With only three short’ months until the’ ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, we hope you’ve taken advantage of Early Bird Registration ($215 for YALSA members until May 13) and marked your calendars for June 21 – 26.
With all of the great programs and events offered by YALSA at the conference, you’re going to soak up a fantastic amount of new and exciting information.’ Coming back from ALA Annual, it is typical to be overloaded with two things: ‘ ARCs and ideas. ‘
Conference presentations are inspiring, and the exhibit hall always a place of dreams, but as with anything, the devil is in the details. Here are’ five tips’ for making the most of your ALA Annual’ experience once you return to your library.
1. ‘ Know Your Library System
A program that worked beautifully for a rural library that serves a population of 3,000 might need tweaking for your suburban, six-branch systems that serves 30,000. If possible, either during or right after the conference, think of ways to adapt the idea. Going to your supervisor or manager with a way to make the idea/program work for the community you serve, rather than â€œthis worked at Library X!â€ ‘ will increase the likelihood of it happening.
2. ‘ Know Your Library’s Hierarchy
What is the management style of your library or library system? Good or bad, most places have a chain of command that should be followed. Jumping a person (or two, or three) makes it less likely that the new Summer Reading Program you’re dying to try will happen.’ Be respectful of the hierarchy. If your system requires you to inform your immediate supervisor, so that she or he can inform the next person up, and so on, follow every step– even if the Director of your system knows you personally.
3. ‘ Know Your Library Community
Implementing a Spanish story time is not going to go over well if the population you serve is predominantly Japanese. However, adapting the idea (see suggestion #1) for your Japanese community could go over very well.
4. ‘ Keep Contact Information
Most presenters and vendors are more than happy to give out their contact information.’ If you’re having trouble getting people get on board with your idea, or you need more information about a product/service/database that you think your library must have, use that contact. Ask the presenter if they have advice, ask the vendor for statistics, take them back to the appropriate channels, and be prepared to do it all again.
5. ‘ Be Persistent
The most important thing is to not give up.’ Follow through with ideas.’ It may be that your supervisor is happy to implement a new hold shelf method the day after you get back, and it may be that your Summer Reading theme won’t be used for years.’ Keep at it.’ You’re adaptable, you know your system, you know your community, and you have all those contacts to make things a success, and you can make it happen.
And in a few years, after you present your brilliant program at ALA, you might get a phone call or an email from another librarian, asking you how you got it done.
See you in Anaheim!