From Wednesday until Saturday this week, I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer, present, and attend the Illinois Library Association’s A Library State of Mind conference in Peoria, Illinois. This conference was especially unique since it allowed for librarians in various library settings to come together and collaborate.
The beginning and end of the conference looked to the thought process of balancing our personal and professional lives. The opening speaker of the conference was Shankar Vedantam, a social science correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) who has researched human behaviors in social sciences to gain new thought processes for how we interpret the news. Friday’s keynote speaker towards the end of the conference was Beck Tench, a former journalist who has worked with various organizations to develop better risk taking skills. One of my favorite quotes from this keynote presentation was simply “You are only one choice away”. It’s a powerful and simplistic way of looking at our choices. Another part of this keynote I really liked was the use of incorporating morning pages exercises. This was also featured in another session during the conference, which I did not get to attend.
Poster Session presentation
Other than the keynotes, I attended sessions on YA book clubs for adults and academic library programming. But my favorite session would have to be the design hacks for the Francis Parker school library. The reason why I liked this session was because there is a planning and design of library space class offered at Dominican but I am unable to take it. So, this session really provided a nice crash course overview of library spaces.
Aside from sessions, I volunteered at the registration desk for four hours, in return for free full registration to the conference (pretty nice deal if you ask me). I enjoyed the volunteer time as I got to chat with Illinois Library Association employees and other volunteers at the conference. But, lastly, I did a little presenting of my own. Last summer while I was taking my Library User Instruction class, I received an email from the GSLIS office to submit a proposal for a poster session during the conference. I chose to submit a proposal on research I did on distance education in public libraries since my professor recommended that my work should be published. With this poster session, I thought it would be a great opportunity to try a different form of presentation and test out publishing my research. Overall, the poster session went very well, and I hope to have edits and further research done on my paper by the time I graduate in May 2016. For more information on my research, please go to the Library State of Mind page on my Adult Services Intern site.