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YRL Conference & My First Presentation

I was relieved that the shaky knees only came later in my car at a scary left-hand turn. I managed to do my presentation on the restructuring of my library and its collection at YRL’s conference with only slight shortness of breath and fewer-than-expected nervous brain-freezes. I didn’t say everything I wanted to say, but obviously said enough since the feedback I received was very positive. Islands of Knowledge (I am still struggling with the pretentiousness of the title) was scheduled at the end of the day, so I was worried that I (and the audience) would be a bit burned out. I think, instead, that I was too tired to shake much.

One attendee did comment after the session that she still felt that teaching the Dewey Decimal System was important for informed access to collections all over the world. Unfortunately there is no teacher librarian to teach it in my district and I suspect that the few students that actually retain the information will learn it, and/or LOC, as needed anyway.

As always after attending a library conference, there were several great ideas I gleaned from the sessions I attended that I want to incorporate in my library.

Connecting to Readers: Displays that Work by the vivacious team of Allison Stewart & Tamara Van Biert from the Stony Plain Public Library expanded on tips from a workshop that they had attended last year on Reader Centred Concepts. They talked about how to shift the focus from books to readers, persuading patrons to imagine themselves enjoying the books. Creative posters used the words ‘You’ and ‘Yourself’ to do that. I also learned that I need to look beyond library vendors to retail supply outlets for less expensive display materials. I’ll have to check that out for some slat-wall end panels. I was also reminded that I need to learn more about and start using QR codes. (A smart phone will be free with a contract renewal soon…)

I also attended an excellent session called Book Quest: Solving the Riddle of Getting Tweens & Teens To Read by Wanda Pederson from Onoway Jr/Sr High School. She showed a very interesting comparison between 20th & 21st Century readers and then a list of different types of readers, clearly defining who the alliterate or reluctant readers are: readers who, for various reasons, have the ability to read but consciously choose not to. She listed criteria for books for reluctant readers and distributed lists of recommendations for avid and alliterate readers. Referring to research by Dr. Stephen D. Krashen, Pederson stated that voluntary free reading is most beneficial to language learning. She shared links to Nancy Keane’s hundreds of booktalks and the online books at readbooksonline.

The organizers helpfully included a DVD with the program that included all the presentations so I’ll be able to view the many sessions that I missed. The conference was excellent, a great place to catch up with the wide library community, be re-inspired and newly informed. Living and working in an isolated town without a bookstore, its always great to be able to peruse some book and technology displays, talk to other library people and learn from them.


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Filed under Online Resources, Rethinking My Library