|MLA 2022 DECC Duluth MN – It was great! I made a new librarian friend because we seemed to keep bumping into each other. Her name Suela Bace and she’s a supervisor at Dakota County Library, Burnhaven. She immigrated from Albania many years ago and has a special interest in EDI initiatives which made her session ‘Why we should hire diverse employees?’ so interesting to listen to. Her ‘how-to’ tips on attracting, interviewing and training people from diverse cultures was especially insightful.|
I tended to pick STEM sessions & techy ones that relate to teen/tween programming, my special interest. The whole point of going to the conference was to shake up my brain – so I also picked subjects I have little experience with. Here’s my list of sessions attended: ‘Video Gaming, Information, Advisory and Programming’, ‘Impact through Collaboration’, ‘Authentic Learning with Digital Literacy Tools’, ‘Transform Outreach and Community Engagement with a mobile makerspace’, ‘When Legal Research Isn’t Enough’, ‘Introducing 23 Linked Data Things: Let’s Get Learning’, ‘Cultivating Genius: Using the HILL Model for culturally responsive library lessons’, author panel discussion.
After attending the author panel I very much enjoyed talking to two of the panel authors, Thomas D. Peacock and his wife Elizabeth Albert-Peacock. I purchased her ‘Firefly’ and ‘Hummingbird’ children’s books and a couple copies of his ‘The Wolf’s Trail’ to gift – one is going to our library’s volunteer amateur astronomer because the story includes a map of the Ojibwe star constellations.
I volunteered as ‘room host’ for three morning sessions, and toured the Arrowhead Library System Bookmobile. Breakfast, lunches and the Happy Hour offering at Glensheen Mansion were all delicious. Socializing with other librarians for a longer time at Glensheen was well worth it, both the social and intellectual discussions had. The Glensheen bonfire next to Lake Superior with S’Mores was wonderful!
The Keynotes were awesome and presented in two different manners – the first was intense and timely – ‘Intellectual Freedom, Privacy Rights, and the Critical Practice of Librarianship’ presented by Reanna Esmail. I was impressed that she attended a number of sessions later as a participant librarian, which made me feel so good about her. I wrote subject notes for my own follow up research about the many ways of malinformation, the library freedom scorecard website, and the MLS video Empowered Against Book Bans. It made me wonder if data from our patron’s digital downloads is sold to marketers through Libby? I see that the library freedom scorecard can be used to ask the privacy rights questions to vendors that will reveal what, if anything happens to the data. Do any of the communities near me have people who check out a whole display related to DEI just so no one else can check them out?
The Keynote conversation with Justice Alan Page had us spellbound. I was especially interested in the fact that circumstances were such that he interrupted his schooling to become a lawyer to try his hand at professional football, and then when done with the Vikings went right back to his law school. He said that the reason he did that stemmed from his family culture to try to do the best you could in anything you tried. He was honoring his parents with every breath. Very moving.
Thank you so much for helping me attend the conference Prairieland Exchange. Your scholarships change the lives of librarians and the people we serve!