakeholders and influential people in your community. We will share the winning ways to wow them with the art of the humble brag paired with thanking and thanking again to educate everyone near and far about what your library does and can do for the community in the future. You’ll leave this session with strategies for communicating your library’s essential value, and how your library can always be building support from community members to congress people! And how you can get them to tell their friends why the library is an indispensable part of your community.

Veronda J. Pitchford, Assistant Director, Califa Group

 

Youth Services Roundtable
Details to come!


Saturday, October 23 | 8:30–9:30 AM

Team Up with Your Community!
[Supersession | 8:30-9:30; 10:00-11:00 am]

We all know teamwork makes the dream work, but obstacles big and small can keep us from doing as much collaborative work as we'd like. Based on results of the IMLS-funded HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) at the Library via Co-Developed Programming, you'll learn some of the amazing ways rural librarians are already teaming up with everyone from regional hospitals to passionate individuals to make their communities healthier, more inclusive places. This highly interactive session will include community conversations about your experiences teaming up with others - with the ultimate goal of creating a publicly accessible, real world toolkit to help rural librarians do more by leveraging the power of partnerships.

Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor and Director of Let's Move in Libraries, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC

Teaching Leadership Through Young Adult Literature
While it sometimes seems as if media is only sharing stories of teens in trouble, more and more images are in the news of young adults stepping up to serve their communities as leaders in dealing with challenging social issues. This program will look at how libraries can help teens develop their leadership potential through the collection development of young adult literature that models effective leadership. Using Brene Brown’s set of leadership skills as a guide, participants will engage in discussions to learn what to look for in young adult literature to provide leadership role models for young adults.

Melissa Cast-Brede, Associate Professor University of Nebraska Omaha, NE

Cataloging the Community
There are a variety of ways to begin to track people and issues in your community. Among them are demographic studies, formal surveys, focus groups, facilitated large discussions, and individual interviews. This session will describe a community assessment (and advocacy) process that can be started immediately, requires little funding or training, and results in systematic relationship management. The premise is that people make meaning, discern patterns, from their interactions with others. By identifying key community members, then conducting hour long reference interviews with them, the library can quickly gain deep insight into needs, themes, and shared agendas.

James LaRue, CEO and Founder, LaRue & Associates, CO

Beginner's Guide to Being in Charge

Moving into a new leadership role can be overwhelming and intimidating. This presentation will go over some dos and don’ts to help new leaders feel more confident and become more effective in their current and future roles. Participants will learn some common mistakes new leaders make (and how to avoid them), how to conquer feelings of doubt or imposter syndrome, and practical leadership techniques. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of creating a support network, investing in personal and professional development, and recognizing the value, knowledge, and skillset new leaders bring to their organizations.

Suzanne Macaulay, Deputy Director, Pioneer Library System, NY

Saturday, October 23 | 10:00–11:00 AM

Big Services from Small Libraries  
Our library system epitomizes the phrase “doing more with less.” Fourteen full-time staff members provide services to approximately 90,000 residents over a rural five-county service area. We’re always seeking to implement new and inventive library programming and services, and in this session we’ll share some of our exciting services, programming and revenue opportunities for rural libraries. We’ll discuss our Digital Inclusion program, which provided hotspots for check-out and allowed us to outfit a delivery van to create a digital bookmobile. We will also share how to create and execute inventive programming opportunities by capitalizing on staff and volunteer skills. Lastly, we will share unique revenue opportunities for libraries, such as steps to becoming a passport acceptance facility.

Gail Oehler, Executive Director, Southern Oklahoma Library System, OK
Alyson Haynes Blankenship, Branch/Outreach Coordinator, Southern Oklahoma Library System, OK

Rethinking Summer Reading: Experiences vs. Numbers  
Reading is not a competitive sport. However, every year we approached Summer Reading as if the person with the most tracked pages, minutes, or books somehow “won” over other readers. Did more people read as a result? Did we engage new readers? Did we alienate slow readers? Our library decided to try a new approach by prioritizing reading experiences over numbers. Join us for a step-by-step guide on how the program was conducted, complete with statistics. Find out if this new approach succeeded or if we have to go back to the drawing (reading) board for 2022.

Shauna Quick, Implementation Manager, Brandon Township Public Library, MI
Paige Greer, Public Services Librarian, Brandon Township Public Library, MI

Managing Worry & Stress in the Library Workplace: Don’t Let the Stress Monkeys Drive the Bus!
Library staff have a lot to worry about – difficult patrons, limited budgets, and balancing a variety of community needs. Stress can affect staff morale and productivity, not to mention personal well-being and quality of life – and nervous energy is contagious among a team! In this session, learn how to recognize the 4 Fs of stress response in oneself and others, discover techniques to manage acute stress and chronic worry, and leave with suggestions for creating a calmer library work environment.

Tiffany Hayes, Continuing Education Coordinator, South Carolina State Library, SC

Graphic Novels ARE "Real" Books
How often do you hear, "I want my child to read real books," or "Those aren't real books"? Is your graphic novel collection lacking because you aren't sure how to justify them to patrons, staff, or administration? Graphic novels and “non-traditional” literature are part of a diverse, current, and relevant collection. These books include a diverse representation of characters, authors, and illustrators, and they support non-traditional learners and English-language learners. This interactive (and fun!) session will help you articulate the justifications backed by research to share with caregivers, coworkers, and others in your library.

Deanna Evans, Youth Services Librarian, Sanibel Public Library, FL