ALA Annual Alerts Librarians to Ideas and Innovations

July 16th, 2012

Every June the American Library Association holds their Annual Conference; this year I had the opportunity of attending it, in Anaheim, CA, for the first time.  The American Library Association is a professional organization for all disciplines of librarians to receive support for their positions in the form of networking, resources, and professional development opportunities, including Annual, to “enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”  There really is something for every type of librarian, from academic to public from private to prison. 

 I attended a variety of sessions to match the variety of job duties and interests I have, including but not limited to Innovative Outreach, Working with Grants, Civic Engagement, and Promotional Videos.  Additionally, I walked through “poster session alley” to get quick glimpses into what’s working for other libraries and get a few ideas of my own. 

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The session on Innovative Outreach had ideas like creating a library graphic novel and having book themed events such as a Harry Potter night.  But we’ll want to find just the right fit for our IU East students.  What would you like to see happen at the library? Tell us!

 As part of my job as Service-Learning Coordinator I was interested in the Working with Grants session put on by the Grant Professionals Association where I received tips and tricks of the trade; I even won a book.  In my opinion the most important aspect of grant writing is the power of persuasion.  So practice up on those research assignments and persuasive essays!

 This coming Fall Semester several IU East classes will be involved with the American Democracy Project and other aspects of civic engagement.  The session I attended on Civic Engagement gave a few ideas about hosting debates, speaking series, and voter registration as well as providing bibliographic support for civic topics. 

 Last but not least was the creating Promotional Videos session.  We’re no strangers to this idea, after all the talented Matt Dilworth created an IU East Campus Library promotional video using tailor-made Barbies.  We’ve also tried our hand at the infomercial approach and avatars from Xtranormal.  But as faces and spaces change, it will soon be time to undertake another promotional video.  Would you like to be our next shining star? Let us know!

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I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing Chris Colfer and Dan Rather speak about their recent publications, stopping by the Marcive booth to see my winning caption, and attending a showing of the documentary “Scrablyon.”  Yes, that’s what this librarian does for fun.  Until next year, ALA!

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