AzLA Annual Conference Recap

I particularly enjoy going to our state library association's conference - it's small enough that I feel a definite sense of camaraderie and belonging.

I attended a fun pre-conference on using improvisation skills to spice up your library presentations, classes, and tours, given by my friend Marc. It was a good time, and I did come away with some fun ideas.

Sarah Houghton-Jan, of Librarian in Black fame, gave the keynote speech on sustainable technologies. I felt that many of her points were applicable in general, and not just about technology, such as having a plan for implementation and a culture of assessment, and a willingness to stop doing things that don't work! One of my favorite quotes was "Discontinuing a failing service is not failing, but continuing to support a failing service is a failure." One of my favorite takeaways and what I would hope any library administration would support was to celebrate success! We always hear about the doom and gloom - let's have more parties and rewards!

Another fun presentation was "Librarians Gone Wild" talking about making movies to promote library services and resources. Yavapai College has made some really creative and fun videos and tutorials, here was the first one:

I gave a presentation on Wednesday on using a wiki as an ERM system. I feel that it went really well - I had a great audience who asked some thoughtful questions, which always feels great! Here's my presentation:
ERM on the Cheap
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: presentation wiki)

I'll hopefully get this posted on the conference website as well.

Phoenix College Library talked about organizing a video game night at their library. I particularly liked their academic approach - they invited game designers from a local studio to come and talk about careers in video game design and production. They also played games, of course, but apparently the students were very engaged and asked a ton of questions about the business. The designers were very honest and talked about the skills needed, a realistic picture of the day-to-day business, as well as pointed out some relevant classes that were offered by Phoenix College. They've hosted this game night for 2 years and have had incredibly positive feedback from the students. As an added benefit, many of the students who were previously intimidated by the librarians now feel more comfortable approaching them for help - the game night helped break the ice.

Those were the highlights of the conference in my opinion - outside of some fun lunches with my colleagues!