Continuing Education

Last week I mentioned that I had to write 2 bookworms.  Why? Well, I am off again.  Off to another conference!  I will be attending the 2019 Association for Rural & Small Libraries, Tap into Libraries Conference from September 4th – 7th.  It will be held in Burlington, Vermont.  No worries, I was awarded a Show Me Steps to Continuing Education grant, a program that provides financial assistance for Missouri library personnel to attend continuing education activities.  This financial assistance program is funded by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds awarded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning.  LSTA grants are awarded and administered to Missouri libraries by the Missouri State Library, a department of the Office of the Secretary of State.  Wow-wee, that is a mouthful, but I will tell you this, I am tremendously grateful for these grants!

I have written before about the importance of continuing education.  If you remember I compared it to hairstylists and making sure you go beyond cutting the Dorothy, the Farrah, the Rachel, etc.   I won’t lie, I have never been to Vermont and I am pretty excited about it, but my days will be spent in meetings.  Meetings that will help fill my “more” folder and will educate and inspire me to continue to keep our library growing and important to our community.  Yes, I will probably indulge in some Ben and Jerry’s; the factory is minutes away from Burlington, but I am equally looking forward to, Are You Awesome? Then Show It! – practical techniques for using evaluation to improve your library and demonstrate your impact and Beyond Diversity 101 – creating a collection that is truly inclusive, and those are just the pre-conference sessions. I am currently looking at the main conference sessions and wishing Hermione would let me use the Time-Turner so I could attend all of them.  It would be even better if my staff could go with me.

Well they won’t be going with me for the ARSL conference, but all but one of us will be attending the 2019 Missouri Library Association, Unconventional – Bold Ideas for Better Libraries Conference from October 2nd – 4th.  Again, no worries, two of our staff received Show Me Steps to continuing education activities.  Jessica and Brittany were both awarded with grants funded through LSTA and awarded by the Missouri State Library.  We know about some of the pre-conference sessions and workshops including; Genealogy and Local History 101 –  demystifying genealogy research online, Increasing Resilience Through Trauma Sensitive Approaches – discussion on what the library is doing to make the community become more resilient and practical ideas to implement, and Grow with Google – using google to promote our library and helping patrons to do the same with their businesses.  We are particularly excited about the opening party at The Rabbit Hole.  I will say it one more time, no worries, it is not what you think it is!  The Rabbit Hole is the world’s first Explorastorium, an immersive storybook wonderland and national center for the children’s book, which is expected to officially open to the public in Fall 2019, much cooler than what you were probably thinking and totally relevant to the library!

I am thrilled to have my team with me, not only can we hit all the sessions, they will better understand my nerdy excitement that I have after I return from Continuing Education events.  Now there is one downside.  The 2nd and 3rd we will have one staff member and a couple of volunteers manning the building, that is not the downside.  The Board and myself have decided to close down on the 4th, we will be spreading our staff and volunteers thin the first 2 days and decided we would close 1 day for training and staff development.  Although this is not uncommon for libraries to do, this is the first time we have done it.  I am giving you this heads up a few weeks in advance.  It will make for a short vacation from us, so plan ahead.  We will be closed the 4th for staff development, the 5th for the Apple Festival, and of course on Sunday the 6th as normal.  Plan ahead and stock up, remember the drop box is open 24/7.  If you run out of physical items remember you can shop and reserve items from our card catalog so that they will be ready for you Monday, the 7th when are back on schedule.  Or better yet take advantage of our databases, OverDrive for magazines, eBooks, eAudiobooks, and videos, TumbleBooks for digital books for children, Hoopla for eBooks, eAudiobooks, comics, music and videos and World Book Online for all of your research questions.

We will miss you, but trust me it will be worth it.  I will get my team fired up and we will come back with ideas and inspiration to continue our goal of being the best library we can be for our community.