ALA 2017 in Chicago Recap

ALA 2017 in Chicago – seems like weeks ago instead of days.  In theory, I went for the continuing education and networking.  In reality, I got the most out of conversations with old friends over good food and cold drinks.  A visit to the original Chicago Public Library (Cultural center now) with its amazing tile mosaics, Tiffany glass dome, and multi-lingual quotes was fun, too.

I kicked off my ‘let’s get inspired’ conference at the PLA breakfast featuring Valerie B. Jarrett, the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama.  She reminded us that “Tone starts at the top.” and that “temperament matters.”

I went to an ignite session about “Librarians as Civic Infiltrators” with the message of “get involved locally.”  My favorite full blown program was “Better Service than Amazon and Nordstrom: Secrets to How It’s Done” by  Arapahoe Libraries.  I’ll be posting notes for that one!  I also enjoyed hearing our Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, interview the Directors of San Francisco, Chicago, and New York Public Libraries.  United for Libraries and LLAMA hosted a panel on fundraising – “FUN-Raising: Big and Small Ideas on Ways to Raise Funds, Friends, and Have Fun Along the Way” that I found useful. I never mind hearing Peter Pearson from the St. Paul Library Foundation speak. I also attended the Innovative Interfaces luncheon, but not much was said about Polaris.

Conversations with my friends and colleagues reaped some great ideas and leads, like to inexpensive fundraising software through Tech Soup!

I am still processing, reviewing, and re-watching (many programs were recorded).  Sometimes all it takes is looking over the slides of a program I missed to change how I work.  I realize that HV Library has been in tranformation mode for the last few years, so I guess it’s time to assess and tweak.  Where are OUR barriers to service? When do we say “No” instead of “Yes”? What does this library look and feel like to visitors?  What does the community want from us next?

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