It’s Not Just Packing a Cardigan: How to Attend a Conference… 10-24-2017

It’s Not Just Packing a Cardigan: How to Attend a Conference… 10-24-2017


Morning everybody. My name is
Suzanne Walker. I am the supervisor of the Indiana State Library’s Professional
Development Office. Thanks so much for joining us today. Our webinar is
scheduled to start at 9:30 today. I think some of our attendees may have thought
that we started at 10:00, so I’m sort of anticipating people to roll in as we’re
going but thank you guys all for being here today. We’re really excited to have
Courtney Block with us, Selena Gomez Beloz, and Megan Zanto from the ILF
office to talk about How to Attend a Conference and Get the Most Out of Your
Experience: It’s Not Just Packing a Cardigan. I am going to start out with
a few announcements like we always do. The webinar is provided as part of the
Library Trends and Hot Topics series. To register for other webinars inthat
series or other trainings from the Professional Development Office, please
see the Indiana State Library’s events calendar which is on our website at
library.in.gov under Services for Libraries. For a full list of our current
in person training menu please see our Continuing Education website. The State
Library has many ways that we try to stay connected to library staff across
the state. For weekly updates on upcoming trainings and to learn more about what’s
happening in libraries across the state, be sure to subscribe to our weekly
newsletter The Wednesday Word. We also offer a blog which provides information
about the state library’s collection, interview spotlights on library staff
from across the state, and information about upcoming events at the State
Library. We don’t anticipate there being any sound issues today – Lisa just posted
some information about sound in the chat box. If you have any issues be sure to
look at the audio setup wizard in the box below the chat box. If there is a
global sound issue we will post it in the chat box but right
now we are not experiencing any sound issues. Today’s webinar is going to be
recorded and archived and available to share afterwards. There are no LEUs for
the webinar today which might be another reason why we don’t have as many people
in the room as we were anticipating, mostly because a lot of this is just
good common sense information about attending conferences, but I have been
wanting to do this webinar for a long long time and
I’m really excited that I’ve got such a great panel to help today.
So we’re gonna get started with Selena and Selena is going to talk to us about how
to attend a conference with the manager’s point of view, so Selena you can go ahead.
Good morning. So I am Selena Gomez Beloz. I am the
director at the Crown Point Community Library and I have been attending
conferences for about 23 years now and so I have a lot of conferences under my
belt and a lot of different types of conferences. So I do have a perspective
of being a frontline staff and getting permission to go to these things and
finding the correct type of conferences to go that best benefit my community in the area that I work, and then also as a manager finding ways to assist
frontline staff to go to conferences and to get the most out of them and bring it
back a benefit to the library. So I’m going to give you a little bit from the
public library side as a manager, as an administrator on what I’m looking for to
help my staff get to conferences. Obviously you know there are there are
webinars and things of that sort where we do information like this, and that’s
pretty easy to do – you schedule out time. But when you go to an in-person
conference there’s a lot more than just attending. You know there’s
budget considerations, there’s grants that you can get, there’s ways of being
involved in conferences that can assure your being able to attend, like giving a
poster presentation or doing a session presentation, and all that takes a
lot of forward planning – sometimes a year in advance to know what you want to do.
But also what I like to hear and the way that I’ve been trained is to always find
a way to write your justification so that your
experience brings something back to the library so not only do you gain
something from it but the library gains something from it at the same time. What
I have done over the years and I’ve worked with other people, is to always
write up my expectations so and they can be very the same… the same way to write an expectation. I
expect to bring back information on adult programming to better benefit my
community. I expect to learn more about diversity initiatives that I can then
work with this segment of my community at the library. So things of that sort
and then to be able then to make sure that I attend sessions that actually
give me that information. We really want to make sure that you’re doing that too. What I would definitely suggest and what I look for as a director is that my
staff are not just attending ALA or PLA but they’re attending different types of
conferences. So for example I am the immediate past president of Reforma and
so I highly advocate for the ethnic caucus conferences – so the Reforma
National Conference unfortunately was just cancelled in Puerto Rico because of
the hurricane, but the Reforma National Conference, the Joint Conference of
Librarians of Color, the Chinese American Library Association Conference – the
BCALA conference which was in Atlanta just recently. These are all really
fantastic conferences that really get down to a little bit more meat of the issues
and it’s a little easier to network with people. You know ala is can be twenty
five thousand people all at once in a city whereas for example the last
Reforma conference was about five hundred so it’s a little easier to
network with people, it’s a little easier to really engage with people. Right now I have someone who’s leaving today for the ABOS conference. It’s the mobile outreach conference which is very specific for us because we just got
a new mobile outreach van so that was really important we thought, to
send a staff person to that. I just sent somebody to a library marketing conference in Georgia not too long ago, again that was my Communication Specialist, so it’s something that’s very directly related to the work that we’re
doing. I think that if you are interested in attending conferences it’s always
great to go to ALA or PLA but really look for those local conferences or more
specific conferences that can really give you more detailed information about
what you need for your job or what you need for your personal professional
growth. I think that’s really good to have. Definitely write up a proposal. You
know, just saying you know, hey I want to go, isn’t always the best argument. Really
write up a proposal as to why you want to do that and know how much it’s going
to cost and if you can apply for grants I highly suggest you do that. Okay so the
next thing I want to just briefly, I want to talk a little bit about being a great
attender at a conference. One of the things that happens is that you meet a
ridiculous amount of people, and it’s always very hard to remember so you
definitely want business cards. That’s always one of the first tips, to have a
business card. One thing that someone told me a couple
years ago that I started doing is that when I meet somebody, particularly if
it’s at a social event, that when you get their business card, take a picture with
them – you know take a selfie with them, so that you can put a face to that
name, because when you come home you have a deck of cards that you could
play an interesting round of name poker with and you don’t know who
you were talking to if you don’t take notes on that card.That was a really
helpful thing for me to be able to say, I remember who that is, they
have information that would be beneficial to us, or maybe there’s
something I can share that would be beneficial to them, and that’s a great
way to build your network. When you go to a large
conference there’s all kinds of swag. Taking a home an extra bag can be
expensive if your airline does not offer you free baggage, so please make sure
that when you go through, you’re picking up what you want.
I was once working with a system that was very environmentally conscious so
they asked us not to bring home anything that we were gonna throw away anyway, you know bookmarks that really didn’t meet what we needed to hand out, or posters
that had the wrong kind of marketing on it so would look like we were
advertising, and then of course you pick up those ARC books – the advanced readers copy – and remember you cannot add those to the collection generally, and you
cannot sell them, so if you’re not going to read them for yourself or give them
away to people or use them for prizes, then you want to really be careful about
what you’re bringing home in your bag, because you’re gonna pay more money to
mail those things out and that mail line can get very very long. If you want to
see an author, be prepared to stay in line for a really long time. Those lines
are very long and you want to make sure that you’re prepared for that not, only
in good shoes but in time… because if you plan on getting signatures on your
books from different authors, you may miss sessions and you want to make sure
that you are planning out your sessions so that you can attend one –
determine if it’s really what you thought it was – because sometimes it’s
not what you think it is – and then can go to the next one, or you can get to the
correct place at the correct time. ALA – though they try to put their
sessions in the conference center – there will be sessions that are in
hotels and you need to be able to get the bus or take a cab and get to one
place to another, so you really want to plan out where everything is at, and what
sessions you’re going to attend. Please do go to open committee meetings.
Don’t be shy. Go to, you know the PLA open committee meetings. Go to the YALSA open committee meetings. They’re always looking for volunteers and it might be
something that you’re very interested in and it’s a great way to meet other
people. It’s also a great way if you decide that conference going is really
something that you like, that you can continue to stay involved by having
responsibilities, because a lot of times these committees – this is the only time
that they meet, is at the conferences. So you know, not only is it a little bit
more work for you, but it could be very rewarding and a chance for you to attend
conferences on a fairly regular basis perhaps. Be sure that you have
something else to do. At ALA at least they have the Library Uncommons
where there are sessions being held on the fly, and they also have crafting
circles so if you are a crafter it’s a great way to take a break and to meet
people again, and to do something just to relax your mind and take a
breather and be able to move on to the next thing that you’re going to. If you are going with a friend or a
co-worker, spread out the sessions so that you all can bring back even more
information and share that with your coworkers. I can’t stress enough how
important it is to share this with your coworkers because not everyone is going
to be able to attend a conference and there’s always something to benefit
someone. The joke for me is when I go to a conference I bring back all these
programming ideas – I don’t do programming anymore – but it’s
like uh-oh…Selena has all kinds of ideas and I start handing them out to people,
and we get about half of them come to fruition after about a year which
is always really exciting to see what other people are doing, and be able to
implement that in our own libraries. Another thing I want to tell you about
even if you’re not looking for a job, at ALA they do have the Job Placement
Center and they will review your resume. It’s always important to keep your
resume updated, and you can get professional head-shots taken – although
generally when you’re looking for a job you don’t send in a headshot, it’s always
nice to have a current photo of yourself. The photo that’s on the slide now,
that’s a selfie. It’s not too bad but sometimes for things like this or when
you’re doing a presentation and they want a picture, it’s always great to have
a nice professional picture for yourself. After that, after you’re all
done and you’re back home, write a report. Talk about what you’ve done and who
you’ve met and all the great things that you’ve learned, and do it quickly
because it’s so easy to forget. You’re so tired afterwards – it’s been so rewarding
and just make sure you get all of your ideas out. Distribute your swag. Everybody
likes an extra pen, and then start developing a plan, how maybe you want
to implement what you’ve learned or how you want to represent your library at
future conferences, because like I said it does take planning, if you want to
present your idea or present one of your successes at a different conference. So you want to make sure you learn the due dates for
proposals, you want to make sure you know the dates for various conferences
so you can spread it out on your calendar and and work with your
co-workers and your manager or your director so that you can get the most
out of that each and every year, if you can, and then
to share the wealth. That’s a really fast
breakdown of how I work with conferences. Again, I can’t stress enough
finding those smaller conferences – they tend to be a little bit cheaper, they
tend to be a little bit faster – and they can really target the things that you’re
working on and are interested in. You know it doesn’t have to be just ALA.
That can get pricey and you will either always be too hot or too cold
because it’s always in the wrong part of the country at the wrong season because
it just works better that way. Thank you so much Selina! Thank you. Does anybody have questions for Selina? Go ahead and type them in the chat box. I do have one – you sort of alluded to this but, as a manager are you okay with your staff
taking break at conferences? You kind of mentioned that, but can you just talk a
little bit more about? I think it’s really important. I really don’t
think it’s realistic to assume that someone will fill every hour of their
day with sessions. I think that networking and listening and
watching other people is really valuable, so if you get to go for example to an
opening session where there’s a speaker and you get to sit down and put your
stuff down in a nice cool auditorium and hear an author, I think that’s just as
valuable as sitting in a session about data analysis for library statistics, so
I think it is really important because you really can burn out very quickly, and
I’ve gone through the sense of guilt of not being able to attend everything I
wanted to because of distance or time and you can beat yourself up about that
too much. As long as you can come back with something, I think
that’s very important. Great, thank you so much. Our next speaker is Courtney
Block, she’s the Instruction Reference and user Engagement Librarian at Indiana University Southeast and I did forget to mention
that Selina is the director at the Crown Point Community
Library so thank you, Selina very much. Okay so Courtney’s gonna give us a
little bit of an academic take on conference attending and if you guys
have questions for Selina or Courtney, feel free to type them in the chat
box. Thanks so much, Go ahead, Courtney! Great thanks Suzanne. I hope you
guys can hear me okay my name is Courtney Block and I’m the
Instruction Reference and User Engagement Librarian at Indiana
University Southeast. I know that’s a mouthful but what I’m going to talk
about today is building on what Selina talked about. I spent the first six years
of my professional librarian career in public libraries so I’m going
to talk a little bit about the staff side of that and then also morph into
talking about academic librarianship conference issues. To build quite
nicely on what Selina talked about as a director, when I was in the public
sector, when multiple colleagues and I were going to the same conference,
we would always confer a couple of days before or even on the drive up, if we
were driving that is, about which session we were going to, just to ensure that we
weren’t all going to the same session. Planning that out beforehand is
really important because once you guys get there, there is just so much
to do and so much to see and it’s hard to sort of get with everybody and plan
everything out once you get there, so we always tried to do that beforehand and
our goal was to organizationally ensure that we were getting the most bang for
our buck because conferences do cost money. They cost money to attend, they
cost money to get to, and they cost money in terms of, you are not at the library during those days and so that’s time and money as well. For the most part this worked out quite well
because we all naturally had our own interests in mind. There wasn’t ever an
issue of two people arguing about which session to go to, so it’s always nice to
just go ahead and do that ahead of time. So how do I choose to attend conferences?
As an academic librarian now, the good thing is that my schedule isn’t really
tied in to my colleagues in quite the same way that it was in the public
sector, so I feel like I have a little bit more autonomy to sort of chart my
own course in terms of my own niche that I have here at the University, which
happens to be user engagement and outreach and advocacy, so I look for
conferences that – even if that’s not the entire focus – can offer me some insight
into those aspects of my job. The ACRL which is the Association for College and
Research Libraries have a national conference – I think the next one is 2019
in Cleveland – so that’s not too awful far away depending on where you are in
Indiana, and they also have offshoots of various committees that they
have, so if you are an academic librarian you might want to look into that.
There’s also IOLUG which is the Indiana Online Users Group and that’s a
nice conference that is based right here in Indiana and it’s full of
academic librarians from across the state that are mainly sort of
talking about some type of project or research initiative. It’s really
quite unique and it’s a good small conference, so if you’re sort of wanting to get your feet wet with a smaller conference
then you you might want to consider that one. Another thing that I like to do and
I noticed that we have a typed question here from Suzanne – have any of you
attended a conference that was not as typical for a librarian? That was a
perfect segue because you always want to try to think outside the box. What I mean
by that is – I’ll give you an example – so one of my research agendas is all about
user engagement and social media and I recently did a study that used snapchat
as an advocacy tool specifically for first-year college students and I saw,
actually in a listserv I think, that the Pop Culture Association of
America has a Library and Museum Track and I hadn’t previously known that and
if somebody had just said to me like hey you know check out the Pop Culture
Conference I would say what are you talking about? But they have a Library
and Museum Track and so I submitted my proposal and it was accepted. So another
thing that you want to do that anybody really wants to do, whether you’re public
librarian or not, but especially if you’re an academic librarian, is to
consider presenting at a conference because publishing and output is an
expected and required component of my job as an academic librarian. So
presenting at a conference counts for publication and creative work, doing a
poster session counts as publication and creative work, so you
always want to consider that – especially if you’re in academic
librarianship but also anybody really regardless of what type
of librarian you are should be encouraged to submit proposals for
your ideas because that’s what it’s all about, right – is networking with each
other and getting ideas and seeing what everybody’s doing. I’m gonna echo again
what Selina said about grants. Conferences can definitely be expensive –
especially at their national conferences and they’re located all the way
across the country, so look for grants, look for ways to fund your travel, see if
the conference itself has some scholarships available. As far as like attending, once again I’ll echo what Selina said about
business cards, and I am horrible at that so I always try to like make it a point –
I’ll put reminders in my phone, write little notes to myself because I have
been stuck at conferences before without business cards and it’s really
the worst. I also want to stress – consider attending one of the social
functions if the conference offers one, and I know that the bigger ones like ALA
and PLA do but definitely do that, because networking is important and also
getting out and experiencing the area that the conference is in is also
important, and so go do those things with people that you’re meeting at the
conference even if there’s not special social functions that are offered.
Consider just having lunch or dinner with someone that you’ve met at a
session. Make it a point to really put yourself out there and engage with other
people and not, you know just sort of have lunch off to the side by yourself.
Cause networking is so important during these these events and it can also be
fun, right? I mean you don’t have to sit
around talking shop but you can swap stories, you can brainstorm with
other people, I’ve always found that it’s actually a
really fun thing to do. I always make sure that even though it’s not just
about a cardigan, I do make sure that I have a sweater and a water bottle
because you just never can tell what the temperature is going to be and there’s
nothing worse than being in a conference room that is just so freezing cold that
that is the only thing you can focus on and when I go to conferences, any
conference really, I try to dress business casual.
I want to network with people and I want to make a good impression. I also want to
be comfortable so I understand that it’s a balance but I do always try to make it
a point to look look pretty professional and I think that sensible shoes are
probably the make-or-break factor there. When I am attending sessions I prefer to take handwritten notes just like on a piece of paper or
in the conference booklet or on a pad of paper that I’ve brought myself – I don’t
typically use any technology to take notes when I’m there and that’s just
because I’ve been to one too many sessions where there is somebody
furiously hitting the keyboard on their laptop or who has not turned off the
little keyboard blips on their iPad so that’s one thing that I like to do, and
I’ll finish up here Suzanne – I like to follow up by just sending emails to
people that I’ve met. That’s pretty easy for me and then I have that stream in my
email that I can go back to easily if I need to and another reason I like to
hand write my notes is because I will create documents of the conference’s
that I went to and so as I type it, it’s a way for perfect way for me to review
and add my own notes about what I learned. Thank you so much Courtney! Thank you! Okay. Are there any questions for Courtney? Courtney did you talk about
conference guilt or was that Selina? Selina talked about conference guilt
but I definitely want to echo her and say that you have to have those
moments that you just sort of maybe take a little bit of a break or take a walk
or or something, so yeah I echo that but she did talk about it. Okay great.
Thanks. I’m going to go ahead and talk now, this is Suzanne. I’m the Professional Development Supervisor here at the State Library and like you might assume, I’ve
been to lots and lots of conferences. What you might not know about me is that
I’m very hesitant to attend conferences sometimes because I experience a lot of
conference anxiety, and so I’m gonna talk a little bit about that today. The first
thing I wanted to mention is that I always try to plan ahead a lot when I’m
attending a conference. That really helps me with anxiety, that way I kind of know
what I’m gonna do. Some conferences have an app that you
can use and that can be really helpful, so if you’re planning on going
to a conference, take a look at the app and get a good plan ready to go. That
really helps me when I’m feeling anxious about attending a conference that way I
know that I have a good plan going in. And when I talk about a plan I certainly
know people that make spreadsheets, you know? I know people that make lots of
notes inside their app. It’s important to write down all the sessions
that you’re interested in but it’s also important to have a backup session, because sometimes the sessions that you might be interested in may fill up. You might not
have gotten the cab ride that you thought you were gonna get to go to a
conference session, especially for something like ALA or PLA. I remember
one conference I was in Chicago and I could not find a session and I had a ton
of conference guilt right then because that morning I think I had gone to an
author talk or something and that was like the time in my
schedule and I was gonna go to a learning session and I literally could
not get into one and I was really really frustrated, so be sure to have a backup
session and maybe even a second backup session, especially if you’re going to a
really large conference. Other things for planning ahead, I always pack a
little survival package – survival bag. Courtney mentioned having a water bottle
and definitely do pack a cardigan, or a sweater. I always pack bandaids, in
case my shoes happen to be a bad shoe choice, that way you can sort of help
with blisters. I always take my phone charger with me everywhere at the
conference because you’d be surprised at how quickly, you want to look
something up, you want to be on your app, you’re looking up something that a
speaker talked about, you’re adding contacts into your phone – I always find
that my phone dies at a conferences so take your charger with you. Yes there’s
gonna be pens in the vendor hall but sometimes the vendor hall is far away
from where you are so, be sure to have a pen or pencil. Everyone has said to take
business cards, Take Business Cards. Something else – I liked Selina’s tip of taking a selfie with people that you meet, what I used to
do is to actually write something about the person on their business card,
because I mean you get back and you don’t remember who these people are, at
all. You’re like, I know nothing about who this person is, so I always write a
little note about what we talked about, or where we met or something like
that. Pack a little snack in case you need a pick-me-up sometime during the
day. I also like to pack Tylenol or ibuprofen, cough drops, all that kind of
stuff. And also you need a bag, right? We need a conference bag; sometimes they give that to you. I prefer to take my own because then it’s my own size, I know how
much swag can fit into it, and I know that when I when it’s full I should stop
picking up swag. Other things to think about when you’re planning ahead…do you
have any library friends that maybe don’t work in your state that you want
to reach out to – send them a note and see if they’re going to the conference as
well. Is the conference on a new city? If it’s in a city that’s new to you,
something that really helps me with anxiety is to just get to know the town
a little bit before I go there, especially their transit options. I
always make sure I know how to get from the airport
to my hotel or how to get from my hotel to the conference center. I get all that
figured out ahead of time that way when I go there I know that there’s a
plan. Okay a little bit more about anxiety – once you’re at the conference it
is important to get out of your comfort zone and meet people, and that
doesn’t mean that you have to have lunch with strangers every single day, but I
think it is important to have lunch with strangers sometimes and sometimes that
can be really scary but just remind yourself most librarians are actually
not extroverts despite what you see at conferences and there are people out
there that are just doing their best like me. You know I’m really an
an extroverted introvert and so you know I’d much
rather be at home doing art than going to a conference but if I’m there at a
conference I do try to get out there and meet people because they
possibly feel the same way that I do and it’s nice to see a friendly face
sometimes at a conference. No one has mentioned this so I’m going to go ahead
and mention that if you’re in a session that doesn’t interest you, there
is no reason that you need to stay in that session. You can leave, and the
session speakers are not going to get their feelings hurt, and if they are then
they just haven’t been working in the field long enough. If it’s a session that
doesn’t interest you, then you don’t have to stay, you can go to something else.
I’ve found that I’ve been in sessions before and it’s just not what I was
anticipating it was going to be about, so it’s not even their fault… you know
it’s not that they’re presenting poorly or anything like that, it’s just not the
information I was expecting, and so I’ll pull out my plan and see what my backup
was and go ahead and go to something else. It is important to take organized
notes when you are at conferences, this will help you later to write that report
that Selina was referring to. You know there’s nothing as frustrating –
when you’re a manager and you send somebody to a conference and they come
back and you’re like, how was the conference? And they’re like, oh it was
great! What’d you learn?
It was just great! I learned some things and it was wonderful, and I can’t wait to
go the next one. Well I need a report how your conference went, and I always
ask my people to do even like bulleted lists of the various sessions that they
went to and things like that, I find that to be really helpful. I also wanted to
mention not to be intimidated by folks or by venues at conferences. This is
literally a man that I just asked him if I could take his picture for a session
on how to attend conferences. He was so proud as you might imagine of his many
ribbons on his badge and I know some people love to collect these. Selina had
a picture of her badge with lots of ribbons on it but I can’t get away from
having certain feelings when I see people like this, I’m like oh my gosh
they’re either a superstar or they are faking it really well. But don’t be
intimidated by people that seem to be so involved, these ribbons are available…
their kind of uber available now, sometimes there’s
whole tables and you can just pick up any ribbon that applies to you, it didn’t
used to be that way. A long time ago, like if you were speaker you got a ribbon and
that was sort of coveted, but now everybody can get ribbons, so feel
free to grab them and don’t be intimidated by folks like this. I
also wanted to mention… I’ve got some notes here that I’m looking at and
I’m actually going to make a handout for this that I’ll post along with the
webinar. Do do the vendor hall… This is the information
booth. Most conferences have these. They’re here to help you. I literally did
lose a laptop at a conference once. That was a good time and I went to the
information booth was like, I lost my laptop! And they said that the Lost and
Found is in this room, and so I went to the Lost and Found and they didn’t have
it then but I came back later in the day and it was absolutely there so that was
really great. So this is actually a picture of ALA in San Francisco, this is
as close as I wanted to get to the vendor hall, but I did actually end up
going into the vendor hall. I would say do the vendor hall. The venders subsidize the cost of the conference so it’s important to go there
and visit with them and see the kinds of things that they offer, but if you get
anxiety about going to the vendor hall do not feel like you are the only one. I
hate going to vendor halls because I don’t like talking to people, and I don’t
like you know going down all the aisles, it can get really really
crowded, but I always make myself do it because sometimes you can learn about
new products in the vendor hall, again they really subsidize the cost of the
conference. You know they’re there, they want to be the friendliest people
in the world so no one is there to like I don’t know hurt you or embarrass you or
anything like that, after you do the vendor hall, it’s okay to leave the
vendor hall and do deep breathing exercises in the hallway. I’ve had to do
that before, so that’s okay. I would also encourage people
to do one event that you have no idea what it is. Sometimes if there’s
something on your list and you’re like man I have no idea what that is, give it
a try and see what it is especially if it’s sort of a social or a fun event… Battle Decks. That’s what it’s called. If you ever see Battle Decks
go to it because it’s very funny. It’s almost like an improv competition
where people have a PowerPoint presentation that they’ve never seen
before and they have to give a presentation on a topic using someone
else’s slides and it’s very very funny. So that’s fun. Diane has a good tip,
she says if the conference’s in your city it does help others if you can give
directions, recommendations for lunch, and basically be an ambassador in that city.
Thank you, Diane that’s a really really good point. If anyone else has
conference going tips, feel free to throw them in the chat box. The last couple
things I’m gonna to say before I turn it over to Megan from ILF is, do ask for
help if you need it. When the conference is over, the conference is really not
over, because hopefully you’ve learned a lot, hopefully you’ve met people…
the first thing I always try to do is come back and unpack my bag. I have lost
my bags from conferences before, and I lost entire like contacts with
people and it has taken two years to find those people again, so don’t lose your
bag. Unpack it, get it organized, write up your report… Follow up with the
people that you’ve met, send notes to people that you’ve met, even if it was
just a brief introduction…maybe you were both standing in line to meet
an author and you met each other. I always try to send a note to those
people, hey it was great to meet you when we were standing in line to meet
this author… you can get jobs that way or references that way. I know everyone always says build your network, well what does that
mean? It really just means meet people in the library world. You never know when
you’re gonna be in a different city and you might want to touch base with
somebody. You never know when you might want a reference from a different state
or a different city. Selina or Courtney, I think Courtney said to go
ahead and give away… Selina I think said give away all the freebies that
you’ve collected – do be sure to do that – write a report for your boss, or your
board, or your supervisor, and also I find it’s really important to make some
goals about the kind of changes you want to make in your library as a result of
attending the conference, and also share with others. Okay so Selina says Save money. Buy small groceries for the hotel. This is very
smart. Bring snacks, eat in the exhibit area, or sessions that provide food. That
can save you money and I can also save money for your libraries. Courtney says she
has a tip for a conference, if you’re anxious about choosing sessions, making
your way from point A to point B etc. Attend Overdrive’s Digipalooza
Conference, if you can. It’s the easiest and most well-run conference. I did not
know that, I’ll have to go there. They provide you with an
option of two tracks, all the sessions are set for you – this sounds like my kind
of conference – they provide snacks, meals, social events, etc. She can’t say
enough good things. That’s awesome. It is so good. Okay, Awesome. Well thank you Courtney, I may have to try that one. Now we are gonna go ahead and
move to Meghan Zanto and she’s gonna talk about the upcoming
ILF conference, some real specific things about attending that conference, and I’m
gonna be monitoring the chat so if anyone has questions or other tips about
attending conferences be sure to throw those in the chat box. Thanks Megan.
Thank you, hi everyone. Like she said I’m gonna be talking about our upcoming
Annual Conference. It’s November 13 through 15, so we are just driving right
towards it. We’re really excited for it. The conference is at the Marriott Indy
East. It is a convenient location if you’re staying on sight. If you’re driving
from our northern or southern parts of the state, as the conference location and
the hotel are one in the same. We completely take over the hotel so that
you can make sure if you walk in a room accidentally, you will see friendly
librarians and library staff staring back at you so that is very convenient.
You’ll see that there’s two entrances that you can go to at the Marriott, there’s
the front entrance and then there’s a conference center entrance and there’s
parking all around there so hopefully we should be in good shape for that. I
didn’t mention but registration is still open for Annual Conference. The standard
registration rate has ended so we’re now in the late registration era but we’d
like to offer for anybody doing this webinar in the next two days, just email
me and we will offer you the standard registration rate, just for attending
this and listening to all of us talk. A few other things, you can see on
the slide here, our registration desk in the atrium of the hotel. Our staff,
Tisa Davis, is always at the registration desk. If you ever have a question, you are
welcome to come there. You will also find volunteers walking around. They will have
white ribbons on their name badges – they might have an assortment of other
ribbons too as you saw from Suzanne’s picture, but you can always find them
with the white ribbon. And if you’re there early, if you come in on
Monday and you’re not set to be registered until Tuesday, just come on in
to registration anyway, get your stuff, get oriented, and we can help you with
anything that we need to. So we have a new app this year that you can go ahead
and download now. It is completely up to date with
all of the events that we have going on. You can go to your app store whether you
have an iPhone or an Android…I’m not really sure of all the differences…
and just type in ILF Conference and then it’ll come up and you can walk through
the exhibit hall and you can plan your sessions and your schedule like Suzanne
said if you’re anxious and you want to make sure that you can get everything
ahead of time, that’s the best thing to do. I’m also gonna jump on and say it’s
also good for people that don’t have anxiety. And also this week, the final
program for ILF, that you will be receiving at registration for the conference, will
be up so that you can start planning as well. It gives the map of the facility
that’s color-coded, so that you can just see your way around before you get there.
I like to always know where my parking is and where I’m gonna walk whenever I
get to somewhere. It’s not too late to register for our meals for Annual
Conference. We have three meals that are add-ons to registration. You are welcome
to just come for the meals as well if you know someone who’s maybe gonna be
honored at our awards and honors banquet on Tuesday night, you’re welcome to do so.
There is no late fee for those but it still has a deadline of November 6 so
that we can get all the meals into the hotel. On Tuesday you have the ILF
luncheon and that will have the 3 By 3 contest. If you went to last year’s
Annual Conference – it’s where some of your fellow librarians and library staff will
be getting up and making a presentation for a thousand dollar grant and
then you can vote on them then and there of who will be walking away with the money.
It’s fun. Yeah, so that might be an example of a session or an event
that maybe you don’t know really what it is and you will probably go and
have a great time. Yes. Yes. And it’s full of networking too, and then there’s the
awards and honors banquet that night. It’s for different individuals who have
received some of our scholarships or our awards for having excellency in the
library world in Indiana. And then Wednesday we’ve kind of combined an
event. It used to just be the YHBA meal and now it’s YHBA for the Young
Hoosier Book Award and the Elliott Rosewater Book Award, so it’s a combined
book awards luncheon. We’re going to be honoring all of the
the winners of those awards, and have one of them on-site, so it should be a great
event. It’s always fun and you can walk away with books. Monday also, Monday
night, if you’re going to be in town for the pre-conferences or you’re coming in
early for the Tuesday start, we’re having Dine Arounds this year. That Google form
will be going out to attendees today for you to sign up for one. It’s just a
casual way to get kind of out of the Marriott East and into other parts.
We’re gonna be heading downtown, we’re gonna be heading to Mass Ave, and then
were going to be heading up to Castleton if you like a little less crowd, and we’ll
be carpooling and we can help you find Ubers, whatever you need to
do. [So this is almost like networking done for you. You just sign up for a
Dine Around and automatically you’re meeting new people and that’s okay. And going to a new restaurant, and that will be good.] And then Tuesday evening we
have the IU Library and Information Science alumni event. We set it up this year, so hopefully it’s not
interfering with any sessions. Those are just some of our awardees in the past
from the awards and honors meal. There’s a map that you could find in the
program. It has everything color-coded and I’m one of those people. [Yeah, and I
also want to mention like not only have I attended a lot of conferences, I’ve
also planned a lot of conferences and I always always get people that say, why
don’t you provide a map? There’s always a map. So be sure to look in your program.]
It’s in your program. Around the building we
have some signs too. They may not be color coded. And
like I said just stop at registration desk, you can even ask a Marriott staff
member if you’re lost. They are the kindest people ever, so we’ll help you
get where you need to go. The next thing is the Kids Ink bookstore. Shirley
Mullin helps us out a lot each year and she has all of the books available for
any of the authors that will be attending our conference as well as some
others maybe that are speaking or some that were on old YHBA and Rosie lists and so she’ll be doing that and then the authors. We
have a list of authors who will be signing on Tuesday and Wednesday which
you can find in the final program or on the app,
including our keynotes on Tuesday which is my Maggie Stievater. So,
hopefully it’s a good thing. We try to manage lines really well so that you can
get to your session but it’s right after the keynote and there’s some no
conflict time in between there. There’s some more pictures of some of our past
authors for the author signing including last year’s James Patterson. Our exhibit
hall – while it’s not as scary as ALA’s – we have about 60 to 70 exhibitors. They
want nothing but to make you happy. They don’t want to cause you anxiety, they
don’t want to bother you and make you feel uncomfortable. They really
just want to make some new connections and make some new friends and like
Suzanne said, they’re helping to support the conference. Without their help, the registration cost would be a lot higher and then it would make it
impossible for a lot of you to attend, so make sure you visit them. I know which
ones have chocolate so I can help point out that if you need a chocolate break throughout the day. You don’t need to take home bags and pens,
but they have chocolate and that’s important. We have our silent auction and
we have our poster sessions. Our silent auction will only be on one day this
year, I believe, depending on how many other items we get in in the next few
weeks, and then our poster sessions are on Wednesday and it’s just a way to
support your colleagues who took time to submit these posters
and have conversations with them, learn some more about what they’re offering,
and then we have some of our volunteers who will select a winner, for a lack of
better word, and then that person will get a pre-registration to next year’s
events so it’s really just supporting your colleagues. Above all, it’s
about the experience. It’s not just about coming for the LEU content. It’s about
coming for networking and to learn more from your fellow colleagues or come back
and have a really great program idea. We have some conversation rooms
that are going to be available throughout the conference if you need a
quiet space to go to. We’ll have some of those that you can
just dip into, and like I said if at any time you have a question, or you just
want a friendly face to talk to, please visit the registration desk. We don’t want you eating lunch in your car by yourself because you weren’t
sure who to talk to or what to do. We want you to come eat lunch with us at
the registration desk. We’ll be happy to or Tisa will at least be happy to sit there
and and talk with you. Those are just some pictures from last year’s
conference, you see having some good time there. Some last things – there is a lot of LEU opportunity at our conference, so make sure that you
turn your form in at the end of the conference so we can send you your
certificate. The same with your evaluations, you know we really use your
feedback to shape our conferences. We listen – we listen to you. We go
back and and we say, let’s try this, let’s try to do this, we need topics
on this. So we really do listen to your evaluations. As you’re
gearing up for for the conference that’s just in a few weeks we have a
hashtag that we use and then you can always tag our handle on social media so
that we can see that you’re getting excited too, and so I think that’s all
that I have. [Awesome. Well I do have all of our contact
information up there so if anyone has other questions about attending
conferences, feel free to send an email to any of us –
I didn’t clear that ahead of time – and I realized that I put an S on the
end of Megan’s name.] It happens all the time. [So I’m sorry, but I’m sure that everyone would be fine
answering questions about conferences, and I guess I’ll just say one thing
about eating lunch in your car – because I think sometimes that can be a thing, sometimes people need that, you know like they need
that time away but I would never want anyone to do that because, like you said,
because they didn’t know of another option, it’s one thing if
you’re sort of choosing that because you just need a break, but it’s another thing if
you’re like sadly eating in your car because you don’t have a friend, and you
would like to have a friend.] We’ll be your friend. [Absolutely. You know, the thing that I like to remind people is that we all speak the
same language, and also we’re all working in libraries and if you
don’t know what to say to a new person a great thing is, well what do you do
in your library? And then automatically you have a
conversation. Well I hope that this was helpful for everyone
today. I want to thank Selina and Courtney and
Megan so much for sharing their tips and tricks for a conference attending. I’ve
been wanting to do this webinar for a really long time just to help people
like me that don’t love conferences but have to go to them frequently, so I hope
that this is helpful and again we will get this transcribed and out on YouTube
to share with the world and when we upload it to our website,
I’ll also have a sort of handout with a lot of these tips, okay? Alright, well
thank you everybody so much have a great day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *