ILF Annual Conference Preview

ILF conference logo. This week I’ll be headed to the Indiana Library Federation’s Annual Conference, and I’m looking forward to the chance to network with and learn from other professionals.  As a member of this year’s conference planning committee, I’ve also had an inside look at some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into organizing the event.  (Look for better “tracking” this year, with programs relevant to all types of library workers spread out to cover every time slot.)  The theme is Everyday Superheroes in the Library, and I’m ready to don my cape and fly off to the convention center.  Some of the sessions I’m excited for are:

Superheroes Rosie & Eliot to the Rescue: Save Your Library from Ho-Hum Teen Titles.  This overview of the Eliot-Rosewater winners will help with reader’s advisory and will also serve as a refresher of what’s hot in YA literature these days.  Plus, am I the only one who still loves to hear a good book talk?

Avengers to Justice League: Turn Teens at Your Library into Their Own Superheroes.  Shameless plug: our teen librarian is one of the panelists, and she has an amazing teen program set up here.  I have learned so much about teen services from her, and I’m sure she’ll have great ideas to share at this session.

Teen Tech Spaces with Chicago Public Library’s YOUMedia.  YOUMedia has been on my radar since I first started volunteering with teen programs at the local public library during grad school.  I’m not ready to completely jump on the “library as makerspace” bandwagon, but if there is a bandwagon, I’m pedaling furiously just behind it, waiting to make sure the road doesn’t run off a cliff.  (I think makerspace equipment is too expensive to buy just because it’s “the next big thing”; while things like 3D printers and self-publishing presses are perfect for some communities, I’m not convinced they’re right for every library.  But that’s a topic for another post.)  I’d love to learn more about programs like YOUMedia, and see how they could apply to the spaces and technologies we offer both teens and adults at my library.

The Modern Book Club.  I started the adult book club at my library in the hopes that it would draw more people in their twenties and thirties to the library.  While we have great discussions, most of our book club members are older and already came to the library regularly.  I’m interested in ideas to draw the younger crowd to these or other programs.

Soaring Together: How Librarians and Authors Can Cultivate Partnerships.  I’m a librarian.  I’m a writer.  Need I say more?  (For my thoughts on author library visits, see my previous post.)

Outrageous Outreach: From Flash Mobs to Freeze Reads.  It’s always nice to hear new, unique program ideas.  I’d love to see how other libraries are getting out into the community and bringing people to the library.

This is just a sample of some of the workshops I’m looking forward to.  There will also be authors signing books and receiving awards throughout the conference.  I’m hoping to grab a signed copy of Mike Mullin’s Ashfall and chat with some fellow writers during the breaks between sessions.

Will you be at ILF?  If so, what sessions are you looking forward to?


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