Blogger Mary R. Voors

#pla2024 Conference Blogging

The 2024 Public Library Association Conference – #pla2024 – is taking place today through April 5, 2024. Are you unable to attend and wondering how you can keep up with all that is going on at this year’s conference? We’ve got you covered with a team of eight volunteer Conference Bloggers!

Let me be among the first to offer special thanks to the conference bloggers who will be reporting for the ALSC Blog about what’s happening in the coming days at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Here are some of the people who will be writing about their experiences:

Alice Mackey (she/her/hers) is a Youth Services Librarian at Delaware County District Library in Ohio.  Though this is her eleventh year in libraries, this will be her first PLA experience.  That means she’s excited to sponge up all the ideas she can get her brain on!  At the conference, you’ll find her either scribbling notes, drinking diet coke, or trying to do both simultaneously.

Ann Baillie (she/her/hers) is the Youth Services Assistant Manager at the Alsip-Merrionette Park
Public Library in Alsip, Illinois. She is the past-manager of the Illinois Library Association’s Youth
Services Forum. Her main interests are the connection between Readers’ Advisory and
technology, and how libraries can use technology to better reach patrons. She is especially
excited to check out the How-To Stage at this year’s conference. She plans to drink as much
coffee as possible during this year’s conference.

Ellie Richardson (she/her) is Youth Services Librarian at Arlington Heights Memorial Library (IL). She specializes in services to K-3rd grade students and loves to nerd out over literacy and cognitive science. While not at work making overly ambitious DIY projects, Ellie enjoys karaoke, befriending cats, and long walks in nature to look at birds. This is her first time at PLA (and third conference, ever), and she’s excited to soak it all in while blogging for ALSC.

Jocelyn Levin, MLIS (she/her), has been the Youth and Teen Services Librarian at the Lyon Township Public Library since 2016. She has worked as a children’s and teen librarian across southeast Michigan for the past 19 years. She is excited to be presenting a session at PLA for the first time and will be sharing details about the MiLibraryQuest, an online teen scavenger hunt that librarians across Michigan created in 2020, so wish her luck on Thursday morning! When she isn’t at work, she spends time gardening and testing out new library craft projects.

Judy Ehrenstein (she/her) is a Children’s Librarian. She is excited to be attending the PLA Conference and hearing about amazing programs and services. At the conference, you may see her snacking on trail mix. A favorite book she remembers fondly is The Girl Without a Name by Gunnel Beckman. She read this title as a child and the moving tale of friendship and compassion has stuck with her for years.

Kate Brunner (she/her) is Youth & Family Services Principal Consultant at the Colorado State Library. At PLA, she is looking forward to facilitating a roundtable discussion session on Friday about Colorado librarians’ work developing early literacy library services for informal/licensed-exempt childcare providers. Having been engaged in a seven-year project called Growing Readers Together has led to learning a lot about Colorado’s informal providers, their information needs, and how libraries can better support them. A fun fact about Kate is that, although it wasn’t until mid-life that she consciously realized her dream job was in public libraries, she created her own classification system for her personal library when she was in elementary school. She only let friends borrow her books if they signed them out in her lending ledger. Kate’s little Beatrix Potter books still have penciled “call numbers” inside their front covers!

Lisa Mulvenna (she/her/hers) is the Head of Children’s and Teen Services at Clinton-Macomb Public Library. You can also find her online on Threads at @floopy13. She is looking forward to networking with colleagues and the ability to share ideas. This is her 6th PLA. An interesting fact about her is that her family has been in the Guinness World Records! In 2000, they participated in the largest family reunion at the Lake County Fairgrounds outside of Chicago. The record appeared in the 2001 Book of Records, but has since been overtaken.

Valerie Tohom (she/her/hers) is a Graduate student at San Jose State University. She will be graduating in May 2024 and her goal is to become a Youth Services librarian. She is looking forward to attending the informational sessions at PLA, as well as meeting ALSC members and fellow scholarship award winners. In addition to ALA and ALSC, Valerie is a member of the California Library Association Youth Services Group and the Membership committee.

Over the next three days, check the ALSC Blog for PLA Conference photos and information. You can also check in on social media – just track the hashtag #pla2024. Are you hoping we’ll cover a particular session? Let us know in the comments below!

This post addresses ALSC Core Competency VII: Professionalism and Professional Development

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