Scholarship Report: Susan Watts – MLA 2019

Event: MLA 2019 — Prior Lake, MN – September 19-20, 2019

Attendee: Susan Watts – Library Tech I, Lonsdale Public Library

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

Of the sessions I attended on the first day my favorite was “From Good to Amazing? Evaluating and Improving Library Programs” presented by Leah Larson and Eric Billiet from State Library Services. The room was full with many more attendees than the speakers had anticipated yet Leah and Eric retained their composure and got through their presentation with elan. At our library, we are always looking for a more effective way to analyze our programs, implementing both front-end evaluations and other tools, so that we may improve our programs, better serve our community, and realize our goals. And what library doesn’t want to do that? Leah and Eric had excellent, and useful, hand-outs including data collection, goal setting, observation tools, and a resource list of program observation tools. I left once more enthusiastic and with two simple but important tools for our small library: a co-attendee shared with me that her ‘bullet journaling’ program at the University of Minnesota has been a great success. I had been thinking of implementing this at Lonsdale and now know I will! And, the presenters told us of a straightforward way, new to me, to evaluate kids programs using post it notes.

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

My biggest takeaway was a reinforcement of the knowledge I have gained through my many years experience that people who work in libraries are creative, dedicated, and passionate. We are consistently asked to do more, serve more, often with less resources. And we do! Because we love our work and communities and we understand how important libraries are.

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

Absolutely! Go mingle with your peeps! Get new ideas! Share yours! Get a much-needed injection of support and zeal!