SCLA Conference 2010: Advocacy from the Ground Up

Now that I am back from the conference and have had a few days for my brain to chew over the info, I decided to write about it. This was my second state conference and loved being able to see what other libraries are doing and learn from them.

I was able to attend several sessions that were very informative. Most of the programs I went to leaned more towards the academic library setting. I just happen to find these interesting and many of them carry over into the public library world. One very interesting program was from University of South Carolina. They did a presentation on the Digital Newspaper Program. They have received a grant from the National Digital Newspaper Program to digitize different papers from Sotuh Carolina during the dates of 1860-1922. It was interesting to note their process, how much they have accomplished in this first year of the project and what they hope to do in the future.

Another fantastic program was from the Instruction Section where different libraries shared their innovations in information literacy. All of these were very interesting but the two librarians from Coastal Carolina’s Kimbel Library. They were charged with providing freshmen students with an introduction to bibliographic instruction. They decided to launch a video series that was embedded in the student’s freshman experience course on Blackboard. These videos were very dynamic and taught basic concepts of information literacy but were very entertaining. Past SCLA president, Curtis Rogers said that was “the best presentation he has ever seen at SCLA.” The two librarians gave a very dynamic presentation of their work and IO think they make coffee nervous.  It was very refreshing to see them so exciting about their jobs. They clearly love what they do. Here’s the video they showed during their presentation and it is so worth it to check out their other videos as well

Selecting the right number of keywords. from Kimbel Library on Vimeo.

Another very interesting session for me was the SLIS Curriculum Review Forum. I am a current student but will be graduating soon so I was interested in what might lie ahead for future students in the program. The basic consensus from the forum was that students need more opportunities for practical job experience and mentoring. The program does not currently require internships for all of its graduates. They are highly recommended for all the non-school media candidates. Personally, I think a mentoring program would be great for SLIS students especially those who do not currently work in a library. I have been fortunate to work in a library during the library school and have had valuable mentors in my co-workers at the library. I have learned quite a bit from their experience.

Since this conference’s theme was all about advocacy, I also attended a session from Sally Gardner reed from ALTAFF, the Association for Library’s Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. She gave a very interesting talk on how to advocate for your library to local governing bodies like city and county councils. One important point she made was that it may be more helpful to show people how the library’s absence would affect the community. Sometimes, it is isn’t enough to tell them how great the library but how essential it is to the citizens of the community.  She also spoke of a very interesting 1% campaign that she led in another library system. They were trying to save their 1% piece of the city budget. I actually did not of ALTAFF’s existence; I will likely use its resources in the future.

Part of the reason I went to the conference again this year was to present a poster session on CCPL’s literary programs. It was fun to talk about the programs at CCPL. It was really great to see what other libraries came up with and it was also great to see other students’ work. Two of my classmates were recognized with 1st prize for their poster on LISSA outreach and another classmate of mine got a runner up. Their presentations were fantastic. It was a challenge seeing the other posters when I had one myself. I definitely picked up more ideas for future presentations.

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One Response to SCLA Conference 2010: Advocacy from the Ground Up

  1. Becky says:

    Thanks for sharing…a nice write up.
    Sounds like you learned a lot.

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