Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hootie on Location Part II: ILA Conf 2011

The Illinois Library Association Conference took place in Rosemont this past week.  This was my first major library conference.  Back at work, it was also what I felt to be my best week of programming this year, but more on that later. First,

The 2011 ILA Conference:

The theme was Bold, Brilliant and Brave, and this involved a ton of talk  about making the library more of a community learning center rather than just houses for books.  Catchphrases like "Guerrilla tactics" and "becoming a  3rd space", were tossed around.
Nerd Heaven.

I was most impressed with the positive and progressive stance that the profession is taking despite so many layoffs and cutbacks.  Everyone seemed to be serious about renewing the idea of libraries in the minds of our public, rather than trying to reinvent ourselves.  The fact is that we are and have been doing every thing that people want, from entertainment, education, and books, but that we have to get the public to realize it. And we do that by meeting them where they are.

The conference itself was lively and informative, but the concurrent Twitter side-conversations (ilaconf2011) made it humorously unique. Librarians are a pretty cool bunch. And I'm not just saying this because of the masseuses.

For visiting the different booths, we were able to get our "Passport" stamped and enter to win one of six great prizes: A Kindle, a Nook Color, one of two gift cards, an HP netbook, and finally the coveted Ipad. I wanted that Ipad so badly I could taste it, so I hustled around getting my passport stamped.  
Well, I didn't get the pad, but I did get my first e-reader when I won the Amazon Kindle!  {happy dance}
This came a mere couple weeks after our library got access to Kindle downloads on Overdrive, so I was truly ecstatic.  In a week, I've finished up two Sookie Stackhouse novels on it, and I'm pleased.  

Highlights and great quotes from ILA 2011:
  • "The bad news is wrong" - George Needham on the state of libraries.
  • "We can't do more with less. We can do different with less." - George Needham on functioning in this financial climate.
  • "Anticipate the cycle.  Begin to move beyond inventory control to ideas and creativity.  Beyond rules to tools." - George Needham and Joan Frye Williams 
  • "Promote interactivity within the library.  Make it an experience." - Rena Morrow of the Genesee Theater and Waukegan Public Library
  • Project Sheldon - a great library programming app.
  • Gaming isn't going anywhere.  Neither are books.  Nor is print.
  • Don't be afraid to try new things, be flexible, don't be afraid of failure, and most importantly don't be afraid of fun. - Duane Bray during the 2011 President's Program
I thought the conference message was excellent, and that it was effectively conveyed through the presentations.  Every library and librarian who received recognition was well-deserved, and the networking was relaxed and fun.

So these are the types of things your librarians get to do when they have a second to think!  They get to make great connections, which will lead to greater ideas, which will result in amazing opportunities for you.

These were my mornings, but stay tuned for my Zombie Week post, where I'll talk about how I spent my evenings!


2 people wrote some stuff:

Aisha G of HartlynKids said...

Congrats on winning the kindle and so glad they had passports. I'm happy that you are networking in your industry. So key. I am off to my first conference as a professional development manager soon and also attending book fairs for Hartlyn has made me feel soooo connected. Nice to see people like you!

Mrs.Tiye said...

Thanks Aisha! I'm trying. I'm sooo not a networker (in person). I can't wait till you do a book event in Chicago!

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