Thank you so much for providing funding to attend the Minnesota Library Association Conference in St. Cloud October 11 and 12, 2018. Below are the sessions I attended that resonated with me and the work we are currently doing at the Marshall Lyon County Library.
Why Not Library and Information Science? Exploring Undergraduate Awareness
I was expecting this to be how to engage undergraduates to get them to consider the library profession as a career. Instead, it was a study done by a St. Kate’s graduate student about how aware undergraduates of color are about LIS. It was still an interesting session and I got to speak with a St. Kate’s professor to see how MLCL might be considered as a place for a library student to do an internship or practicum.
Our Stories, Our Community: Preserving Local Stories Through Oral History
It was interesting to hear how the Rochester Public Library approached gathering local stories. They purchased significant equipment (including a soundproof room) and dedicated significant staff time to performing the interviews. While there were tidbits of very useful information that can apply to MLCL’s Memoir Project (looking to launch in 2019), most of it was too labor intensive for us to follow the path exactly. The best thing I learned is that they funded the whole thing through a MN Historical and Cultural Heritage (Legacy) grant.
Rescuing Audio, Video and Digital Data on a Budget
Along with the program above, this was the most useful session I went to. As part of the MLCL Memoir Project, we have planned to create a digital makerspace that will include equipment for the public to use to digitize old media and photographs. This session presented how to create such a space with very little money. Between the two sessions, we will be able to move forward immediately next year with much less seed money than originally anticipated.
Project Management as a Bridge
This session was not very helpful, as it focused mainly on academic libraries as part of a larger university, so it spent a lot of time talking about creating committees, etc. Then, the presenters covered the basics of project management, which I had been taught at a previous job.
Building Buy-In for Marketing at Your Library
Presented by Gina Millsap, keynote speaker on Friday, it covered a lot about how to work with the entire staff to make sure everyone is a marketer. Again, as a large library system, there were a number of things a smaller library can’t do, but many of the ideas (like you never know where a good idea will come from and how to help staff do more upselling) were useful for any size library.
I also had time on Friday to do some networking. I met briefly with someone from Libraries Without Borders to discuss how MLCL can help on a statewide rollout of their MN project. I also met with Gina Millsap, keynoter and CEO of Topeka Shawnee County Public Library, who is a long-time mentor, to discuss a variety of things, including the MLCL Strategic Plan, the Memoir Project and staff engagement.