Scholarship Report: Samantha TerBeest – Lake Superior Libraries Symposium 2019

Event: Lake Superior Libraries Symposium — Duluth, MN — June 6-7, 2019

Attendee: Samantha TerBeest – Adult Services Librarian, Winona Public Library


How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

The theme of the conference was “Sea Changes in Libraries” and was focused on the ever changing role of libraries. This is very fitting for my role as the Adult Services Librarian as the technology I work with is ever changing and the generations and people I work with is ever changing.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session was called “Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Vital Role All Libraries Play in Developing Empathy.” In this session, the presenter talked about the difference between sympathy and empathy. Talked about how empathy is a learned behavior especially from reading. Had us work in groups to discuss books that show empathy and identified ways that a library can be empathetic to its patrons.

What was your biggest takeaway from the event as a whole?

I took away a lot of different programming ideas but I also took away a staff in service training that I think would be really beneficial in being inviting to all patrons of all types and backgrounds. I, also, have ideas, programs, and trainings for a the Dementia Friendly Community Committee that I am on and how we can better help our community. Really, I didn’t have one big takeaway from the event. I had several.

What is one idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

I already booked a program date for a library after hours event I learned about called Humans vs. Zombies. I am planning on doing several passive programs in May for Mental Health Awareness month. One of them is called Stress ReDUCKtion and involves hiding rubber duckies around the library. I even reached out to a presenter to see if I could use his presentation for staff training.

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

Yes! The sessions were excellent. When you go, you meet librarians from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario. The conference is, also, affordable and only one day.