All times listed are Central Time
10:00 – 10:15 am – Welcome
10:15 – 11:15 am – Session 1
Jon Neilson, Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota
Like all libraries, the Library at Concordia University, St. Paul was forced to adapt its services, collections, and spaces to ensure students were supported throughout the pandemic. In addition, the Library’s staff had to find new ways to work together and serve students remotely. While Concordia and the Library were well positioned to move to all-virtual services during the pandemic, there were still mistakes made and lessons learned along the way, especially as the pandemic forced us to pivot our strategies and practices several times. This session will cover some of the lessons learned from “going remote” and returning to some form of “normal.” In particular, this session will cover some of the “silver linings” of the pandemic related to managing staff, handling stress, collaborating as a team, and adapting to change.
Elizabeth Kerr, Nick Kneer, and Shawn Vanness, Miami University libraries
Modern librarianship emphasizes the importance of furthering inclusivity through collections strategies, events, and space development. Library marketing and communication can be frequently overlooked in its capacity to not only promote inclusion initiatives, but also expand their scope and effectiveness.
The Miami University Libraries’ strategic communications team uniquely positions the Libraries to be welcoming and inclusive to students, faculty, and staff by its marketing efforts through platforms including social media, physical spaces, websites, and multi-channel campaigns. Specific examples include a daily quote campaign on social media for Black History Month to engage the community and celebrate figures in black history; a signage audit to evaluate how signs were used around the Libraries and ensure they accurately reflected the institution’s values; a mural project that engaged student artists to celebrate returning to campus; and an initiative to revise discriminatory subject headings and add sensitive content labels to digital collections.
This session will showcase how library marketing comprises more than just awareness of services, and also has a responsibility to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment. This focus on inclusivity and patron experience ultimately allows Miami’s Libraries and those we connect with to thrive. Attendees will learn about specific marketing strategies and campaign case studies and how to consider the impact of marketing beyond the number of views or emails opened.
Mags David, University of Minnesota Duluth
Choosing work that is meaningful to yourself is one way to care for yourself on the job. I used my own deep interest to put together a library sponsored Reading Club for students at the University of Minnesota Duluth. This club became a bright spot in my life during the semester that we met and allowed me to feel fully myself in my workplace.
The Reading Club took place fall semester 2021 to honor 40 Years of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at UMD. Club members read essays and poems from the 1981 feminist classic, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, and came together to discuss our responses to the readings, blended with a dash of information literacy concepts.
This session will describe my process of creating the idea for the Reading Club and reflect on a “path of least resistance” approach to creation. I’ll talk about my originating interest and vision for the club, the steps involved in putting the club together, and ways that management played a role in supporting my creativity. I will also share my thoughts about what happened at the club meetings and the ways that I consider the program a success.
Participants in the session will have an opportunity to brainstorm ways to put this concept into action themselves – whether that means a reading club for a book they are passionate about or another idea that uses the path of least resistance concept.
Katie Clausen & Debbie Roycroft, Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, IL
Diversity audits are prominent in circulating children’s print materials, but what about non-circulating items? Have you audited your collection of flannel rhymes, oral stories, scripts, puppets, and props for implicit bias and stereotyping? The materials we use in storytime– both images and words– matter. Learn how one library used simple technology to design an audit system that yielded concrete data about what we share in storytime.
This subject is essential for children’s librarians. Diversity audits reveal truths embedded in our collections, and data identifies gaps and missteps in representation. DEI is not just something we should consider in our picture books. Library programmers need to be held accountable for hidden prejudice in our programming materials that we show and tell in storytime every day.
In this session, participants will learn why a non-circulating diversity audit is crucial, and will acquire practical tips & tricks to establish a similar process in their own library. This audit can be adapted for both large and small libraries, both public and school media centers. It will encourage all participants to be thoughtful and inclusive when building out their in-house storytime collections.
11:30 am – 12:30 pm -Keynote presentation: “Collective Trauma Meets Collective Care: Thriving in Uncertainty“ by Nisha Mody
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a collective trauma that has affected us all in different ways during the same timeline. Long-term uncertainty affects our mental, emotional, social, and spiritual lives in ways that feels like we are breaking. Yet, we are not broken. During this talk, Nisha explores how trauma protects us, how collective care can meet it, and what thriving can look like when we don’t quite have the “answer.”
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Session 2
Nat Gustafson-Sundell, Minnesota State University – Mankato
Students and the public often need to use image resources for a variety of applications, but they may not have a strong understanding of their rights and responsibilities to online and print image resources, especially for creative and commercial purposes. They may also not realize that there are image resources other than, and often better than Google Images. My library cancelled an expensive image database about ten years ago. Afterward, I developed an image resources libguide and instruction session about image resources in consultation with several Art & Design faculty. The libguide presents a curated, free collection as a superior alternative to a paid collection. The content of the libguide and the session is applicable to many fields other than Art & Design.
While the instruction session is typically taught as an interactive workshop, I will present the content of the libguide and the session in a more traditional conference format, including both video and live Q&A. I will cover the four domains governing rights to use image resources, including Creative Commons licenses, the public domain, copyright, and commercial licenses. I will describe the limitations of Google Images. Finally, I will demonstrate a handful of fun and interesting alternative image resources as an invitation for participants to explore more on their own. I will not cover scholarly rights and responsibilities to image resources, because these tend to be well-covered elsewhere.
Participants should gain a better understanding of anyone’s rights and responsibilities when using image resources for creative and commercial purposes. Participants will also learn about some fun websites. Participants should feel empowered to use and teach image resources more confidently.
Elizabeth Tomev, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
No one will know the worth of libraries unless they promote themselves. In this session, we will discuss the importance of communicating the positive events, programs, staff milestones, etc. We will look at the types of communication tools available and how best to use them together, such as press releases, social media, direct calls to media, and a library’s own website. Attendees will walk away with new knowledge of how to develop their own strategic communications plan that the library and its staff can follow year round no matter the size of their staff.
A Generous Gift: Children’s DEI Grant Books Provide Many Opportunities
Tammy Bobrowsky and Dr. Kathrina O’Connell, Bemidji State University
In 2021, a Bemidji State University Professional Education faculty member was awarded a Minnesota State Innovation Grant which allowed for the purchase of new children’s books focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion for the A.C. Clark Library. What began as a seemingly simple gift has transformed into new opportunities for collaboration between the Professional Education Department and the Library. Attendees will learn how this partnership formed, library cataloging and processing roadblocks and how to avoid them, and future programming being planned around the books. The presentation should inspire attendees to find collaborative partnerships and funding outside of the library. Dr. Kathrina O’Connell from Bemidji State University’s Professional Education Department will talk about the Innovation Grant and the use of the books in her courses, as well as in the Literacy Academy she coordinates. Tammy Bobrowsky, Children’s & Young Adult Collection Development Liaison will speak to the library side of this experience and upcoming programming involving the books.
Bobbi Newman, NNLM Region 6 at the University of Iowa
As library workers, we love our jobs but working in a library can also be stressful.
Libraries already help patrons improve their physical and mental health by providing access to reliable health information and programs and outreach focused on health and wellness. But what are doing to manage your own well-being? The well-being of library workers and the community it serves are inherently connected. How can we ensure that library workplaces be an area of wellness for their employees? Join us to discover ways to improve your own personal well-being and create a healthy workplace. We will also discuss ways to increase overall wellness for all staff in libraries so that we have happy, healthy, and safe work environments. You will leave this session with at least one thing you can put into practice at your library and the resources needed to facilitate change in your library for everyone.
2:45 – 3:45 pm – Session 3
Kayleen Jones and Laitzia Yang, University of Minnesota Duluth
During the 2021-2022 academic year, students, staff, and faculty at the University of Minnesota Duluth collaborated to form the Antiracist Literary Advisory Board (A-LAB). A-LAB students evaluated and analyzed a portion of the library’s current Children’s Literature collection through an antiracist lens. To update and improve the collection, students were invited to recommend new books to purchase and books to weed. This collaboration made a daunting weeding project possible and gave students the opportunity to engage in antiracist practice. In this session attendees will learn about the A-LAB collaboration and will hear from a student about their experience in A-LAB. Attendees will also be invited to think about possible partnerships that could make a collections project in their library possible.
Seeing your library through your patrons’ eyes
Greg Peverill-Conti & Adam Zand, The Library Land Project
The Library Land Project looks at public libraries from the patrons’ perspective. The team has visited more than 400 libraries across the country and will share the framework they use to consider different aspects and elements of a library, including the physical space, the people, the collection, programming and services. They will discuss how these observations can be used to discover and share new library stories.
Leslie L. Morgan, University of Notre Dame – Hesburgh Libraries
As librarians, a difficult lesson learned throughout the pandemic of 2020 (to present) was a realization that our professional and humane side of our existence was in conflict. What we once knew for sure quickly converge in having to confront: vulnerability, empathy, sympathy, anger, frustration, tears, accusations, etc. Now that we have return to the physical spaces of our work, how do we begin to move forward as professionals, as human beings within the context of the “new normal in libraries?”
Leslie L. Morgan, Africana Studies & Education Librarian as well as Chair of the Hesburgh Libraries Diversity Committee will present “Writing & Silence as Practice for Renewal” as way to balance our professional and personal self. Attendees are encouraged to have a new writing journal and a favorite writing instrument of their choice (pen, pencil, marker) in order to actively participate in this session. Her presentation will include a bibliography of resources she has used in her work as a retreat coordinator and facilitator, in her work as a nonprofit organization strategic leader, and her current work with undergraduates utilizing the Framework for Information Literacy as a practice of questioning and reflection work in the research process.
As a public service librarian, department head, administrative leader within your libraries, this presentation is an innovative and creative way to affirm not only your professional self, but beginning your practice in finding balance in who you are as a person once you leave your libraries to be among people you love and value in your personal lives.
Nichole Chisholm, University of Minnesota Duluth
With electronic resources (databases, ebooks, streaming videos, etc.) comprising such a significant portion of our library collections, can libraries really thrive without understanding the complexities surrounding their licensing and use? It is not enough for a library to negotiate a good price; we must understand how looking at the fine print can benefit our users and our vision for the future. Join me in a look behind the curtain as I attempt to demystify a confusing (but vital!) corner of librarianship. This session will outline the basic licensing workflow, who may be involved in negotiations, model licensing agreements, definitions of common terms, the conflict between contract law and fair use, and discussion of how your licenses can support your library’s mission and values.