Monday, November 23, 2015

Information Professionals Panel with SLA

Getting an MLIS doesn't mean you have to work in a public, academic, or school library. Come meet librarians and information professionals working in government, health systems, nonprofit, digital media and other non-traditional settings at this panel joint-hosted by SLA and ALA. Panelists include:
  • Mary Wittenbreer or Jennifer Feeken (Regions Hospital)
  • Robert Nicholl (American Swedish Institute)
  • Sarah Quimby (MN Historical Society)
  • Phil Seibel (Aldis Systems)
  • Jean Anderson (Minnesota State Law Library)
The panel will be held Monday, November 30th, starting at 6pm in CdC 20. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Student-to-Staff 2015 Recap Post

Well, it has been a few months since ALA Annual in San Francisco, but I finally have a chance to write up a bit about my experiences. Better late than never?

Student-to-Staff: Work with ODLOS

As part of the Student-to-Staff program, you are assigned to an ALA unit to help out for 16 hours during the conference. I received my unit assignment in March--the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) which became the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) by the time of ALA. All Student-to-Staff participants take a survey about their goals and interests prior to assignment, and I was very pleased with my. ODLOS matched my interests in librarianship really well.

Jacqueline Woodson accepting the
Coretta Scott King Book Award

During my time with ODLOS, I mainly helped out at different events around the conference, including the Bookmobile Saturday Author Luncheon, the Diversity & Outreach Fair, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast,  the Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture (featuring Dr. Carla D. Hayden of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore) and Stonewall Book Awards.

In general, I helped set up and take down from events. I also took tickets at some events, helped direct foot traffic at others, and moved a lot of books to a different building for the Stonewall Book Awards (P.S. the Stonewall Book Awards are free to attend and some of the publishers send along free copies of the winners or nominees). For many of the events I helped out with, I usually got to attend at least part of them (the Coretta Scott King Book Awards were my favorite).

It was really neat to meet people from within ALA and outside ALA. I knew that ALA was a large conference, but helping out ODLOS, visiting the ALA office areas, and watching my unit try to balance prep for all their programs really helped me appreciate how large an undertaking the ALA Annual Conference really is.

Student-to-Staff: Other Stuff

A few other Student-to-Staff members at dinner on our first night

Besides the work, another aspect of the Student-to-Staff program is the social aspect. There are a total of forty people in the program. Early on, everyone is added to a secret Facebook group and a mailing list, so we have a chance to communicate prior to and during the conference. The group traditionally meets for dinner on the first night, and then smaller groups often get together other nights of the conference. They also pair us up as roommates. It was really neat to meet students from other programs and find some familiar faces at the conference.


Slides from a session on true storytelling programming
It was sometimes challenging to fit regular sessions into my schedule around everything else going on. However, I did get to attend a few interesting ones:
  • From Maker to Make-HER: Leveling the STEM Playing Field for Girls. Sunnyvale Library's runs maker programming for girls to encourage interest in STEM. One thing I liked about this program was that the programming included important females in the young girls' lives, so that the adults around them also felt empowered to explore further with the girls.  We also got to try making a simple light-up jewel for our name badges using paper circuits! If the program sounds interesting, check out the Make-HER blog.   
  • Lady Liberty at the Library: Immigrant Integration and a New Role for Librarians. I was only able to attend part of this session, but the main idea was that a library staff member can going through training and become accredited by the Bureau of Immigrant Appeals (BIA). This would allow the staff member to assist immigrants with confusing paperwork and online forms.
  • What do LIS Students Really Think About Their Education? Earlier this year, a group of students who created and planned the 2015 Symposium on Library and Information Science (LIS) Education led a discussion on LIS education from a student perspective. It was fascinating to hear from other schools. It also highlighted how students in many programs are facing similar challenges, but how hard it is to connect across schools to talk about these issues or work together to create change.
  • Naked Truth: connect.create.contribute. The Mill Valley Public Library in California runs this really neat live true storytelling program (think This American Life, StoryCorps or The Moth). There are three parts: evening performances by local professional storytellers, live storytelling workshops, and digital storytelling workshops. They also brought along one of their professional storytellers to share a bit of the event. Here's the Naked Truth website and their toolkit for other libraries.