This year’s Annual Conference on Libraries and the Future took place on October 24th and 25th, 2013 at Dowling College, Fortunoff Hall and it focused on the theme: Community by Design: Innovation & Transformation.
The conference kicked-off on Thursday night with hors d’oeuvres and a chance to network with collegues at the beautiful Fortunoff Hall at Dowling College. Afterwards, attendees were ushered into the Ballroom for dinner, which was followed by dessert…although the real treat was our guest speaker Joe Raiola–solo performer, comedy writer, producer, director and speaker on first amendment issues.
In his performance of the Joy of Censorship, Joe explored the topic of censorship by providing a lively and engaging performance. Early on, he displayed his artistic expression in the citing of his The Guns inspired by Edgar Allen Poe. Joe continued with other examples of abuses of the First Amendment as well as a discussion of the history of MAD Magazine. Did you know that in its early days MAD Magazine was converted from a comic book in the 1950s to a magazine in order to avoid censorship? This is just one of the many insights provided during his humorous and thought-provoking performance.
Joe Raiola was a hard act to follow, but our guest speakers for Friday’s full-day event pulled it off! With over 100 attendees in the audience, Jessica Yurkofsky, Librarian at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, kicked-off the day with her presentation, “Reflections on LABRARY: A Harvard Library Experiment.” In this talk, Jessica shared the story behind LABRARY, which was an experimental Pop-Up space put together by Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) students from the the Library Test Kitchen (http://www.librarytestkitchen.org), with the help of the Harvard Library and the Library Lab in December of 2012. The LABRARY, which was located in an empty storefront in the middle of Harvard Square, was open to all and provided a space for collaberation, brainstorming, ingenuity and much more! Here’s a look at some of the creative projects that came out of the LABRARY:
Interested in learning more? Listen to a portion of Jessica’s presentation about the LABRARY:
Up next: Margaux DelGuidice and Rose Luna, Teacher Librarians and Library Journal 2013 Movers and Shakers. This dynamic-duo sees the key to the future of libraries in collaboration and community outreach. They shared thier journey on how they’ve managed to reach out and build strong connections in their community, including engaging not only students, parents and school board members, but other libraries as well.
Margaux and Rose also discussed the importance of advocacy and the new Common Core State Standards, which aim to “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.” Many questions have arisen based on these new standards and Margaux and Rose shared the following video as a helpful resource for introducing the Common Core State Standards:
For additional information and a complete list of resources shared, attendees were encouraged to visit the Why Common Core Standards Matter Wiki online at: http://whycommoncorestandardsmatter.wikispaces.com/Common+Core+Resources.
Lunch was served following the two morning presentations and attendees had an opportunity to network, enjoy the grounds of Dowling College, and take a first-hand look at the Inflatable Reading Room that Jessica had discussed earlier in the day!
Last, but certainly not least, was our third speaker, Bill Brewer, Director of Client Relations from Designed Learning, Inc. who presented, “Six Conversations that Matter: Leadership Language in Action.” Bill brought the conference to a closure with high energy and interactive activites for attendees in order to explore ways to build community within our own libraries by changing the way we think and interact. Bill challenged the audience to think about leadership roles in a different way–defining what is considered traditional vs. alternative methods–much of which is based on the work of Peter Block in such works as The Answer to How is Yes and Community: The Structure of Belonging. Some of the core questions attendees were asked to examine were:
What doubts do you have?
What’s the “no” you have been postponing?
What’s the “yes” you no longer mean?
What’s the forgiveness you have been withholding?
What’s the resentment I have that no one knows about?
The group was then given an alloted amount of time to share responses with another person they didn’t know very well. It’s amazing to watch people in action as they share thoughts and ideas and through this exchange gain new insights and make new acquaintances.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s event…we look forward to seeing you all next year!
Special thanks to:
Conference Sponsors: H. W. Wilson Foundation, Nassau County Library Association, BALDESSARI & COSTER LLP, Long Island University, Palmer School of Library & Information Science, AIP Publishing, CSEA-Long Island, Island Industrial Boilers, Kevin A. Seaman, Esq., Knockout Pest Control, Inc., National Center for Surburban Studies at Hofstra University, Regan Agency, Inc., NYSUT, SandPebble Builders, Inc., Suffolk County Library Association, Thermal Solutions, Inc., and United Public Service Employees Union.
Dowling College, for hosting this years event.