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MLA 2016 Conference Keynote Speakers, Featured Speakers and Pre-Conference Information
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Keynote Speakers, Featured Speakers and
Pre-Conference Information

 

Pre-Conference Workshop
Keynote and Featured Speakers

 

Pre-Conference Workshop

Wednesday, Sept. 28
10:00am-4:30pm

The Pre-Conference Workshop will take place in the August Fitgers Room at
Fitger's Inn located at 600 E. Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802

Advocacy/Intellectual Freedom Boot Camp

"Who needs libraries?" Beneath those three words is an iceberg of messaging, a fundamental challenge not only to librarians, but to our society. In this joint effort of ALA's Office for Library Advocacy and the Office for Intellectual Freedom, we'll explore some of the brutal facts of our environment, celebrate our assets, and offer practical tips to reclaim a moral sanction for the work we do, and the support our communities deserve.

Jamie LaRue

 
LaRue is the director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, and the Freedom to Read Foundation. Author of "The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges," LaRue was a public library director for many years, as well as a weekly newspaper columnist and cable TV host. He has written, spoken, and consulted on leadership and organizational development, community engagement, and the future of libraries. 


Marci Merola


Marci Merola has been the Director of ALA's Office for Library Advocacy since its formation in 2007, providing advocacy resources, tools and support to librarians, staff and advocates at the state and local levels, speaking nationally and internationally on library advocacy, as well as working to integrate advocacy efforts throughout the association. She came to ALA in 2001 as the Advocacy Specialist within the ALA Public Information Office. Marci vaguely recalls having other careers and interests prior to her work with libraries, including a career in the publishing industry, working as a freelance writer in the not-for-profit sector, and a passion for poetry, other creative writing and all things language. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from Northern Illinois University and a Masters in Library Science from Dominican University. She lives in Chicago, where she was born and raised. 

  


 

Keynote and Featured Speakers

 

Thursday, Sept. 29
Workshop B: 10:55am-11:55am

Community First Program Design

Imagine this nightmare: You develop a terrific program, tailor the marketing to your audience of interest... and they don't come. 

We've all been there. How can we design library programs that speak to the communities we wish to engage? It starts with understanding those communities and then building programming that speaks to their unique interests and expectations. In this highly interactive workshop, you will learn specific techniques for identifying communities of interest, articulating their assets and needs, and designing programming and collaborative opportunities based on their values. You will leave this workshop with tools you can use in your own library and fresh ideas for how you might meaningfully engage hard-to-reach communities at your institution.

Nina Simon


Nina Simon has been described as a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine for her community-centered approach to design. She is the author of the Museum 2.0 blog, the books The Participatory Museum (2010) and Relevance (2016)Nina is the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH), where she led an institutional turnaround based on creative risk-taking, grassroots participation, and community partnership.  

 


 Thursday, Sept. 29
Keynote: 12:05pm-1:35pm

Relevance With Nina Simon

We all want our libraries to be "relevant." But what does that word really mean? In this interactive keynote, author and museum director Nina Simon will share inspiring examples and practical theories on how to make your work more vital and valuable to diverse communities. Relevance isn't about what's #trending. It's about unlocking meaning in people's hearts. Join Nina for a thought-provoking conversation about how we can use relevance to matter more to more people.

Nina Simon


Nina Simon has been described as a “museum visionary” by Smithsonian Magazine for her community-centered approach to design. She is the author of the Museum 2.0 blog, the books The Participatory Museum (2010) and Relevance (2016). Nina is the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH), where she led an institutional turnaround based on creative risk-taking, grassroots participation, and community partnership. 

 


 Thursday, Sept. 29
Workshop C: 1:45pm-2:45pm

One Conference One Book - a Good Time for the Truth

“What is a true Minnesotan?  In a land defined by Lake Wobegon, the Vikings, Snoopy and Mary Tyler Moore, the ideas of who we are have not caught up to the realities, not by a long shot. This book helps narrow that gap.”  - Wing Young Huie, author of Frogtown and The University Avenue Project.

The library patrons walking through your door are, no doubt, different than the patrons who walked through the same door 30 years ago.  That’s what makes this year’s One Conference One Book selection a timely and vital read.   A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota is a collection of 16 essays from writers who give you the chance to step in someone else’s shoes and help you understand what it is like to be a person of color in Minnesota.

In their exceptionally engaging essays, they invite us to see the world through their eyes.  Their world is very different than most of ours and yet their world is still Minnesota! In some ways, it is a challenging read – after all, the subject is provocative -- but in other ways, it’s an easy read:  16 self-contained essays, each with a different idea and perspective.  Pick up the book and read a 15-page essay and then go back when you’re ready for another viewpoint.  Whether you read just one or all 16 essays, you’re going to want to talk about what you’ve read – and what is better than the opportunity to talk with the editor, Sun Yung Shin, plus three of the authors: Shannon Gibney, Andrea Jenkins and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria.  Join us at the conference!

The Panel:

Sun Yung Shin


Sun Yung Shin is the editor of A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, the author of poetry collections Unbearable Splendor; Rough, and Savage; and Skirt Full of Black (all from Coffee House Press), a co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, and the author of the bilingual illustrated book for children Cooper’s Lesson. She lives in Minneapolis.

 

Shannon Gibney


Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of See No Color (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a young adult novel that won the 2016 Minnesota Book Award in Young Peoples' Literature. Her writing appears in numerous anthologies, and in other venues including Al Jazeera America, The Crisis, and Gawker. Gibney is faculty in English at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where she teaches critical and creative writing, journalism, and African Diasporic topics. A Bush Artist and McKnight Writing Fellow, she is currently at work on her second YA novel, Dream Country, about more than five generations of an African descended family, crisscrossing the Atlantic both voluntarily and involuntarily (Dutton, 2018).

 

Andrea Jenkins

Andrea Jenkins is an artist-activist, and award-winning poet and writer. Andrea has been awarded fellowships from the Bush Foundation, Intermedia Arts, and the Playwrights Center and has won writing and performance grants and scholarships from the Givens Foundation, Intermedia Arts, The Loft, the Napa Valley Writers Conference, and Pillsbury House Theater. Andrea is the co-curator of Queer Voices at Intermedia Arts, the longest-running series of its kind in the nation, and currently works collecting oral histories from hundreds of people in the Upper Midwest transgender community as an Oral Historian in the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.

Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria

Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria is a writer and spoken word poet of Peruvian heritage heavily involved with Palabristas, a Minnesota based Latin@ poets collective. He is an MFA student at Hamline University and writes about fatherhood, the duality of two cultures in English, Spanglish and Spanish, and issues pertaining to his community.


 Friday, Sept. 30
Workshop F: 10:55am-11:55am

BiblioTech - Bringing the Library to the Public

In September, 2013 Bexar County, Texas, launched BiblioTech, the first entirely digital public library in the United States. Capitalizing on technology, BiblioTech challenges the paradigm of the library and presents an inverted service model by breaking down library “walls” with accessibility to disengaged populations. BiblioTech has captured the imagination of people all over the world and has sparked dialog about new and exciting ways library services can be delivered to the public.

Laura Cole

Originally from Minnesota, Laura has worked in county government for the past 12 years; first in Washington County, Oregon, and, since 2008, for Bexar County, Texas. Laura earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas San Antonio and Master of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University. In 2012, she was privileged to be charged with leading the development of BiblioTech, the nation’s first all-digital public library. Since then, she has engaged in discussion with government officials and librarians across the world regarding the immeasurable potential offered by digital libraries. Laura was a featured presenter and guest of Stichting Biblioteek at its library conference in Utrecht, NL, and was keynote speaker at CILIP’s public libraries satellite conference in Birmingham, UK in 2014. She also contributed to Council of Europe Report: Committee on Culture Science, Education and Media, 2015. Most recently, she presented BiblioTech at the International Federation of Library Associates 2016 Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

 


Friday, Sept. 30
Keynote: 12:05pm-1:35pm

Privacy and Libraries in the 21st Century

This keynote will explore the historical relationship between libraries and privacy before delving into the role that libraries play in privacy in the 21st Century. Technology advances have changed the depth and breadth of data that can be collected and allowed for longer storage and easier access. At the same time, patrons' expectations of libraries have shifted regarding services and educational opportunities.

Bobbi Newman


Bobbi Newman is a librarian, writer, consultant, library advocate, and an international speaker.  Her interests include privacy, public policy, technology, new media, digital literacy, class, political communication and behavior. She is passionate about the role of libraries in equal access and opportunity for all.

Additionally she has been part of several national initiatives including serving on the National Information Standards Organization committee and the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Bobbi was named a Mover and Shaker by Library Journal in 2011. She is the author of the blog Librarian By Day.


Thursday, Sept. 29
Workshop G: 1:45pm-2:45pm

Digital Literacy Requires Life Long Learning

Ever evolving technology, social network sites that come and go, how can you possibly keep up? What does digital literacy look like in 2016? Newman will talk about why digital literacy matters to our patrons and our libraries, what it means to be digitally literate, and offer some suggestions for those just getting started and for those who think they are already digitally literate.

Bobbi Newman


Bobbi Newman is a librarian, writer, consultant, library advocate, and an international speaker.  Her interests include privacy, public policy, technology, new media, digital literacy, class, political communication and behavior. She is passionate about the role of libraries in equal access and opportunity for all.

Additionally she has been part of several national initiatives including serving on the National Information Standards Organization committee and the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Bobbi was named a Mover and Shaker by Library Journal in 2011. She is the author of the blog Librarian By Day.

  

 

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