$15 Million in IMLS CARES Act Grants Now Available for Museum and Library Services

May 8, 2020

$15 Million in IMLS CARES Act Grants Now Available for Museum and Library Services
Applications for Pandemic Response Funding Due June 12, 2020

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced two new funding opportunities for museums, libraries, federally recognized tribes, and organizations that primarily serve Native Hawaiians. The combined $15 million federal investment will provide direct support to these institutions, equipping them to respond to community needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Museums and libraries have never been more essential to their communities,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “COVID-19 has not only created a public health emergency, but it has also created a deep need for trusted community information, education, and connection that our libraries and museums are designed to provide.”

The CARES Act allocated funding to IMLS to enable libraries, museums, and organizations serving tribal communities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including by expanding digital network access, purchasing Internet accessible devices, and providing technical support services to their communities. The $15 million available through these new grants follows previous phases of funding announced over the past few weeks.

The deadline for submitting applications to either funding opportunity is June 12, 2020, with award announcements anticipated in August.

IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries support museums and libraries in addressing their communities’ immediate and future needs caused by the pandemic. Projects may focus on preserving jobs, training staff, addressing the digital divide, planning for reopening, or providing technical support and capacity building for digital inclusion and engagement. Applicants are encouraged to prioritize services for high-need communities.

IMLS CARES Act Grants for Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum and Library Services assist tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians in responding to the urgent and future needs of their communities. Applications focused on digital inclusion, technical support, rehiring or retraining staff, reopening planning, and other pandemic-related priorities are welcomed.

“Access to and use of all kinds of health, job, government, educational, social, and cultural resources are necessary to weathering the current situation, beginning efforts to reopen, and providing services to sustain communities,” said Kemper. “Together, we can brighten the future for museums, libraries, tribal communities, and people across America.”

Upcoming Webinars

Interested applicants are invited to attend free informational webinars to learn more:

These webinars will be through GoToMeeting, and advance registration is required. Recordings will be made available on-demand on the IMLS website.

For More Information
To apply for these grants, as well as to IMLS’s other available funding opportunities, please visit the IMLS website.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Programs: 
IMLS CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries
IMLS CARES Act Grants for Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum and Library Services

ALA releases 2020 State of America’s Libraries report

CHICAGO – Today the American Library Association (ALA) released its 2020 State of America’s Libraries report, an annual summary of library trends released during National Library Week, April 19 – 25, that outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries during the previous calendar year.

Although the report focuses on 2019, libraries are shown to be on the frontlines addressing societal and community challenges – a role they are certainly playing during the COIVD-19 pandemic today. Many libraries serve as first responders who take on roles outside of traditional library service that support patrons’ needs and community development. Functioning at various times as career counselors, social workers, teachers and technology instructors, library staff give special care to adopt programs and services that support the most vulnerable and curious.

The report found that the popularity of libraries in 2019 continues to soar. According to a recent Gallup poll, visiting the library is the “most common cultural activity Americans engage in by far.” In 2019, US adults reported taking an average of 10.5 trips per year to the library, a frequency that exceeded their participation in other common leisure activities like going to the movies, a museum or the zoo.

The best proof that public libraries are about more than just books is their evolution into libraries of things, offering nontraditional collections that are community-specific and imaginative. The wide array of items available to check out includes mattresses, dolls, bicycles, binoculars, and accordions.

Our nation’s academic libraries have a major impact on student success. Statistics gathered by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of ALA, demonstrate how academic libraries support many types of high-impact educational practices (HIPS) that have beneficial effects on student retention, graduation rates, time to graduation and grade point average. Academic library staff provided instructional sessions (both face-to-face and electronic) to more than 7 million students. More than 57% of the almost 800,000 instructional sessions were digital or electronic.

School librarians have focused on instructing students in information literacy to ensure they are ready to use data in decision-making. The perception is that youth growing up with access to ubiquitous technology can easily and effectively use data; however, a recent report on data literacy found that “60% of US workers 16 to 24 years old—people who had been raised surrounded by technology—are overwhelmed by the data they must read and analyze as part of their jobs.”

Additional report findings illustrate a 17% increase in the number of books targeted for removal or restriction fueling library staff efforts to protect the freedom to read. Hundreds of attempts from the public to remove or restrict materials, cancel programs, and dismantle displays and exhibits took place in public, school and academic libraries. The majority of library materials and services targeted for removal included or addressed LGBTQIA+ content.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 377 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2019. Overall, 566 books were targeted. Here are the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2019,” along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

1. “George,” by Alex Gino

Reasons: to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”

2. “Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out,” by Susan Kuklin

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased

3. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning

4. “Sex is a Funny Word,” by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”

5. “Prince & Knight,” by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis Reasons: featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint.

6. “I Am Jazz,” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”

7. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood

Reasons: profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”

8. “Drama,” written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”

9. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Reasons: referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals

10. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole

Reason: LGBTQIA+ content

Access to a video announcement and infographics regarding the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 are available at ala.org/bbooks/freedownloads. Previous lists of Top 10 Most Challenged Books dating back to 2001 are available at ala.org/bbooks/top.

Other library trends are available in the full text of the State of America’s Libraries 2020 report, available at http://bit.ly/soal-2020 .

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is observed each April by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country. National Library Week celebrations include National Library Workers Day, April 21; National Bookmobile Day, April 22, and Take Action for Libraries Day, April 23. For more information on National Library Week, please visit ILoveLibraries.org/NLW or follow #NationalLibraryWeek.

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.

Connecting Kids to Books While Your Building is Closed

By blogger Abby Johnson | abbylibrarian

Many of our library buildings are closed to the public right now (including mine). So how can we connect kids to the great books we have in our digital collections? I have some ideas for marketing digital books to kids and I would love your suggestions in the comments.

First step? Make sure they are there.

This sounds simple, but I know my library’s e-book collection is mostly comprised of adult and teen books because those are traditionally the e-books that have circulated for us. With the astronomical cost of digital books, it didn’t make sense for me to buy too many kids’ titles because they simply weren’t used at the rate that our books for older readers were. Now, with kids out of school and unable to access our physical books, I’m beefing up our e-book offerings for younger readers.

The good news is that even though prices are still very high, sometimes kids’ e-books are not as expensive as adult e-books, which can help you bulk up the collection. If you’re really starting from scratch, reach out to your rep who can help suggest ways to find less expensive books that might allow you to quickly build up your collection.

Next, tell your patrons about your digital collection in general.

This is definitely something that’s a work in progress for all of us, I’d guess. What avenues have you used to get the word out about your digital collection? We have done email blasts and frequent social media posts. This week I started adding some reviews of digital material to our weekly New Books email along with our general information email and a note to shoot me an email if anyone needed help getting set up with digital books. Our local newspaper is doing a COVID-19 edition and we’re taking out a full page ad to promote our digital services.

Then, promote titles! Curate lists on Overdrive.

Screenshot of a Libby digital booklist for marketing digital books

If your library uses Overdrive, you have the ability to curate lists of materials that appear on your Overdrive site and on Libby or Sora. Utilize curated lists to share staff recommendations, seasonal “displays” or lists that coordinate with school assignments to help with nontraditional instruction. Creating digital “displays” is a way of marketing digital books that mirrors the physical displays you’re familiar with making. You already know how to do this!

During typical times, I try to switch out my lists about once a month, but now that we’re All Digital All the Time, it may be a good idea to change the lists more often depending on how much your families are using them. I like to set them to display all titles, but display available titles first so readers see available books right away.

If you’ve never curated lists before, reach out to your Overdrive rep and I know they will be happy to help you get started.

Create Collections on Hoopla

Example of a Hoopla digital booklist screenshot for marketing digital books

Did you know that you can create your own Collections on Hoopla? In the library dashboard, click on the Collections tab and you can create private collections. Check the box to show them to your patrons when you’re ready. These will show up in the large list of categories (which are a little hard to find), but (more usefully) you can also link directly to them. Here’s another place where you can do staff picks, seasonal lists or lists that tie in to your local schools’ curricula. Hoopla’s giant catalog can be intimidating to navigate, so marketing digital books on Hoopla by creating collections can really help your patrons out. If budget’s a concern, rest assured that the price per download is shown directly in the search when adding items to a collection so you can easily limit the books you’re promoting to the less expensive titles or formats if you wish.

Add lists in your OPAC or a staff blog

Screenshot of an Overdrive digital booklist for marketing digital books

Does your patron-facing catalog allow you to add book lists? Consider switching them over to items that are available digitally. I honestly don’t know how many people I’m reaching with these catalog lists, but my hope is that I’m capturing SOME patrons who might not already know about our ebook offerings and whose first instinct is to head to our library catalog instead.

We’ve also shifted gears with our staff blog and are completely focusing on promoting digital services and materials, as well as links to curated resources from outside the library. I’m also mobilizing our team to post more frequently while our buildings are closed since the blog is one of the few ways we have to communicate with our patrons. Our blog posts can be shared on our Facebook page to reach even more folks.

If you’re not a person with permission to curate lists directly on your e-book platforms, you can potentially create lists linking directly to e-book titles on a website, blog, or even a Google doc that you could share with patrons or in response to reader’s advisory questions.

No E-Books? No problem.

Don’t have an e-book collection of your own? There are many publishers and platforms offering free trials or free limited collections this spring in response to school and library closures and there’s no reason you can’t look for your favorites and be marketing digital books on those platforms with patrons. The Indiana State Library has a pretty good list of some of the resources available, as well as links to other state libraries with additional resources. Even if you yourself don’t have the authority to add any of the platforms currently offering free services, it may be worth a look to see if there are e-books or e-audiobooks available for free that you would want to booktalk or highlight for your patrons.

IMLS Announces New Stimulus Funding for Communities Across America

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced measures to award the first $30 million of $50 million appropriated to the agency in the CARES Act.

The $30 million in the funding phase announced today will be distributed to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, and the Freely Associated States based on population. The agency is allocating these grants through its most significant in-place funding vehicle for all states and territories, State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs), who are encouraged to use all available mechanisms to reach museum and tribal partners, as well as traditionally eligible libraries.

These funds are in addition to previously announced measures to support the urgent needs of museums, libraries, their staff, and the communities they serve. On April 6, IMLS authorized new flexibilities for its nearly 1,300 open awards in response to the impact of COVID-19.

“Together, we must address this challenge in the places most affected by coronavirus,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “This pandemic has highlighted the fact that people in rural and tribal communities, as well as those in high-poverty areas or remote regions lacking access to broadband, have been disproportionately affected. We must target these funds to provide job, health, economic, and other high-impact relief, and this funding round focuses on providing efficient, urgent help to citizens across the nation.”

States and territories will be able to use the funds to expand digital network access, purchase internet accessible devices, and provide technical support services to citizens to address digital inclusion efforts and related technical support, using the following types of data to prioritize efforts:

  • Poverty/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
  • Unemployment; and
  • Broadband availability.

“The urgent expansion of broadband access and digital services enables people to connect to the health, community, government, and job information so critical today, and to the other programs and services that play an enhanced role in the current health emergency,” said Kemper. “While we are distributing these funds through State Library Administrative Agencies, we urge museums and related organizations to partner with libraries in this vital endeavor.”

The state allotment tables can be viewed here; IMLS will provide additional details and anticipated timelines of this funding availability directly to SLAAs. The agency also plans to announce additional measures to aid museums and libraries, both through its current funding and that received through the CARES Act.

More information is available at imls.gov/coronavirus. For the latest information, subscribe to IMLS news updates.

Updated information from IMLS/CDC

Hello Library Directors,

I hope this Monday finds you and yours well. Today I’m just passing along a couple of resources. First, from the CDC/IMLS webinar this morning, please visit this page https://www.imls.gov/coronavirus-covid-19-updates for information from IMLS.  It includes the links that the CDC referred to in the presentation this morning. A recording of the presentation will be posted there when available. There were a couple of takeaways from the session: first, be in close contact with your local public health authority as you are decision-making; second, hand hygiene is critically important; third, the CDC does not consider library materials to be at high risk for transmitting the virus. However, if you are particularly concerned about specific items, use an approved cleaner and disinfectant to the extent that the material allows, and if additional concerns, quarantine materials for up to 24 hours.

 

This next resource is from Gigabit Libraries Network. They are hosting a series of webinars on digital services that you may find of interest. You can access the first one (Internet Access) at this link: Recording from 3/26: Part 1: Internet Access– https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XscwnzAB0-36z7DiM7ct7G2BDl7_d3AF/view

 

Finally, I’ll be sending along a Skype invite for an MDE  meeting with library leaders on Thursday at 1pm.  Please feel free to forward it on to others who may be interested or want to have a conversation.

 

With my warm regards,

Jen

Jennifer R. Nelson

Director, State Library Services and Charter Center

651-582-8791 |  jennifer.r.nelson@state.mn.us

ALA Recommends Libraries Leave Wi-Fi Open During Closures

The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board released the following recommendation on March 23 to libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Our current crisis demands extraordinary measures. As most states and the federal government declare states of emergency, we appreciate that libraries and other public facilities have closed temporarily to support critical social distancing efforts. Our top priority and concern is the health and safety of our library staffs and the diverse communities we serve.

As we stated last week, service and stewardship to our communities are core to the library profession. We continue to see this every day even as library buildings close to the public but often sustain or grow their virtual services and resources freely available to all.

But we also are painfully aware that America’s 16,557 public library locations are essential nodes in our nation’s digital safety net—connecting people with no-fee access to computers and the internet, lending internet hotspots and devices, and providing digital literacy training and expansive learning and enrichment digital collections for all ages. The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting this safety net and spotlighting the persistent digital gaps for more than 20 million people in the United States, including millions of school-age children and college students forced out of classrooms and many more workers also displaced.

Libraries can and should leave their Wi-Fi networks on even when their buildings are closed wherever possible. As we have noted to the Federal Communications Commission, ALA believes a 2010 order from the commission permits this use without jeopardizing E-Rate funding that many public libraries and schools rely on to sustain and build their broadband capacity. In these unprecedented times, we should take whatever steps we can to leverage our resources to maximize benefit to our communities—particularly for those with the fewest resources.

ALA has long been at the forefront of promoting broadband equity for all and continues to work in coalition to expand the capacity of libraries, schools, colleges and universities, and other community anchor institutions to strengthen our digital networks. We will continue to advocate for digital inclusion for all today and in the future.

Scholarship Report: Beth Anderson – Public Library Association Conference

Event: Public Library Association Conference

Attendee: Beth Anderson – Director, Preston Public Library


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

Being a library director at a small library I’m involved in all aspects of the library. I looked for sessions that related to our library. The exhibits helped me find new products.

 

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

It is really hard to pick a favorite session. There were a few session that were really good. The one on dementia gave many ideas for hosting programs at the library and going to senior facilities. The other one I really liked was called Bringing Technology & Arts to Senior Adults. We do have an aging population and I would really like to find ways to engage them in various activities. This session talked about STEAM, Arts and Technology for Seniors. All these activities help to increase socialization. Virtual reality was found to bring memory recall!

 

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

The PLA conference this year was all about diversity and inclusion. It was about helping people access the information and resources they need. It emphasized the acknowledgement of experiences different from your own, and showing respect to those different from you. In the various sessions and interactions, there was always an element of openness and acceptance, even down to the books in the publishers’ booths. I have always felt a bit of pride working for the library because aside from the emergency services, it’s a place for everyone, no exceptions. It was nice to be reminded of the privilege we have of being a part of that type of service to our communities. The conference this year was an inspiring reminder of that. It feels good to return home with new energy and excitement for the job.

 

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

Only one idea!! There is so much I hope to implement, but i know that realistically I need to focus on only a couple right now. For our library I think going to one or both of the assisted living homes may be best but I do plan on talking to them also to see if it would be feasible for them to bring the residents in their van to the library. Whatever we do I would like to partner with those places to provide them with additional activities.

 

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

I would definitely recommend this conference. There is so much to learn, so many new ideas.

ALA Executive Board Recommends Closing Libraries to Public

The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board released this statement March 17 in support of libraries and library workers during the COVID-19 pandemic:

The ALA Executive Board unequivocally stands in support of the safety and well-being of library workers and the communities we serve. To protect library workers and their communities from exposure to COVID-19 in these unprecedented times, we strongly recommend that academic, public, and school library leaders and their trustees and governing bodies evaluate closing libraries to the public and only reopening when guidance from public health officials indicates the risk from COVID-19 has significantly subsided.

It is very difficult for us to put forward this recommendation. Libraries pride themselves on being there during critical times for our communities. We are often the only institutions to remain open during times of crisis. Service and stewardship to our communities are core to our profession.

We have weighed the situation of our country and what has happened in other countries around the world. The health of our library workers and the communities we serve is of utmost and equal importance. Libraries are by design unable to practice social distancing to the degree recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities. Keeping libraries open at this time has the potential to harm communities more than help. We underscore the importance and need to come together in this crisis and commit to ensuring our libraries, which provide so many important services to our communities, do not serve as vectors for a fast-moving pandemic.

Libraries are responding creatively and proactively to this crisis. School libraries in many states have closed along with schools and many have plans to provide online classes to students. Public libraries are making virtual resources available and considering other ways they can help during the crisis. Academic libraries are providing online services and access to resources. All libraries are working with their school administrators, governments, boards, and university administrations to determine critical services and closures following local directives.

Additionally, and in alignment with our companion organization, the ALA–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), we encourage libraries to ensure that all library workers receive fully paid leave, including health coverage, while libraries are closed.

Although closing a library is a local decision, we urge library administrators, local boards, and governments to close library facilities until such time as library workers and our communities are no longer at risk of contracting or spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The ALA Executive Board is committed to supporting our library workers, ALA members, and the communities we serve during these challenging and uncertain times.

For more information about ALA resources on COVID-19, visit www.ala.org/tools/atoz/pandemic-preparedness.

Scholarship Report: Jean Theobald – Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Training

Event: Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Training

Attendee: Jean Theobald – Library Media Specialist, Rochester Public Schools


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

As the high school librarian for Rochester Public Schools, I have over 5,000 students. I want to know the signs of depression and be prepared to act. I want my students to have a positive educational experience in my libraries, and feel safe when they come to use the library. My skills in problem solving and being proactive are important in my job to help my students with life situations as well as educational ones. I also attended this event to learn about any new resources and materials that can aid in prevention of suicide at my high schools, and that I can recommend to my students and staff.

 

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

Practicing saying “Are you having thoughts of hurting yourself? Do those thoughts include suicide?” out loud. It feels uncomfortable to ask these questions. So we practiced. I am confident now that I have attended this session that it is necessary to ask, as it is the beginning of taking action to help.

 

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

The acronym ACT. It’s easy to keep in mind. A is for acknowledge and ask. It’s okay to ask if someone is having thoughts of hurting themselves. The C is for care and concern. Be empathetic and understanding, but don’t try to fix anything. The T is talk and treat. Make sure the person has connections to support services, and follow up.

 

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

Yes.

Scholarship Report: Brigette Rol – Public Library Association Conference

Event: Public Library Association Conference

Attendee: Brigette Rol – Children’s Librarian, Lake City Public Library


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

As a Children’s Librarian working in a public library, attending the PLA Conference relates to almost every aspect of my current role. The breakout sessions provide new & updated ideas, information and support that I can apply to the work I do every day. I’m able to meet and talk with other Children’s Librarians from across the US and share ideas, problems and solutions which have benefited my library over the few years I’ve been attending. The conference is also a place where librarians meet new and potential vendors. We can talk face-to-face with representatives who can answer questions or solve problems we’re having with our current products and services, and likewise we learn about new products, services and technology that can enhance our library for our patrons. The conference also offers concise ‘how-to’ presentations throughout the conference that give libraries a chance to share successful programs and give attendees the framework to build similar programs.

 

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session of the PLA Conference was Setting Healthy Boundaries by the Denver Public Library. While setting boundaries is a skill we’ve been learning about all our lives, it’s also a skill that needs a frequent refresher. My first thought when entering this session was that I would acquire some new approaches to dealing with difficult people, and that would be great. What I left with was a new way to think about boundaries: they define functional and effective relationships. The presentation covered simple boundary-setting techniques and statements and discussed the need for consistency and patience. Instead of a method of ‘dealing with’ people, which leans toward the confrontational, boundaries can actually be a method of maintaining a patron-library relationship that allows us to enable our patrons without overextending ourselves in every interaction. In the short time since returning home, I’ve referenced the ideas from this presentation multiple times each day.

 

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

The PLA conference this year was all about diversity and inclusion. It was about helping people access the information and resources they need. It emphasized the acknowledgement of experiences different from your own, and showing respect to those different from you. In the various sessions and interactions, there was always an element of openness and acceptance, even down to the books in the publishers’ booths. I have always felt a bit of pride working for the library because aside from the emergency services, it’s a place for everyone, no exceptions. It was nice to be reminded of the privilege we have of being a part of that type of service to our communities. The conference this year was an inspiring reminder of that. It feels good to return home with new energy and excitement for the job.

 

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

I can’t wait to get the ball rolling on several new ideas and programs for our library from PLA. Out of them all, the one I’m most excited about is creating book talk videos to use on social media. This idea came from one of the smaller ‘how-to’ sessions, and was presented in a way that makes me feel confident we can pull it off, even without a lot of social media knowledge or experience. It’s something we’ve been tip-toeing around for a while now, but not really acting on because it seems like a large project. In reality, we were overthinking things and there are ways to make it quite simple with a bit of forethought. I’m excited to start creating the videos and watching the response from our patrons.

 

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

I would recommend this event to others absolutely. I always walk away from this conference excited and rejuvenated about my job. It is a whirlwind of new information coming at you rapidly, but the quality of the information is high and the entire conference is focused on public libraries, so you take away a lot. It’s a great reminder about the purpose of public libraries and the role we play in our communities.