PLA Recap

28 Mar

pla 2018 conference logo final@ RGB
It was an interesting PLA to say the least. It started with Philadelphia’s fourth nor’ easter in three weeks on Wednesday, which led to me watching the opening session with Sally Yates online from home as the library was closed and we ended up with at least eight inches of snow.

I have to say, PLA did an amazing job of providing online access to the conference for the many people who ended up not being able to fly in to Philly due to the weather.

Thursday started for me at 4:30am when I woke up to get ready to head to the city for the children’s author breakfast which started at 7am. Breakfast was great as we got to hear from Erin Entrada Kelly (2018 Newbery Award Winner), Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass co-authors of Bob, Greg Pizzoli, author of the new title This Story Is for You (which is absolutely awesome), and sadly Andrea Davis Pinkney couldn’t get to Philly because of the weather, but we did get to hear a video interview and her publisher read a great letter she had written for the occasion.

The majority of the rest of my time was spent in programs – I specifically went to a number of programs about staff training as I’m looking for new ways to ensure my staff feels empowered to do the best job they can do at work. I’m excited to implement some of the ideas I learned about, especially in regards to technology competencies and public library philosophy that reaches past day-to-day operations and really teaches staff about the history of public libraries and why our role is so important in the community.

I also got a chance to hit up the exhibit hall and grabbed some really great ARCs (that I’ll be sharing in a post tomorrow) and I volunteered at the Pennsylvania Library Association booth for a little bit as well.

My favorite parts of the conference were the First-Time Directors program where there was some great insight from new directors and a feeling of camaraderie in the room as people asked for opinions on issues they were dealing with as new directors. I also really enjoyed the Big Ideas session with Steve Pemberton and can’t wait to get my hands on his memoir as he had a really tough childhood and was saved by books and the library.

And the end of the weekend, I had a really great conference and learned valuable information that I plan on implementing at work. It was also a lot of fun hanging out with librarians from around the country and gaining perspective about the future of public libraries.

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