Super Conference 2011 in Toronto was so much fun! Each day, there were dozens of workshops, plenaries and events to attend…something for everyone! When we registered, we were each given a bag full of information, information on the Book Expo as well as the schedule of events to choose from. Each day, we could attend upwards of four items…ranging from library maintenance sessions to program information to interesting talks by authors. Each session was approximately an hour and fifteen minutes long and varied widely from session to session.
One session that I attended was of great interest to me: The Forest of Reading showcase. Right now, our library is knee deep in children participating in this year’s program, but this particular session included many authors who had won in their category last year, including Jeremy Tankard, Robert Paul Weston and Susin Nielsen among others. I must say that I wasn’t sure just what this session would be like or whether it would be of any interest to someone who might not have been able to attend the Forest of Reading Awards in Toronto each year. However, I was blown away!
Each author had 10 – 15 minutes to get up and speak about their experiences, either as an author, or what they’d enjoyed about being in the Forest of Reading program. One after another, they entertained us with funny stories (Weston’s account of winning a school read-a-thon without reading any books was HILARIOUS!), stories of amazement at being recognized ( Cyndi Sand-Evenland won us all over with her “this made the trip worthwhile” speech), to genuine gratitude for the response to an “issue” book (Katie Smith Milway).
The session ran over, but most of us could have listened for several more hours, I’m sure. And later, the authors made themselves available for questions after the session, which made them seem less “movie-star-ish”. And through the course of the conference, many were available to sign copies of their books at the book Expo. I managed to grab a few minutes with Jeremy Tankard who is one of my favourite picture book authors, and have him sign a copy of his book to my niece, Melody. I swear, he was as normal as anyone, but it was like I was standing in front of a huge superstar! My hands were shaking and I could barely think! But thanks to Mr. Tankard for the kind chat and imaginative signature! My niece will love it!
We’re back! It was a long four days, but Janet and I are back from Toronto and another successful Super Conference by the Ontario Library Association. We attended some great workshops, listened to fabulous speakers and networked with other librarians from across the province. I’ll have more details as the week goes on, but I’ll give you a quick look into our trip.
We left last Wednesday morning when Environment Canada was predicting a HUGE snowstorm in Southern Ontario, right where we were headed. This is the view from the train station in Smiths Falls (above), almost in whiteout conditions. We were lucky enough to have a safe trip over that morning, but the roads were terrible! Once we got on the train, we were expecting to drive into even worse weather as we approached Toronto (they were calling it Snowmaggedon), but lucky for us, Toronto managed to get by with just a few inches of snow…far less than they’d predicted.
Inside the CBC studios
Once we got to Toronto, we registered and prepared for the next day, but Janet and I were lucky enough to have tickets to the George Stromboulopolous show…The Hour, so we trotted across the street from our hotel to the CBC studios and got in line. Here we are sitting in the audience (okay, so it’s not clear, but you get the idea. We were in the 2nd row.) You can see the full episode we sat in on right here.
We’re glad to be back….right in the thick of things solving computer problems today, but it’s nice to be back!
(This was to be posted last Wednesday. Stay tuned for a post tomorrow with all the exciting Super Conference details!)
Janet and I are off to Toronto for a few days to attend Super Conference 2011, put together by the Ontario Library Association. You can see what’s on the agenda for those four days, and hopefully, I’ll have lots of interesting things to blog about when we get back. We’re also excited about attending The Hour with George Strombolopolous tonight, so watch at 11pm to (hopefully) see us in the audience.
In the meantime, I’m leaving you this week with a fun website link that allows you to enter in your birthday and see a list of books that were bestsellers on the day you were born! I have to admit that I haven’t read any of the books from my birthdate, but I have heard of a few of them at least. What’s on your list?
Every year at this time, we’re getting ready to go off to Toronto for the Ontario Library Association’s Super Conference. It is a four day event filled with workshops, demonstrations, author readings and shopping (for library items, of course!). The Metro Toronto Convention Center will be overrun with librarians from all across the province, excited about going through the winding displays set up by software developers, library suppliers, booksellers and much more. In between all of that, we’ll attend a variety of free workshops and events, some of which are meant for fun, many which will help us to expand our library services. All of it will be interesting, without a doubt!
This year, the theme of the conference is The Power of Collaboration. The events will serve to help us all realize the importance of collaborating not only with other libraries, but with resources and people in our communities and within our libraries themselves in order to provide the best resources for our patrons. We’ll learn how to provide better summer programs, offer more services for our patrons who enjoy a virtual library community and power our library catalogs so that we can offer the largest number of reading resources to our patrons.
There are always special events and exciting keynote speakers. This year is no exception. We’ll be able to attend lectures by cultural anthropologist Michael Welsh, Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan and broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, amongst others! Plus, there are expected to be over 30 authors attending the Expo (we’ll be in lineups to get signatures, for sure!).
We always come away with plenty of ideas to be implemented in our own library, and it is a great place to meet up with other librarians from our local communities as well as from further away. It is a refreshing way to start the month of February (although Toronto always seems to be in the middle of a blizzard) and a great way to kick off the New Year. You can visit the Super Conference 2011 website to see more of the event and get a feel for what we might be doing. February can’t get here fast enough……….