Thank you to Garrett Trott, Sam Wallin, and everyone else on the Planning Committee who worked hard to create a hugely successful OLA/WLA Joint Conference. I loved having the chance to spend time with colleagues from all different kinds of libraries in Oregon and Washington- it was so nice to see everyone.
Highlights for me included the Visual Thinking Strategies pre-conference hosted by the Children’s Services Division. How is it that CSD has such awesome conference sessions? They are a cute group to be sure (see pictures on the OLA Facebook Page), but I continue to be impressed by how directly the CSD programs inform my instruction work at the community college level. It got me all jazzed up.
I hope it goes without saying that the Library Instruction Round Table pre-conference featuring Dale Vidmar and his work with peer reflection conversations was awesome (I’m sure I’m not overstating that just because I’m the LIRT Chair). I’m so glad I was able to attend with my colleague and teaching buddy, Theresa Yancey. We both enjoyed thinking about how each can support the other’s intentionality and reflection in instruction. Speaking of support, we’ll write a big thank you to Chemeketa for supporting our attendance- who will get a thank you card from you?
I have a soft spot in my heart for Washington County Cooperative Library Services- I still have the WCCLS pin from the first day on my ultra-part-time job with them back in the ’90s. So it was especially nice to be at the table with Eva Calcagno, sneaking a photo of her as she watched Abigail and Buzzy perform a skit to honor the Librarian of the Year…..who could it be? who could it be? Eva of course for her incredible work on the Passport Program!
I presented the President’s Award to Abigail Elder. What can I say? I want to be Abigail. Trouble? Stop and ask yourself “What Would Abigail Do?” I can’t thank her enough for her leadership over the last two years. She’s wonderful and Oregon continues to be so lucky to have her.
Other good memories from the conference include seeing Oregon and Washington State Librarians dressed up as Bert and Ernie. How cute is MaryKay with a fuzzy unibrow? Well she makes it look good, but Rand Simmons with a fuzzy headband gives her a run for the money. He’s adorable. I guess I learned things at that session about similarities and differences in the way state libraries are run, but, main impression? adorable.
The WLA Social Responsibilities Roundtable had a great session called The Role of Libraries During Civil (or Human) Rights Moments. Although the panel was very warm and mellow, I learned a few things that I took as a personal call to arms in the way I discuss topic selection in instruction. I got so fired up about it my hands started shaking and I can’t wait to start normalizing LGBT and undocumented people discussions in my classroom. What else is the needs-to-be normal that’s not on our radar? Interested to hear from others!
Unexpected conference treats include chocolate mousse, Library Assessment Round Table Meeting, Alliance Research Interest Group meeting, Emporia reception at the Red Lion, and breakfast at Torque with the Communications Committee. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Communication Committee members I had only met online and hashing out ways to make our OLA publications stronger. That said, I don’t know why I bought a scarf with a picture of #10 Dr. Who. I guess Torque just had that effect on me (see also photo of “The ‘Couve” tshirt on OLA Facebook for more Torque merchandise).
Thanks everyone for the great memories and inspiration I can take back to the library!
Sincerely, ~Michele Burke, OLA President