OLA SuperConference 2013

This year’s SuperConference was excellent.  I really enjoyed the sessions and the keynote speakers, particularly Susan Cain.

Here are some of the sessions that I attended.  I’ve decided to focus on the ones that I found to be most beneficial and informative.

Libraries and Youth:  Working Together for Social Justice

Janet Wilson, Author

Margie Wolfe, President,  Second Story Press
Suzie Miller, Elementary Teacher,  Six Nations School District
Is your library educating young people about social justice issues and empowering them, through literature and and programming to make differences in their lives and communities?  If not, why not?  With a focus on the “Kids Power” series, Shannen Koostachin’s Dream for a School” campaign, and a pen pal program that linked two communities at a critical time, this session’s discussion of resources, initiatives and strategies will move and inspire you.

Thomas Frey:  The Future of Libraries


Library customers are beginning to view the ” relevancy” of their library through a different lens, and their perception of what a library is and how it can add value to a community is evolving.  As physical books go away,
and computers and smart devices take their place, at what point does a library stop being a library, and start becoming something else?  Somewhere in the middle of this question lies the nagging fear and anxiety that we see brimming to the top among library insiders.  People who think libraries are going away simply because books are going digital are missing the true techtonic shifts taking place in the world of information.  Libraries are not about books.  In fact, they were never about books.  Libraries exist to give us access to information.  Until recently, books were one of the more efficient forms of transferring information from one person to another.  Today there are 17 basic forms of information that are taking the place of books, and in the future there will be many more.  At the heart of all these changes will be a network  of constantly evolving libraries that will be adept at reinventing their services to meet and exceed the changing needs of their constituencies.  In the future, libraries will be defined far more by the journey they’ve taken rather than the brick and mortar they exist in today.
The time for social media in libraries has come – unfortunately most libraries don’t have the time to dedicate to social media planning.  As UTM’s Social Media Librarian, I have had the benefit of actively working in this emerging field and will share some of the successful library strategies, best practices, and engagement instances that have significantly transformed our external communications and improved our ability to better serve our users.
Susan Cain:  Introvert Power
In an increasingly social world, Susan Cain shifts our focus to help us reconsider the role of introverts- outlining their many strengths and vital contributions.  Like a Whole New Mind and Stumbling on Happiness, Cain’s book, Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, is a paradigm-changing lodestar that shows how dramatically our culture has come to misunderstand and undervalue introverts.  You would think Cain, a Princeton and Harvard Law School-educated author, would be your typical, self-confident, pound-the-table kind of person; in fact, she’s just the opposite.  She’d rather read than socialize, and she thinks before she speaks (softly).  But far from considering these disadvantageous traits, Cain owes her success to them.
Corinne Abba, Lead Reference Librarian/Liaison Librarian,
Corrie Playford, Reference and Instruction Librarian,
Christina Kim, Information Specialist, U of T Libraries/MaRS
Following guidelines and accessibility best practices, George Brown College Library Learning Commons launched a series of accessible online video tutorials designed to reach all members of our diverse community.  We will provide an overview of the project:  motivation, accessibility features, usability testing, technology, roadblocks, and lessons learned.  With ten tutorials successfully launched, the insights presented will offer real-world advice to anyone contemplating similar projects.
Michael Stephens- Learning Everywhere:  The Transformative Power of Hyperlinked Libraries
Mobile and Web technologies are changing the way we live and learn.  Libraries can play a key role in this future.  Imagine the emerging hyperlinked library as a creation space, community space, anything space.  Imagine this library available everywhere via mobile devices and tablets.  How will services change? What skills will staff require?  What does this future look like going forward as we encourage learning everywhere as a means for transformative change for ourselves and our users.
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