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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Illinois Library Association Conference is Coming Next Week....

...and while I know many of my readers will not be there, as part of the official Conference Program Planning Committee, I am very preoccupied with the conference, the programs, and the planning [hence the appropriate title of the committee].

I will not only be part of the team overseeing things, but I will also be presenting and reporting from the conference, so next week, look for lots of conference related links and info. So may this serve as your warning that the blogging may be a bit irregular.

But, I will be actively Tweeting from the conference [@raforall] using the #ILAkick. So, by just visiting the blog, you can follow what is happening at the conference through my eyes, in real time. Just keep your eyes on the Twitter feed box, always available in the right gutter of the blog, under the cover of my book.

[The horror blog, however, will solider on as if ILA is not happening though, so don't worry about that. 31 Days of Horror rests for no mortal.]

But back to the Conference itself.  Here is the link to the official program for everyone to peruse.

If there is a specific program you want to know more about, you can click here to access handouts, but give people some time to post them. In  some cases they will not be uploaded until after the presentation happens. Even mine aren't up yet.

Below I have pulled out a few programs to highlight-- all for selfish reasons. [Hey, it's my blog, so I get to call the shots.]

You can also go here if the full program is too overwhelming.  That link will let you sort everything nicely.


Monday 10/13

8:00 – 10:00 P.M.
Welcome Reception and Battledecks Competition
All conference attendees are invited to attend this event,
hosted by the Public Library Forum. The event will feature
Battledecks – a competition where speakers present a deck
of 10 slides in 4 minutes. The catch? They’ve never seen the
slides before!

Location: Presidential Ballroom, Abraham Lincoln Springfi eld
DoubleTree Hotel

The Welcome Reception is made possible by the generous
support of Sikich.

The Battledecks competition is made possible by the generous
support of Booklist.

Tuesday 10/14

10:45-11:45 AM
Leveraging Your Librarian Influence 
Through The Power of Reviews
Building off of the success of librarian-driven 
programs such as Library Reads and the Soon 
to Be Famous Illinois Author Project, library 
workers are beginning to fl ex their muscle, 
showing publishers just how much influence we 
truly have over which author or book becomes 
the next big thing. But reviews don’t have 
to only appear in a professional resource to 
matter. As the book experts in your community, 
you can promote books through local reviews, 
shelf talkers, and staff picks in the library and 
online, reaching readers near and far. Booklist 
editor Rebecca Vnuk, and public librarians 
Becky Spratford and Kara Kohn will discuss 
their experience writing professional reviews 
for Booklist, NoveList, and Library Journal while 
sharing tips on how you can become involved 
and harness the power of reviews.

Speakers: Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist, Editor, 
Reference and Collection Management; Becky 
Spratford, Berwyn Public Library; and Kara 
Kohn, Plainfield Public Library District

Track: Reference and Readers Advisory

Location: Room B-2, Prairie Capital Convention 

This program is made possible by the generous 
support of Overdrive.

8:00-9:30 PM
Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore
This ten-block, ninety-minute walking tour uses 
the Lincoln sites as the backdrop for the bizarre 
and strange stories surrounding Lincoln’s life 
and death. Lincoln had prophetic visions and 
dreams; Mary had seances in the White House; 
and no other Presidential family endured so 
much so that this nation might survive. This 
tour is loaded with factual history and the 
ghostly lore of Lincoln and is suitable for all 
ages; bizarre history, not scary. Library horror 
expert, Becky Spratford, will be there to answer 
questions and give you reading suggestions just 
in time for Halloween.

Pre-registration is required for this event. 
The tour will begin at the 
Old State Capitol.

Wednesday 10/15

10:15-11:15 AM
Start Up: Using Kickstarter to Grow 
a Community
The Circulating Ideas 
podcast publicizes the 
creative, innovative work 
that librarians are doing 
to bring libraries into the 
21st century. In 2013, the 
podcast ran a successful 
Kickstarter campaign to fund 
improvements, including adding 
mobile capabilities. In this presentation, you 
will learn about creating online professional 
communities through new media, how 
Kickstarter campaigns can help grow that 
community, and what types of projects may be 
right for your organization to utilize Kickstarter.

Speaker: Steve Thomas, Circulating Ideas

Track: Outreach and Community Building

Location: Room B-4, Prairie Capital Convention 

2:00-3:00 PM
Listen and Learn: Podcasting 
for Librarians
Podcasting is growing 
quickly as a new 
medium for professional 
development and 
expression. In this session, 
you will learn the benefi ts 
of the podcasting medium 
and participate in a hands-on 
demonstration of a podcast’s
 production, from planning to distribution.

Speaker: Steve Thomas, Circulating Ideas

Tracks: Innovation

Location: Room B-4, Prairie Capital Convention 

6:00 – 10:00 P.M.
Fourth Annual ILA Pub Stroll
Don’t miss ILA’s most popular networking 
event. Each stop on the Pub Stroll serves food 
and will offer drink specials. Plan to have dinner 
and drinks with old friends or new colleagues. 
No registration is required. Attendees set their 
own schedule and are responsible for their own 
food and beverage purchases. See page 14 for details.

Thursday 10/16

11:15 AM -12:15 PM
Take Your Friends Group From Drab 
to Fab
Friends groups can be a great asset to any library, 
but just like any group of volunteers, no matter 
how well meaning, they can often be hard to 
motivate. As seasoned Friends of the Library 
Liaisons, Becky Spratford, Nikki Zimmermann 
and Carmen Higgins understand the joys and 
frustrations all too well, and they will share their 
tales of how they re-energized their Friends 
honestly, relating both their successes and their 
failures. Learn how to get more money out of 
your book sales, grow your membership, increase 
meaningful member involvement, and create 
excitement around Friends sponsored events. The 
program will also include time for the audience to 
ask questions and share their ideas. This is your 
chance to both learn from and network with other 
Friends Liaisons. Together we can strengthen 
all of our libraries by kickstarting our biggest 

Speaker: Carmen Higgins, Westmont Public 
Library; Becky Spratford, Berwyn Public Library; 
and Nicole Zimmermann, La Grange Public 

Track: Trustees, Friends, and Foundations

Location: Room B-4, Prairie Capital Convention 

12:15- 1:45 PM
Beyond eReaders: Circulating WiFi 
Hot Spots from the Public Library
An examination of the Forest Park Public 
Library's decision to circulate WiFi Hot 
Spots to patrons: why we decided to try it, who 
we partnered with, how we do it, and what the 
experience has been like since the go live date. 
Visitors will learn about the procedures involved 
with circulating hardware, the challenges 
regarding service area coverage, a cost benefi t 
analysis, as well as feedback from patrons that 
have used the program.

Presenters: Magan Szwarek and Maureen Sill, 
Forest Park Public Library

Location: Poster Session-- Exhibit Hall

For the full Conference Program, click here.

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