I attended the Minnesota Library Association 2019 Conference on September 19th and 20th. I attended classes on library advocacy, summer reading programs, graphic novels, diversity, professional development opportunities as well as the keynote speakers. I gained many new perspectives, ideas and the locations of resources that could be utilized for future library programs and collection development.
The courses I found to have the most relevant information for me included the course on racial equity and diversity, the Asian American literature, and creating welcoming environments through authentic connections classes. I have been wanting to do a diversity audit on the collections and materials at our library for some time now. After these classes, I have new ideas of how to appropriately create a welcoming and diverse collection and environment for all of our patrons. I was thinking of this as a much bigger task prior to these classes. While it will be time intensive, incorporating diversity into the collection and environment can be as easy as replacing the artwork displayed on the walls and toys kept in the library for children to play with.
The classes on summer reading programs were also insightful. There were many ideas that could be incorporated into upcoming summer reading programs. Some ideas were awesome, but also not readily adaptable to our library due to space, statistic requirements, and staff time limits.
The vendors were fun to talk with and I gained ideas from them as well. I found several resources for refer to as I move forward in youth services. The venue of the conference was beautiful and the meals were wonderful. Overall this MLA conference was wonderful! I had a great first time attendee experience! Thank you!