How-To Festival

Exhibits Hall, How-To Stage

Join us at the How-To Stage, at the end of the 600 aisle in the Exhibits Hall, for the How-To Festival—an incredible line-up of 20-minute hands-on sessions provided by and for conference attendees! A How-To Festival is a cooperative learning experience, teaching practical, hands-on skills that can be learned in short sessions. It’s a fun way for attendees to learn something new and to share their experiences and knowledge and actively participate in conference learning.

Wednesday, February 26

Time Presenters Topic
3:40 PM–4:00 PM Oscar Gittemeier, Adult Outreach Manager, Fulton County (GA) Library System HOW TO Use 3D Pens
At this session you’ll get hands-on experience using a new technology—the 3D pen. A sort of combination of glue gun and regular pen, 3D pens allow users to create objects. It is kind of like drawing, but instead of using paper, your creations can stand on their own. Think of it as more like sculpture.
4:40 PM–5:00 PM Sam Helmick, Public Services Librarian, Burlington (IA) Public Library HOW TO Use Book Talk Videos to Market Your Collection
Take your Readers’ Advisory to the next level with social media Book Talks. Learn tips and trick to efficiently and economically craft, record, publish, and curate videos which promote your library’s collection and programming. This informal, impromptu approach can help library staff talk about their collections in a way that is mindfully open and engaging for patrons.
5:40 PM–6:00 PM Casey Applebaum, Youth Services Librarian, Kingsport (TN) Public Library HOW TO Make Recycled Book Flowers
Presenter will show you how to turn your discards into a rose or a kusudama flower in this hands-on paper flower making session.


Thursday, February 27

Time Presenters Topic
9:30 AM–9:50 AM Kacper Jarecki, Principal Librarian, Queens Public Library (NY); Sarah Gluck, Supervising Librarian, Queens Public LIbrary (NY) HOW TO Do a Long Distance Bike Ride
Ever considered embarking on a long-distance bike ride? These librarians can tell you about it! In January 2020, they launched a bicycle ride from New York to Philadelphia (for the ALA Midwinter Meeting). The purpose? To raise awareness about sustainability. You’ll learn all the details of how to plan a long distance bike ride in winter including how they dressed to keep warm; how they practiced to get in shape; how they documented the ride; and the obstacles they encountered along the way. You’ll also hear how they obtained sponsorship, recruited library staff to join them, stopped at libraries along the way, and more.
10:30 AM–10:50 AM Laura Tucker, Head of Children’s Services, Homewood (IL) Public Library; Judith Wright, Teen Librarian/Assistant Director, Homewood (IL) Public Library HOW TO Host an Educator Book Club at Your Library
In this session, a children’s librarian and a teen librarian share how they developed an Educator Book Club, with local teachers, to connect the library with schools and to expose the teachers to a wider variety of middle grade and YA titles.
11:30 AM–11:50 AM Janet Forest, Adult Programs Coordinator, Nantucket Atheneum, MA HOW TO Overcome Fear of Public Speaking
Public speaking is consistently rated as the #1 fear among adults, and most professionals avoid it until it is absolutely necessary. Then when they are forced to do it, they freeze and stumble through the experience, which only feeds into their fear. This presentation will offer simple techniques to help reduce nerves and jitters. The techniques can be used in any situation where you are required to speak in front of an audience (board meetings, introducing others, giving toasts, and hosting events). Will include demonstrations, hands-on exercises, and a one-page cheat sheet. With these techniques public speaking can be both empowering and enjoyable.
12:30 PM–12:50 PM Kelly Thoreson, Librarian, Children & Youth Services, Brampton Library (ONT, Canada) HOW TO Bring STEM to Storytime
This presentation will explore how to include age-appropriate STEM knowledge and skill-building in preschool programs either by developing a STEM program series for toddlers or by incorporating STEM concepts into pre-existing storytime programming. Presenter will share the benefits of both approaches as well as practical tips for choosing books and activities, and how to deliver STEM literacy messaging to caregivers.
1:00 PM–1:20 PM Trina Camping, Literacy Coordinator and Makerspace Manager, Woodland (CA) Public LIbrary HOW TO Make Buttons
Come make buttons! Presenter will show you how button-making can work for not only kids programming and outreach, but also how the craft can inspire design-thinking, encourage lifelong learning, act as a stepping stone to the maker community, and create new community partnerships.
1:30 PM–1:50 PM Erin Creighton, Adult Services Department Head, Central Rappahannock (VA) Regional Library HOW TO Do a How-To Festival at Your Library
Love the idea of a How-To Festival? Lots of libraries are offering this unique opportunity to bring innovative programming to your community. In this session, you’ll hear about a few different types of library How-To Festivals and best practices for planning and implementing your very own How-To Festival.
2:30 PM–2:50 PM Haley Holmes, Public Services Administrator, San Antonio (TX) Public Library HOW TO Create an Idea Incubator at Your Library
Presenter will share details of an ongoing employee engagement project—the Idea Incubator. All staff are encouraged to submit proposals for change through an online form. All proposals are immediately viewable by the entire organization, and staff are then provided assistance with implementing their ideas, big and small. So far, 20 ideas have been submitted and all are in varying stages of implementation from site specific to system-wide changes. You will leave this presentation understanding how the IdeaIncubator works, projects this library has undertaken due to the Idea Incubator, and how you can implement a similar idea at your library.
3:30 PM–3:50 PM Erin Prentiss, Outreach Services Manager, Augusta-Richmond County (GA) Public Library System HOW TO Survive Programming Disasters
Sometimes library programming doesn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. But you can deal with it! Presenter will offer a quick slideshow of pro tips on avoiding program disasters and making it work when things go wrong. Will include a brainstorming session with suggestions from participants. You’ll learn how to prepare to avoid problems and persevere when things go wrong.
4:00 PM–4:20 PM Crissie Molina, Reference Librarian, Mandeville Branch, St. Tammany Parish Library (LA) HOW TO Create a Technology Discussion Group for Patrons
Are your patrons afraid of technology? Do they feel intimidated by traditional computer classes or are they uncomfortable asking questions? Older patrons often struggle to keep abreast of the constant change of technology. They may struggle to maintain their technological autonomy and lose confidence in their ability to understand, much less master, technology. The presenter will describe “Tech Talk” a library discussion group that was created to provide an informal space to discuss everything from creating secure passwords and avoiding online scams and robocalls, to signing up for streaming services and safely using the internet. Following a book club model, each month the group meets in a comfortable seating area (rather than classroom). Using a handout as a guide, the librarian facilitates conversation, provides information, and encourages patrons to share their concerns, questions, and successes. At this session you’ll learn all the details to create a “Tech Talk” at your library.


Friday, February 28

Time Presenters Topic
9:30 AM–9:50 AM Kerri Copus, Assistant Branch Supervisor, Montgomery-Floyd (VA) Regional Library HOW TO Find Community Needs Through Swaps, Donations, and Services
Presenter will share details of the library’s ‘swap’ programming, so that you can replicate at your library. These popular events include Craft Swaps, Plant Swaps, and biggest of all, a Clothing Swap. The events have grown in donations and popularity, increasing in interest as a fun event and as a place to share items for those in need. The events became huge both as a fun event but also a place to share items for those in need. Future plans include providing free diapers and feminine hygiene products for free to patrons through donations.
10:30 AM–10:50 AM Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Library and Information Science HOW TO Add Movement to Library Programming
Many communities have identified health and wellness as a priority and libraries can play an important role in promoting physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. This session will focus on easy techniques you can use to add movement to programs for all ages. From a mini dance party between stories to instance recess for adults, regular ten minute activity breaks have been identified by researchers and policy makers as effective ways to advance public health. Here you’ll learn exercise, routines, playlists, and games that you can use to quickly and effectively incorporate activity breaks into programs at your library.
11:30 AM–11:50 AM Melanie Borski-Howard, Youth Services Librarian, Boulder (CO) Public Library HOW TO Present a Dynamic and Successful Drag Queen Story Hour
Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading to children. In addition to the reading of excellent books, DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and give kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In this presentation you’ll learn best practices for planning and hosting a DQSH event from a librarian experienced in planning and hosting the events.
12:30 PM–12:50 PM Trina Camping, Literacy Coordinator and Makerspace Manager, Woodland (CA) Public Library HOW To Have a Library Cat
Ever wondered how libraries that keep pets manage to do so? How do they cut through the red tape? Who cares for the pet? How are pet expenses managed? What about allergies? The Woodland Public Library was adopted by a stray cat in 2016. She’s worked her way into the hearts of the library staff, city staff, and patrons. She helped with the post-election malaise, keeps the rodent population in check, and continues to boost spirits every day. See photos of the feline who made #8 on BuzzFeed’s list of “Cats Who Have Better Jobs Than You” and find out how you can do the same for a lucky cat in your community.
1:30 PM–1:50 PM Casey Applebaum, Youth Services Librarian, Kingsport (TN) Public Library HOW TO Make Recycled Book Flowers (Repeat)
Presenter will show you how to turn your discards into a rose or a kusudama flower in this hands-on paper flower making session.