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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Guest Post: Michelle’s Report on the Hawaii State Library Conference

Today my colleague Michelle Young is sharing her  experience at her state library conference in Hawaii.

There is much to learn from here for all of my readers. Plus, she has included the speakers names and affiliations. Please feel free to reach out to these individuals if you want more information.

And finally, thank you Michelle.

2017 Hawai`i Library Association-Hawai`i Association of School Librarians Joint Conference 
October 27-28, 2017 | University of Hawai`i-Mānoa Campus Center
Michelle Young, Branch Manager, Waimea Public Library

General Conference Summary
I was pleased by my overall conference experience. All the sessions I attended were relevant and interesting. The keynote speakers on Saturday were outstanding—although I was weary by the end of the conference, Rebekkah Aldrich kept saying things that compelled me to take out the pen I had put away! Most of all, I appreciated the chance to talk with other librarians in Hawaii, including other HSPLS staff members that I met for the first time and school librarians who suggested ways to build partnerships.
Friday, October 27
Keynote Speaker 1: Cultural Sustainability
Keiki Kawai`ae`a, Ph.D., Native Hawaiian Education Council; UH Hilo
Presented content from Ulukau (ulukau.org), the Hawaiian Electronic Library, which features Hawaiian language books and journals, Hawaiian curriculum materials, a database of Hawaiian place names, and Hawaiian genealogy records. 
Takeaway: Great resource for Hawaiian charter schools!
Possible Futures for Libraries? Are You Ready?
Stacey Aldrich, Jarrid Keller
Ms. Aldrich and Mr. Keller talked about how assumptions affect decisions and actions. Therefore it’s important to make these assumptions explicit to clarify our mental models. They presented a story about a family living in 2035. Audience members brainstormed needs for each family members that the library could fulfill. We considered what kind of space, skills, and other resources the library would need to provide relevant services. Finally, we discussed what libraries would need to do now to prepare for this possible future.
Takeaways: Track trends and anticipate what needs our patrons will have in the future. Be clear on library’s mission so we can stay true to that even as the way we deliver services may look different.
Thinking Beyond the Book: Circulating Non-Traditional Materials
Meri Healey, Rebekah Scheffer
Marine Corps Base Hawaii Library staff talked about surprising items they circulate to their patrons. These items include Go Pro video cameras, cake pans, knitting tools, STEM kits, board games, musical instruments, and more! Due to space limitations, the library’s “makerspace” is portable, i.e. patrons check out items to take home.
Takeaways: Care more about patrons using items instead of things remaining in pristine condition. Offer a program to introduce people to STEM kits--people are eager to borrow items once they see a product demonstrated. 
Sustainability of Public Libraries in this Digital Climate: Transforming Communities Through Digital and Information Literacy
Sharrese Castillo (Wahiawa Public Library), Kelsey Domingo (Nanakuli Public Library)
Public librarians receive more questions about using computers and the internet than for other library resources. They noted the persistence of the “digital divide,” or unequal access to information and communication technologies. 
Digital literacy skills are increasingly necessary to apply for jobs. Also government services are moving online (e.g. federal taxes). E.g. patron applied for job—form online-only, required e-mail address, which in turn required a phone number for a code.
We need to improve library staff’s ability to teach digital and info literacy skills. Approach computer help like a reference interview. One-on-one help is good because people may be too embarrassed to ask for help in a group.
Takeaways: Refreshed my commitment to helping patrons navigate the world wide web. Also got me thinking about the public library’s role in teaching digital and info literacy since schools often do not teach these skills. As public’s information needs change, our services need to evolve as well.
Unbusying the Busy: Public Librarians Employing Social Media for Professional Development
Vanessa Irwin, Michelle Moore, Michelle Young
The Librarians’ Inquiry Forum (LINQ) promotes inquiry-based professional development for librarians through social media. Ms. Irwin (associate LIS professor at UH-Manoa) applied this model with 15 branch managers from the Hawaii State Public Library System from Fall 2016 to Summer 2017. 
Librarians reflected upon their work and discussed library issues via Slack, a work-oriented social media platform. Administrators created channels with guiding questions for topics such as programming and community engagement. Librarians wrote and responded to each other’s posts, and shared photos and documents. A positive outcome was that librarians connected and collaborated despite being on different islands. 
A persistent theme was that librarians felt they were too “busy” to participate. Does being busy make librarians feel important and relevant? Does being too busy for professional development suggest a resistance to growth and/or change? There’s a perception that reflective activity takes away from “real work.” However, it’s important to prioritize self-care because it enables staff to provide better public service.
Takeaways: How can library workers prioritize professional development? Need to find ways to support staff to engage in PD to improve practice and avoid burnout.

Saturday, October 28
Keynote Speaker 2: Environmental Sustainability
Randall Kosaki, Ph.D., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Mr. Kosaki presented about his work studying the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. He shared stunning photographs of ocean life, sobering statistics about our oceans’ health, and insightful anecdotes about his research work. Mr. Kosaki also seamlessly connected his subject matter with the importance of books, knowledge, and libraries. 
Takeaways: I was reading a book about presentation skills, and this guy exemplified all of them! Everything he said and showed served to promote a sense of wonder about ocean life. He communicated with conviction without being sensational. 
Culture + Heritage = Place-Based Learning!
Violet Harada, Patricia Louis, Audrey Okemura, Lori Chun
What learning matters to students? How do we facilitate this learning? Goal is to create learners who produce knowledge and contribute to society.
Inquiry learning stimulates curiosity, focuses on questions, allows personalization, uses real-world contexts, and builds empathy (for heart and mind knowledge). 
Place-based learning links students to where they live and who they are. The community IS the classroom. Find and embrace community stories that make students care. 
Each school librarian talked about learning goals for their project, the librarian’s roles and teacher’s roles, standards addressed, community partners involved, big questions asked, primary and secondary sources used, project results, and student reflections.
Japanese-American interment project at Kaimuki High School (Lori Chun)
Analyzed impact of internment of over 2,000 Japanese-Americans in Hawaii during WWII on individuals and families. Advocated for Honouluili Internment Camp to become a national monument—and President Obama approved! Students reflected that it’s important to learn about past injustices in history so they don’t happen again.
Student-produced play featuring cultural practices from ports visited by the Hokule`a at Kamehameha Schools (Patricia Louis)
Librarian worked with 5th grade teachers to help students produce a play—involves research to build background knowledge, writing script and music, making costumes and building props. Students learned about cultures and issues of native peoples encountered by Hokule`a on journey.
Dangers of plastic marine debris and advocacy for responsible resource management at Pearl City High School (Audrey Okemura)
Study human impact on the environment, create an upcycled product, promote public awareness. Field trip to littered beach—picked up trash, analyzed by type (plastics, metals, etc.). 100% of students said their appreciation for the environment and the gravity of the situation increased. 
Takeaways: These librarians clearly defined their roles in their partnership with teachers at their schools. Place-based learning is meaningful and impacts students’ hearts and minds.
Toddler Time and Beyond: Creating Programs for Our Youngest Patrons
Danielle Todd
Early literacy does NOT equal teaching young kids to read and write. It’s about nurturing skills they need to know before they learn to read and write.
Goal is to create positive experiences for families from their child’s birth. Why focus on toddlers? Kindergarten is too late! Get families in the habit of visiting the library. 
Every Child Ready to Read 2 increases impact of storytime by educating caregivers about early learning practices (read, write, talk, sing, play)
  • Consider HELDS (Hawaii Early Learning and Development Standards) when planning storytimes. 
  • Use giant Post-Its for song lyrics
  • Overall experience matters more than a single book. OK to abandon book that’s not working.
  • Literacy tipsparents are more likely to do activities at home AND see library as an important place for learning. Practice tips so they feel natural. 
Big play date program--offer a variety of activities that are easy to duplicate at home. Though planned for young children, all ages showed up (whole family) so adjusted to monthly all-ages program (e.g. movie, glow in the dark party, bookend painting). Scaffold activities for different levels. Give everyone something to do. Make signs with “Did you know?” early learning facts and prompts for parents to ask their kids.
Takeaways: Some communities want to bring their whole families to the library, so good to plan activities for all ages, not just original target group. Try making signs with teaching tips for parents and suggested questions to engage their children.
Graphic Novels and You: Let’s Talk Story about GNs in Your Library
Kelly Ann Campbell (Mililani Public Library), Hillary Chang (McCully-Moiliili Public Library)
GNs belong in all libraries! Saying you don’t collect them is like saying you don’t collect mysteries. 
Consider that Jane Austen’s novels were looked down upon during her time but now are regarded as classics.
Japanese comics are often shocking to American readers. Hillary theorizes that because Japanese must be ultra-controlled in public, they let loose in literature. 
Place GNs wherever they will circulate most. Separate collections are good, but depends on space.
Use Wikipedia to see where a series will end to see if you want to invest in the whole thing.
Takeaways: Graphic novels shouldn’t be on the periphery of collection development, they are integral to our collections.
Growing and Sustaining Instructional Partnerships Through Professional Development
Sandra Yamamoto (Kapolei High School)
Roadblocks to collaboration: perception of school librarian, isolated, time, trust
How to build trust with teachers? How to engage students inundated with tech (but not necessarily using effectively)? 
Teach the tech but don’t let it take over! SAMR model (with example of writing a book report)
  • Substitution—replace tech (word processing software vs pen and paper)
  • Augmentation—functionally improve tech (spell check)
  • Modification—task redesigned by tech used (use Google Slides to collaborate, include multimedia files)
  • Redefinition—task cannot be done without tech (create a book trailer—record a video and voiceover, edit in iMovie)
Focus on supporting teachers in navigating tech, which will in turn impact student learning. 
Teacher attendance in after-school PD classes dwindled, so the librarian wrote a proposal to offer PD credit (for promotions) as an incentive. Class topics based on teacher requests. The librarian models use tools, and provides examples of classroom integration. Also extends support, e.g. teach a class, review lessons integrating technology. 
People are not sure what librarians do! We are bartenders in the library. Be like Sam I Am (persistent)—what are your green eggs and ham?
Takeaways: Be creative in motivating teachers to engage. Can have great impact on students by influencing teachers. Teach teach tools that have meaningful applications. 
Keynote Speaker 3: Library Sustainability
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, SustainableLibraries.org
Libraries must demonstrate their value. We need to tell the story of who we are. We have a PR problem--according to Pew Research report, 91% of people approve of the library; however, 30% are not sure what libraries do! 
It’s not about books—it’s about what’s inside (stories, knowledge).
Koch brothers fund Super PAC that intervenes in local campaigns to spread misinformation which confuses even library supporters. Outside forces are influencing local elections.
Facilitate focus groups—don’t guess! Talk to library users and library non-users.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs--as librarians, we thought we would be addressing self-actualization needs (at top), but often address bottom-level needs (at bottom).
Disruption WILL happen. Strong social fabric where people know and trust each other essential for resilient communities. Libraries’ role is “first restorer”—help people get back to normal in the aftermath of disaster.
Be strategic in delivering unique value. Service should be intensely localbuild loyalty. Communicate what your library’s website can’t.
Start With Why, Simon Sinek—talk about WHY we do instead of WHAT we do. Eg Talk about a mah-jongg program as a social opportunity, not just a game. 
Be community-focused instead of library-focused. Connect people who want to do the work to make the community a better place. Step up as sustainability leaders. 
Sustainability is where these three intersect: environmentally sound, economically feasible, socially equitable. Sustainable—endure. Resilient—bounce back. Regenerative—bring new life!
New York Library Association Sustainability Initiative. No one path. Align for impact. There is no map—use a compass.
Don’t wait to be invited to the table. Convene conversations. Be bold!

Takeaways: So much to think about—and act upon—from this presentation! I was struck by the importance of talking about WHY we do things instead of WHAT we do. So for storytime, instead of saying it’s about reading books and singing songs, I can say the library equips parents to teach foundational skills that their kids need for a lifetime of learning.

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