Imagine the Possibilities

Spark Talks I

Thursday, March 22, 5:15 PM–6:15 PM

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 201 ABC

Ready, Set, Go! Our presenters have only five minutes each to ignite some new ideas. Using a combination of innovative slides and lightning-fast talk, they’ll share a personal passion inspired by their work to fire-up you and your public library colleagues. If they go over five minutes, we’re using the big hook. The clock starts… NOW!

Presenter Topic
Elizabeth Jonkel, Missoula (MT) Public Library A Quick Response Tool for Managing Crisis
Serving the general public means that, on any given day, a patron’s conduct and behavior can be a wild card that disrupts normal library operations and upsets staff and others. Though every situation is different, planning for disruption is possible, but staff consistency is key. An easy tool, using decision tree methodology, will be demonstrated that can guide staff to the right response in critical situations.
Douglas Crane, Palm Beach County (FL) Library System Five Minutes to Inbox Zero – Overcoming the E-mail Avalanche
E-mail is a vital tool where most of our daily work is done. Unfortunately, e-mail can be the biggest impediment to productivity due to mismanagement of high volumes of messages. Thankfully, the application of a few simple best practices can vanquish the stress of e-mail management. In just five minutes you will learn a simple but powerful system to quickly gain control over e-mail in order to reach an empty inbox. Inbox Zero awaits!
Susan Pieper, Paulding County (OH) Carnegie Library Juvenile Court Literacy Program: A Rural Public Library Partnership with the Juvenile Court
The Juvenile Court Literacy Program allows juvenile offenders to fulfill probation requirements by appearing at any of the Paulding County Carnegie Library locations to read or peruse books.
Haley Holmes, San Antonio (TX) Public Library Left Shark
At the San Antonio Public Library we are using the Shark Tank concept to inspire staff to pitch new and creative ideas from programming to systemic process improvement. A little healthy competition has compelled staff on all levels to push their ideas forward, and library administrators are working to mentor employees to see their ideas become reality. We are in the midst of a revolution, and this is just one step towards an improved organizational culture.
Laura Raphael, Tulsa City-County (OK) Library Listen, Librarians! Adultsplaining Does Not Work
Being a kid is an exercise in communication frustration. Adults are constantly telling you that you should not feel the way you feel. My plea is also a deeply held principle: Listen to kids. Reflect their feelings. Honor their pain and their joys as you would your friends, co-workers, and spouses. This presentation will include quick ways to listen effectively to children—and one magic question to get them talking in the first place.
Cody Flood, Hancock County (IN) Public Library Paperless Holds Management
Brief overview of a web-based, paperless holds system that allows for more efficient use of staff time. It also features real-time notices for patrons and complete patron privacy. This system is not being used at any other library in North America as our library has been a development partner with the PV Supa to create this Holds Management System.
Kimberly Boldt, Milwaukee (WI) Public Library Under Our Umbrella: Supporting Our Staff
Are you interested in assisting your colleagues manage stress? Join us to hear how Milwaukee Public Library employs caring, trained staff to support colleagues through the challenges and stresses of customer service in an urban library system. Learn about our path and how you can create your own cutting edge peer support program!
Natalie Milbrodt, Queens Borough (NY) Public Library Introducing a Mobile App for Uploading Family Treasures to Public Library Collections
The Queens Public Library in New York City has developed a free mobile application for uploading scanned items, digital photos, oral history interviews and “wild sound” recordings of Queens neighborhoods for permanent safekeeping in the library’s archival collections. It allows families to add their personal histories to the larger historical narrative of their city and their country. The upload tool is an open source iOS and Android app built to accept submissions of the crowd-sourced metadata, audio and visual files. It automatically generates a record in the library’s digital asset management system that staff can review, edit, and set live on the library’s digital archives website and then harvest to the Digital Public Library of America. The tool is part of the programmatic and technological offerings of the library’s Queens Memory program, whose mission is to capture contemporary history in Queens. Code for the app is available on GitHub and the team’s development roadmap emphasizes making this tool configurable for other organizations who wish to adapt it for their own use. Queens Memory Director, Natalie Milbrodt, will share the library’s approach and lessons learned during development and early use of the beta version in 2017.

Order of presentation might change on the day of the session.

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

The PLA 2018 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.

Attendee Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 23, 2018, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 23, 2018. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours. No meal tickets will be sold onsite.

Exhibitor Cancellation Policy

All booth space cancellation requests must be received in writing by Show Management (Corcoran Expositions). If space is reduced, the net reduction of space will be treated as a cancellation of that space. If Show Management receives a written request for cancellation of space on or before October 31, 2017, the exhibitor will be eligible for a refund less the nonrefundable deposit of $950 per 100 square feet of exhibit space. For cancellations received after October 31, 2017, exhibitors are liable for 100% of the cost of space.


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Thank You PLA 2018 Conference Sponsors!

Other Questions

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PLA 2016 Archive

Looking for handouts and other information from the PLA 2016 Conference, which took place April 5–9, 2016 in Denver, CO? The PLA 2016 Conference website has been archived at

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