It’s Almost Time for OLA Super Conference!

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Okay, so Super Conference 2015 is more than a month away, but you can bet that librarians all over Ontario are already gearing up for it. It’s going to be a really interesting one this year, too, with a new schedule and lots of interesting speakers and attendees. It follows our TD Summer Reading Club® theme of maker culture, and will center around the idea “Think It, Do It.” Libraries are all about being creative and working toward new ways of doing things, so this conference should be filled with all sorts of great inspiration.

Not only will there be fascinating workshops to help us do more in our libraries, but we’ll have a chance to talk with library staff from all across Ontario to see what they’re doing and maybe make a few new connections. Super Conference also gives us a chance to see vendors and new products, as well as purchase books and (hopefully) meet some of our favourite authors. I’m looking forward to standing in lines to get a few good books signed, I can tell you that!

Right now, we’re pouring through the events program trying to pick out which sessions we want to attend from “Differing Approaches to Makerspaces”, to “Spine Tingling, Hair Raising, Bone Chilling Horror for Teens”, to “Digital Literacy for Babes and Boomers: What Can a Public Library Do?”.  As you can see, there are programs for improving the library space, to book recommendations, to the challenges of managing a public library. It’s difficult to decide what to pick, and sometimes, it depends on when the sessions are offered. Conflicting schedules are the norm!

Once we return, we’re usually pretty fired up about all the exciting ideas presented during the conference, and we’ll start trying to implement things as soon as possible. If you want to know more about the Super Conference 2015, you can visit this link. Take a look around. We might even decide to live blog or Tweet about a session when the time comes. It’s going to be SUPER!

 

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Super Conference 2012!

Shirley and Janet are on their way to Toronto today to take part in the Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2012!! 

It’ll be close to four days of workshops, speakers, browsing at the Expo, special events and probably lots of fun in between.  It’s a wonderful place for librarians from all over Ontario to gather, compare and learn about other libraries, find out what’s new in software and library programs and even make some new friends.  You can’t imagine what thousands of librarians in one place looks like until you attend one of these conferences. (And let me say, it’s far from a sea of buns, glasses and quiet corners!!  Picture wacky outfits, lots of crazy antics and much, much more.  These librarians know how to let loose!)

This year, there are some wonderful speakers and I know each presentation will be well attended. There’s the ultimate librarian’s heroine herself, Nancy Pearl,

….a presentation by George Strombolopolous (we went to a taping of his show last year and he was fabulous!)…..

…..and even a presentation by Neil Pasricha, the author of The Book of Awesome…which is, of course, awesome!

I don’t know which workshops Janet and Shirley will be attending, but I know they’ll come away with lots of fresh and exciting information to help make your library experience even better in the future. Stop by the Super Conference 2012 website to learn more about this event.  They’ll even have some live updates so those of us at home can see all the excitement. Have fun, ladies!

OLA Super Conference 2009

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A couple of us at the Carleton Place Public Library are getting ready to travel to Toronto this week to attend the Ontario Library Association’s Super Conference 2009. This is my first year to attend the conference and I’m really looking forward to it.  The Super Conference is a gathering of all things library: librarians, library technicians, publishers, authors, students, vendors, information technologists and just anyone who is interested in  learning more about the role of libraries in our communities.  There are seminars, blogs, technology, and lots of fun promised in the three day event and I can’t wait to see what it is all about.

I visited the Super Conference website and found the welcoming letter by OLA president Sam Coghlan to be very inspiring.  As he says:

Libraries command the capacity to lead the
learning revolution!

However, in order to do so: You must learn.

Your library must learn. You must transform your
library into a nimble–almost alive–organism that
can dance with the dragons of accelerating change.
Our communities must learn to learn.

That is just such a great concept…..that people must learn to learn.  We see it more and more these days in the library. People need to be taught how to search for information.  I think ages ago, people were used to coming in and just looking through encyclopedias to find out information on a topic, but now, we have everything at our fingertips on the web, and we must adapt to being able to find the information we need and sort out what is true and what is not. (Shirley and I just had this conversation earlier this week about encyclopedias.  We are going to bookmark the Internet Public Library site on all of our front desk computers to help us all search for information for our patrons when they need it.)

We have really been adapting this year to keep up with everything our patrons are using right now.  It isn’t just about having an online catalog or providing internet stations for public use.  It is now about being able to help people set up their own email accounts, understanding current social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook so that we can help with problems accessing or making their way around sites, and knowing how to access our wireless internet on iPhones and laptops.  Our patrons seem to think we know everything, and so we really must keep up with technology so that we really do know everything (to a point, of course). I’m hoping this conference will give me a few new ideas to help us bring our library even further forward.

I’ll keep you posted on the seminars I attend and let you know what the whole conference was like when we get back. Cross your fingers for good weather!