ALA Annual 2013

#ala2013: The great conversation and idea exchange

Thursday was my first full day here in Chicago for #ala2013, and already the ideas are flying. I’ve indulged in several formal and informal meetings and conversations with colleagues from across the continent, and already I’ve got lots to think about. Some snippets:

  • Ways of increasing student usage of the public library — Why not work with the school district to get “public library card” added to every classroom’s supplies list? (How have I not heard of this before?!? Simple. Brilliant.)
  • The reasonable extent of the children’s librarian’s knowledge of child development — At what point, if at all, do we highly-trained professionals have a place chiming in about the developmental milestones we observe (or fail to see) in the children who visit our programs and use our services?
  • Non-traditional training for children’s librarians — Do you know of any libraries that encourage their children’s librarians to take an introductory-level training in sign language? Speech pathology? Children’s health and nutrition? What non-obvious trainings might increase the benefits we bring to our communities?

Those are just a few of the ideas already bouncing around in my brain. I can tell you one thing for certain: at a conference like this, which conversations literally on every street corner, conference room, and hotel elevator, the idea exchange has only just begun.

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