Last week I had the privilege of attending my second OLA Super Conference in Toronto. In 2015, I attended as a student volunteer, and in 2016, as an employed library attendee. Since I’m only an hour GO train ride away (less as I was up early enough to catch the express…Thanks for the rides, Dad!), I didn’t stay over. Which is just as well, as this way I got a taste of the T.O. commuter-life.
In addition to attending many inspiring and engaging sessions, and the freebie filled Super Expo (I came home with at least 10 free books), I had a mini-reunion with some of my library school friends!! I hope in 30 years we’re stilling meet up at library conferences. Given that almost 5,000 people attend, knowing a few faces makes the experience that much better.
At this point, maybe you’re wondering what exactly you do at a library conference. Well I can only speak for what happens a OLA, but other than networking, re-uniting, visiting vendor booths for free books, author signings, and learning about new resources and products for your library, you also get to attend wonderful sessions where you learn about the different library and information resources, initiatives, projects, and roles that have been undertaken and supported by fellow librarians.
And here comes my one complaint about OLA… there are TOO MANY wonderful sessions to choose from. Many happen concurrently, and unless you’re Hermione and have a time turner, you won’t be able to attend them all. Rumour has it that OLA posts recordings of the sessions on their site after the conference, but I’m not sure if that applies to any or all sessions. So don’t quote me on it.
After much deliberation, below are the sessions I attended. I’ll try to post some thoughts about each session at a later date, but for now click each link for a brief description directly from the OLA site.
- Speed dating with the Dewey Divas & Dude, 9:00am – 10:30am
- #We Have Diverse Books! Where to Find and how to use Canadian Children’s Books that Reflect the Diversity of Our Population, 10:45am – 12pm
- Connecting Spaces: Children and Community Digital Library, 2:15pm – 2:55pm
- Breaking the Mould: Leisure Reading – Not Just for Public Libraries Anymore, 3:05-3:45pm
- RefWorks Focus Group Breakfast (Hosted by ProQuest), 7:45am – 9:20am
- Hosting a Maker Fair in your Library Learning Commons, 10:30am – 11:10am
- The IL Incubator: Exploring IL skill gaps in Secondary School Curricula & Post-Secondary Research Expectations, 11:20am – 12:00pm
- Reach Out and Read: Partnering with the Medical Community to Promote Early Literacy, 2:15 – 3:30pm
- RECESS in the Library! Experimenting with Partnerships Through Stress Busters, 3:45pm – 5:00pm
- UWO’s Alumni Reception
- Academic Libraries’ Role in Supporting Student Mental Health and Wellness, 9:00am – 10:15am
- Grandpal Program, 10:30 – 11:10pm
- Pop-up Discovery Programming @ Brampton Library, 11:20am – 12:00pm
- Super Expo: Lots of free books, author signings, and meetings vendor
You’ll notice that the sessions I chose to attend make up a smorgasbord of libraries – academic, public, school. That’s partly because I’m interested in many different aspects of library land and partly because I still haven’t decided which type of library I want to end up in (oops…) The great thing about attending a variety of sessions for a variety of libraries is that
some a lot all ideas are transferable and malleable, and in some way, shape, or form can help shape the future of any type of library.
So thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your own thoughts and experiences with the OLA Super Conference! And if you have any suggestions for other LIS conferences to attend, I’m all ears 🙂