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Spark Talks I

Thursday, February 27
5:15 PM–6:15 PM

Music City Center Hall A2

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
Megan Emery, The Healing Library David Bowie (Still) Tells Me How to be a Good Librarian
David Bowie's genius has been a guiding light for me as a librarian. His life's work reads like a playbook of how to be a good librarian. David's Key Points:
1) Collaborate Like Crazy
  • Mime troops? Duh.
  • Wacky movies? Sure!
  • Iggy Pop? ALWAYS.
2) Push the Envelope
  • Call out inequality
  • Take professional risks
3) Know When to Walk Away
  • Be Passionate or get out of the way of those who are
Anna Pauls, Flossmoor Public Library "Asking for a Friend": Creating a Tough Topics Resource Center @ Your Library
Flossmoor Public Library recently launched "Asking For a Friend," a 13-topic brochure collection focused on helping teens find resources and library materials on sensitive/tough topics, including mental health, eating disorders, LGBT+ issues, bullying, healthy relationships, suicide prevention, and more. In the first week after launch, 10% of the brochures were taken by patrons. This Spark Talk focuses on the collection's development process from curating a resource list to finding a visible-yet-private location to house it.
Rebecca Ballard, Oconee County Library 5 Minute Self-Care Techniques for Public Librarians
We love working with the public, but library-ing can be stressful! There is never enough time, funding, or praise for all of the hard work we do. You deserve some love. This Spark Talk will teach you fast and simple ways to relax and feel better, even when you only have five minutes! Come and learn some easy, effective, and quick self-care techniques to help take care of you.
Catherine Hollerbach, Anne Arundel County Public Library Dementia Friendly Libraries
Older Americans use public libraries as a place to learn, relax, and find connections in their community. In Anne Arundel County Public Libraries in Maryland, all of the branches are becoming Dementia Friendly so they will be more welcoming and supportive to this population and their caregivers. Learn about partners and resources to make this happen in your library.
Veronica Milliner Can You Explain This Gap In Your Resume?
Whether it’s caring for a loved one, dealing with an emergency personal situation, or just escaping a toxic work environment, there are a depth of reasons why someone may have a “gap” in their library career. Let’s explore how employment gaps are interpreted in hiring, how difficult situations can be addressed in the application process, and how viewing them in a new light can open public libraries to a varied and diverse staff.
Betha Gutsche, OCLC WebJunction Closing the Justice Gap: The Crucial Role of Libraries
The lofty ideal “justice for all” fails the equity test because our nation’s poorest individuals experience the “justice gap,” the inability to meet their civil legal needs. Your community members who instinctively turn to the library for help with life crises might fall into this gap if not for your vital role in connecting them with information and navigating the complex civil legal system. Get inspired by stories of how the library turned people’s lives around.
Yusef Ganyana, Kenya National Library Service, Kibera Branch I KILLED A DEAD LION
We all fear something and Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking, was my “lion.” But through life experience and knowledge, I managed to overcome it. Now, I teach youth about digital literacy, public speaking and entrepreneurship. In the library, we teach them life skills and career opportunities, make them feel appreciated and give them the chance to open up. As a result, many have managed to pursue their studies and drug abuse and peer crime has reduced.
Cheryl Martin, North Olympic Library System Virtual Reality For Everyone in the Public Library
Virtual Reality is accessible to patrons of many ages, identities, and abilities. The North Olympic Library System has shared this new technology with adults, teens, seniors, including individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities. Library programs and outreach have connected with community members who might never have had access to or tried the technology otherwise. This talk will highlight our patron's experiences and provide program ideas for ways to bring Virtual Reality programming to your library.


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

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