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MLA 2015 Conference Featured Speakers
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 Thursday, Oct. 8

Workshop A 9-10 AM

Public Libraries + Arts Education + Older Adults = Hat Trick

Lifetime Arts’ Public Libraries Initiative, a national capacity building and demonstration project, funded through IMLS National Leadership Grants since 2011 -  is helping libraries in 13 states respond to the demand for meaningful programs for the growing population of older adult patrons. Through the Lifetime Arts Affiliate Network, the project promotes partnerships between librarians, teaching artists and community organizations and offers a programming implementation model that employs nationally recognized best practices in arts education and reflects new scholarship on the benefits of social engagement and creative expression for healthy aging. Learn why and how libraries from across the U.S. are embracing innovative arts programming for older adult. Explore Creative Aging best practices, current research and techniques for successful program implementation and sustainability. Lifetime Arts’ Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries, Creative Aging Roster and Lifetime Arts Affiliate Network will be featured. Senior staff from ArtSAGE, Minnesota’s statewide connector, convener and catalyst for the field of arts and aging will be on hand to connect participants to local, regional and statewide resources for artful aging. ArtSAGE provides training programs for artists and arts organizations, consulting services for senior communities and resources for the general public on the new but growing hybrid field of arts and aging. This workshop is supported by a grant from Aroha Philanthropies.

Maura O'Malley

Maura is the CEO/Co-Founder of Lifetime Arts, Inc. She has more than thirty years’ experience in arts management; including program design and implementation, arts education, development and community cultural work. She has informed policy and created innovative programming for adults and children many premiere arts and educational organizations including the New York City Department of Education, Studio in a School Association and Young Audiences. Maura graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and earned a Masters of Public Administration in Arts Policy and Planning from New York University.  

Thursday, Oct. 8

Workshop B 10:45-11:45 AM

Residency Programs that Connect Writers and Readers

Minneapolis-based Coffee House Press's In The Stacks library residency program takes the literary arts beyond the page, bringing together people and organizations to foster reader engagement. You’ll hear from a writer, an illustrator and a librarian who've participated in the program. Explore how In The Stacks can activate the materials in your collections and encourage the general public to think about all types of libraries as creative spaces.

The Panel:

Nor Hall

Nor Hall is a writer, performance researcher, archetypal psychologist and author of the chapbook Traces (Ohm editions) and books Irons in the Fire (Station Hill), Those Women (Spring), and The Moon & the Virgin (Harper Collins). Hall has presented at the Eranos Institute on gender, at International Cast Iron Artists and Myth & Theatre festivals, at the Walker Art Center, and for the Friends of the Hennepin County Library (Minneapolis). A graduate of Beloit College and the 1960s University of California at Santa Cruz History of Consciousness doctoral program, she has been a dramaturg with Archipelago Theatre (Chapel Hill) since 1996 and works with the Studio 206 Tink Tank in the Twin Cities. Hall serves as an occasional advisor for Pacifica Graduate Institute and volunteers at the Center for Victims of Torture in Saint Paul.  



Jessica Shaykett

Jessica Shaykett is the librarian at the American Craft Council (ACC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She holds a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to joining the ACC she worked as a librarian at the Savannah College of Art and Design and as an archivist at Microsoft.


Stephanie Watson

Stephanie Watson is the author of the picture books The Wee Hours (illustrated by Mary GrandPré), Behold! A Baby (illus. by Joy Ang), and How to Be Best Friends: A Book of Dos, Don’ts and Dance (illus. by LeUyen Pham). Her middle-grade novels, Elvis & Olive and Elvis & Olive: Super Detectives, were both Junior Library Guild selections. In addition to writing books, Stephanie also draws comics, teaches writing workshops, and teaches and performs theater improvisation. 

The Moderator:

Jay D. Peterson

Jay D. Peterson is the Project Coordinator of In The Stacks, a Coffee House Press Books in Action initiative. Prior to joining Coffee House, he spent 12 years as manager of Magers and Quinn Booksellers. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming book Sky Blue Water, an anthology of short fiction for young readers by several of Minnesota's top writers for children. 


Thursday, Oct. 8

Workshop C 3:45-4:45 PM

Thinking about Diverstiy Is Thinking About the Future

Changing user demographics have been a core argument for diversity in our profession for a while now – and it remains incredibly important. But prioritizing diversity might be particularly important for the future of library services for other reasons, including improved opportunities for innovation, new directions in community engagement and changing roles for libraries. This session will focus on the many ways that diversity will be crucial to the future of libraries and will consider some of the challenges we still face – recruitment, retention, micro aggressions, privilege, injustice, intercultural communication and bias.  

Miguel Figureoa
Director, Center for the Future of Libraries, American Library Association

Miguel Figueroa works at the American Library Association’s new Center for the Future of Libraries, an initiative to identify emerging trends relevant to libraries, promote futuring and innovation strategies for the profession, and build connections with experts and innovative who can help libraries create our futures. He has previously held positions at the American Theological Library Association, the American Library Association’s Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, New York University’s Langone Medical Center Ehrman Medical Library, and Neal-Schuman Publishers. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Program. 



Gwendolyn Prellwitz
Acting Director, Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, American Library Association

Gwendolyn Prellwitz oversees the Office's activities and budget; serves as staff liaison for the Committee on Diversity, ALA's Ethnic Caucuses and related groups; guides the Office in its efforts to provide active consultation, facilitation and training on diversity issues. Manages the Spectrum Scholarship program and related grants; supports the creation of new projects advancing the recruitment of a diverse library workforce; manages Spectrum communications, marketing, and data reporting.


Friday, Oct. 9

Workshop D 9-10 AM

Meeting the Needs of Teens to Boost Your Library's Impact 

Multiple recent studies and reports show that today's teens are faced with significant barriers and social challenges, which is an increasing concern of community leaders. In Minnesota, 15% of youth live in poverty and only 41% of 8th graders are proficient in reading. A recent YALSA report discusses the challenges today's teens are facing and shares recommended actions Minnesota's libraries can take to ensure that they are well equipped to help the state's 426,834 teens succeed in school and prepare for college, careers and life. By embracing the strategies and actions laid out in the report, libraries can increase their value in the community as well as ensure that the next generation is well-equipped to be productive citizens. Attendees of this session will gain knowledge of the latest practical teen services tools and resources they can apply to their daily work.

Beth Yoke
Executive Director, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), American Library Association


Beth Yoke oversees the expansion of YALSA as well as the implementation of new initiatives such as the annual Young Adult Services Symposium and the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults. Prior to working at YALSA, Yoke worked as a university librarian at Fairmont State University, as a school librarian in Stafford, VA, and an elementary school teacher in New Orleans, LA. Beth Yoke holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University.  You can follow her on Twitter via @yalsa_director or find her on LinkedIn.



Friday, Oct. 9

Workshop E 10:45-11:45 AM

Facilitating the Artist's Library

The Artist's Library:  a Field Guide by the Library as Incubator Project (Coffee House Press, 2014) is chock-full of artist interviews, creativity exercises and helpful tips for artists on how to work effectively with their local libraries. In this session author Laura Damon-Moore and Library as Incubator Project colleagues Holly Storck-Post and Katie Behrens discuss how to put the "stuff" in The Artist's Library into practice at your library.


Laura Damon-Moore

Laura Damon-Moore received her master’s degree from the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies. Laura is currently the Assistant Director for the Eager Free Public Library in Evansville, Wisconsin, where her focus is on creative, engaging programming and outreach with and for youth and families.


Katie Behrens
Katie Behrens received her master’s degree from UW-Madison’s School of Library and Information Studies and is working in early childhood education. She is a librarian by training, a creative maker by birth, and a fan-girl of many flavors.

Holly Storck-Post
Holly Storck-Post received her Master’s Degree from the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies and is the Youth Services Coordinator at Monroe Public Library in Monroe, Wisconsin. She loves everything about youth services, especially early literacy work, art/maker/STEAM programming and reading teen books. Holly speaks Spanish fluently, advocates for library services to Spanish-speakers, and loves doing bilingual family storytime!

Friday, Oct. 9

Workshop F 3:45-4:45 PM

One Conference One Book with Stephan Erik Clark

Join the Readers Advisory Roundtable for a conversation with Stephan Erik Clark, about his latest book Sweetness #9, our One Conference One Book selection. This funny and moving novel received a Colbert bump, launching Clark into the “must read” category. It’s 1973, and David Leveraux has landed his dream job as a Flavorist-in-Training, working in the secretive industry where chemists create the flavors for everything from the cherry in your can of soda to the butter on your popcorn. While testing a new artificial sweetener he notices unusual side effects in the laboratory rats and monkeys: anxiety, obesity, and a generalized dissatisfaction with life. David tries to blow the whistle, but he swallows it instead. Years later, Sweetness #9 is America’s most popular sweetener—and David’s family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his son has stopped using verbs and his daughter suffers from a generalized dissatisfaction with life. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David’s failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the American condition? David’s search for an answer unfolds in this expansive novel that is at once a comic satire, a family story and a profound exploration of our deepest cultural anxieties. Wickedly funny and wildly imaginative, Sweetness #9 questions whether what we eat truly makes us who we are. Clark will have copies of Sweetness #9 to sell and sign.

Stephan Erik Clark

Stephan Erik Clark is the author of Sweetness #9 and the short story collection Vladimir’s Mustache, a finalist for the 2013 Minnesota Book Award. Born in West Germany to a Norwegian mother and a Texan father, Clark split much of his childhood between England and the United States, and has lived in five states and five countries, including Ukraine, where he served a Fulbright Fellowship, and Russia. He teaches at Augsburg College, in Minneapolis.





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