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CANCELLED: YSIE Spring Meeting

Due to low ability to attend, the Spring Youth Services Idea Exchange (YSIE) meeting set for Friday, April 12, 2019 has been cancelled.  Thanks to all who responded if they could attend or not.  A Doodle poll will be forthcoming to help determine a reschedule date.  If you have any other questions regarding YSIE, please contact our Consulting department.

Scholarship Report: Tricia Wehrenberg – Power Up Conference 2019

Event: Power Up Conference — Madison, WI — March 28-29, 2019

Attendee: Tricia Wehrenberg – Youth Services Librarian, Winona Public Library


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

What was unique about this conference is that it pertained solely to youth services topics. Because of this, it gave me a chance to really focus on subjects that I’ve long been keyed into, such as streamlining and assisting vulnerable youth, that I haven’t had time to really delve deeper into or find CE opportunities about. It was also nice to bounce ideas off of other youth librarians because we all see similar situations and can give each other great advice. The topics of the sessions were very relevant to me. I had a hard time choosing which breakout sessions I wanted to attend, and I’m thankful that many that I missed have the notes & PowerPoints up on the website so I can review them later.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session was An Empathetic Approach to Customer Service Training. This session was presented as a sort of “train the trainer” concept so we could take the information back to our staff. While I always strive to lead with empathy while serving at the customer service desk, it was great to get tips on how to train new hires in this approach as well. Teaching empathy is not an easy task, so I really appreciated the tips & tricks that were given by the instructor. She also gave us her PowerPoint presentation & notes so that we could craft our own training session for staff who were unable to attend. I’m excited to start incorporating this with our new hire that will begin in April in youth services and also with the rest of staff library-wide.

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

I 100% would recommend this conference. I went in expecting it to be mostly Wisconsin & Minnesota librarians, and I was pleasantly surprised to meet librarians who flew from all over the country. For example, I had presenters from Colorado, California, New Mexico, and Delaware. It was great to have such a high profile conference so close by. It had the feel of a national conference with the breadth of topics covered without having to hop a plane. I came away with a lot of great connections that are willing to chat with me cross-country while I’m working on implementing some ideas they presented. I will definitely be attending the next one in 2021, and I’ll be encouraging others to do so, as well.

Scholarship Report: Jon Allen – ALSC National Institute 2018

Event: Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) National Institute — Cincinnati, OH — September 27-29, 2018

Attendee: Jon Allen – Librarian I, Rochester Public Library


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

This is event is the single most relevant conference I know of relating to my job as a Youth Services Librarian where 100% of the content of the conference is focused on services to children/youth.  I am able to learn what other libraries and experts are doing and how I might be incorporate their practices/research into my own work.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session was called “When Leveling Helps, When it Doesn’t, and How Libraries Can Make the Best of It” in which James Erekson, Coordinator of Masters in Reading Degree Program and Associate Professor at the School of Teacher Education, University of Northern Colorado talked about the history and intent of leveling systems and how they are used today in conjunction with various national and state standards.  It was a controversial topic and has been a source of frustration for many youth services librarians around the country for some time now.  It was very enlightening to learn the history of such systems and the presenters gave some good advice as to how to deal with their use in the community/schools vs. at the (public) library.

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

One of the biggest takeaways was learning about Anji Play which is a Chinese philosophical approach to play and learning in children ages 3-6.  I am eager to try to implement parts of this philosophy into our programs.

What’s one (1) idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

Anji Play – perhaps not in an official “branded” way but to use a similar approach in designing programs.

Would you recommend this event to others and why?

I would definitely recommend this conference to all Youth Services Librarians as it really is the best youth centered conference for librarians out there.  This is the second time I have been and each time it has been extremely rewarding and enriching.  They announced the location in 2020 will be in Minneapolis!