Last week I attended the Kentucky Library Association Conference.  I have been an active member of this organization since Hector was my pup.  Or in non-country terms since I began my career in librarianship.  I still give credit to KLA for helping me land my first full-time library gig.

I spent some time during last week’s conference reflecting on the value I receive from my activity.  It truly comes down to networking and education.  The conference had several high impact presentations that were relevant to my work.  That is sometimes hard to get from an organization whose majority members are academic and public librarians.

Perhaps the highlight was Christian Miller’s  “Fostering Innovation and Creativity: What Libraries Can Learn from Second City” Christian brought his passion for Improv acting to the world of librarianship and provided some great reminders about how to bring innovation into our daily world.

  • Don’t Block i.e. No is not an answer
  • Enhance ideas
  • Brainstorm means just that – let ideas flow, analysis can come later
So each year I attend conference I am reminded again of the value that my fellow librarians provide to my own career development and work at hand.  Another highlight was the fact that I’m beginning to see my mentees take up the mantle of presenting and leading.  These young librarians are doing creative things that capture the attention of other library leaders.  Julia Turpin brought to her audience practical steps used in her public library to go Dewey Free.
The after hours networking is another highlight and amidst the fun much work is accomplished. These are the reasons I stay active in organizations such as Kentucky Library Association.  What do you value in your professional organizations?
Constance Ard October 6, 2011