Event: Enhancing Quality Staff in Changing Times 2018 – St. Paul, MN – May 23, 2018
Attendee: Sara Steinhoff – Library Assistant/Administrative Assistant, Austin Public Library
What was your favorite session you attended and why?
Though I learned a great deal from each of the sessions, I have to admit my favorite session was on Sleep Wellness. While this session was one that focused more on personal well-being than on library issues, the things I learned have already positively affected my energy and performance on the job. (That’s the whole idea of the symposium – providing education on topics that enhance our ability to do quality work.) Presented by the Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota, the session provided great information on “sleep hygiene” strategies to address sleep difficulties, many of which I have already put into practice and shared with many coworkers and friends. I also found the session on Community Partnerships very helpful in providing a model of how a successful long-term collaboration can be structured for maximum benefit to the community.
What’s one (1) idea that you gained from the event hat you plan to implement now that you’re back?
We have a number of writers’ groups that meet informally in our library and a flourishing crop of self-published authors in our community. I learned a lot about the Minnesota Writes Minnesota Reads project in the “BookBusters – Libraries Supporting Self-Publishing” session, and will be talking with our library director about how we can better promote that project and support local authors through this intriguing statewide effort. I also heard several helpful tips and ideas from the session on “Getting to Know Your Friends” I believe will be helpful going forward in working with our local Friends of the Library group.
Would you recommend this event to others and why?
I would recommend this event to any library staff member. The organizers do a terrific job of providing a mix of sessions that truly address the whole person – both the professional life and personal identity. The symposium does exactly what the title promises – works to enhance the ability of attendees to maintain a high-quality level of work in our libraries amidst a changing and challenging world. It does that by offering a range of workshops from topics on personal well-being, such as Sleep Wellness (presented by a U of M neurologist and sleep clinic physician) and how we can improve our health and overall quality of life via better sleep, to library-focused subjects like “Getting to Know Your Friends,” which offered practical advice and suggestions for libraries on how best to foster and maintain relationships with our Friends of the Library groups. The symposium also hit the middle ground with subjects that undoubtedly hold both personal and professional relevance, such as “BookBusters – Libraries Supporting Self-Publishing.” Any libraries seeking to support staff members and help them be at their best – both personally and professionally – would find this event well worth the cost. I am very grateful that SELCO recognizes the value of this program and provides scholarship funding to assist libraries in sending people to it.