Posted in PLA Conference

A little encouragement

I was recently involved in the Youth Services Development Institute here in Wisconsin. The Institute provides professional development and networking for Wisconsin public library staff youth in smaller public libraries.

While chatting with the institute participants, I learned that one person in particular had a goal of attending the Public Library Association (PLA) conference someday. We chatted about why she wanted to go to the conference and some possible avenues of securing funding to do so.

Fast forward a few months and I saw an announcement come through that PLA was offering scholarships to attend the national conference in Nashville in 2020. Scholarships would be awarded in one of three categories: 1) early career librarianship scholarship, 2) library support staff scholarship, and 3) library school student scholarships. I forwarded this information on to the graduates of the Youth Services Development Institute hoping someone would take advantage of this opportunity.

Then lo and behold in my email is a message from the institute graduate who had a goal of attending PLA. She thanked me for sending on the scholarship information and mentioned that she had applied for a scholarship. I wished her luck and really hope she gets it! Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement so be sure to reach out to someone considering taking that next professional leap. Let them know you believe in them.

More information on the PLA Scholarships.

Posted in PLA Conference

PLA Registration Opens Soon

Public Library Association 2020 Conference Logo Nashville Feb. 25-29

Mark your calendars for September 18, 2019, when registration opens for the PLA 2020 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The PLA conference is for public library professionals, with over 100 education programs, speakers, author lunches, networking opportunities, and a large exhibits hall.

PLA personal members get exclusive access to the early bird discount. Visit for more information.

Posted in Conference, Travel

Going Solo

I am on my way back from a conference in Denver, CO waiting to board my plane. Including this trip, this is my THIRD time traveling solo since attending PLA in 2018.

I have a bit of anxiety around travel and just prefer traveling with others in general. It’s reassuring and reduces my anxiety.When I was given the opportunity to go to PLA as the WAPL PLA Liaison in the spring of 2018, it was by myself to a city I’ve never been to (Philadelphia). I was dropped off at the airport by a family member and arrived at my destination just fine.

Later last summer, I attended another conference, the ADA Symposium, in Pittsburgh. I flew alone again. This time, it was a little less stressful because I had some recent experience going it alone. It’s hard to believe I went to Pennsylvania twice within a few months and I had never been there in my lifetime.

Today I am leaving Denver, CO to head back to Milwaukee. I’m traveling solo and what’s new this time is that I parked my car at the airport. This is a new adventure for me as I’ve always been dropped off even when traveling with others. I took a picture of where I parked so that I could rest assured that I would be able to find my car upon my return five days later. So if you see me wandering around the Milwaukee airport looking for my car, at least you know I landed OK but may need help finding my spot!

Posted in Conference, Early Literacy, School age, WAPL Conference

When in town, visit the library

We recently held our annual Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries conference in Rothschild, WI May 1-3.

One of the evening activities scheduled was to visit the Marathon County Public Library headquarters in Wausau, WI.

Julie, the Adult Services Librarian, gave 22 visiting library staff a tour, including some behind the scenes stuff.

When in town, I like visiting other public libraries to see how they do things. This library did not disappoint.

I took some photos of things I thought looked great or were cool ideas, including:

    Bath tub for sitting and reading in at the children’s library
    Early literacy area with a theme that changes regularly
    Let us request that for you language on the end cap sign
    Earbuds for sale in the vending machine. Genius.
    Vertical displayed TV with a display of materials underneath.
    Random Acts of Kindness passive programs in the Tween Scene.
Posted in Web Resources

Do you work at a small library?

There is a webinar coming up put on by WebJunction called The Power of Small: How Rural Libraries Help Their Communities Thrive. The speaker is Allie Stevens, Director and solo librarian, at Calhoun County Library & Museum in Hamtpon Arkansas. Allie is a 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

Register for this free webinar on April 18 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT.

Presenter: Allie Stevens

Posted in Uncategorized

Call for Proposals

Logo for PLA 2020 in Nashville, Feb. 25-29
PLA 2020 Nashville February 25-29
The Public Library Association (PLA) is now accepting proposals for educational sessions to be presented at its biennial conference, to be held Feb. 25-29, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn. The PLA 2020 Conference will highlight innovative work and ideas that address the core challenges facing public libraries and their communities today.

Most educational programs will be 60-minute sessions that follow the format of a panel discussion, case study presentation, peer-to-peer dialogue, or skill-building workshop. PLA will also present a limited number of in-depth preconference sessions that may be a half-day or full-day in duration.

For the 2020 Conference, PLA is especially interested in proposals and speakers representing diverse perspectives, with a commitment to representation of groups that have been historically marginalized or excluded due to race, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, ability, economic background, and age. All participating speakers will be expected to register for and attend the conference; respond to PLA information requests in a timely manner; and submit final versions of all session handouts electronically prior to conference.

Prospective presenters are strongly encouraged to preview the form and review the recommendations before submitting a proposal. The proposal submission portal will close at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, Apr. 26, 2019.

Get Started!
Posted in Uncategorized

Free Webinar: Starting Small with Project Outcome


Are you interested in learning about Project Outcome?  Project Outcome is a free toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the impact of essential library services and programs.

I’ve read up on Project Outcome, but I feel like I could use some additional motivation to get started. That’s why I’ve signed up to attend Starting Small with Project Outcome, a free webinar on Tuesday, February 5. You can sign up too!

Register here to attend the free webinar (and receive the archive link after!).

P.S. Are you using Project Outcome at your library? Please share!

Posted in Public Libraries

PLA Awards and Grants

I find that if I don’t read professional journals like Public Libraries when they are hot off the press then they just end up in a pile of “to read/ to do.” I’m enjoying this issue of Public Libraries, Sept/Oct on a brisk October morning while drinking a cup of coffee.

I wanted to bring your attention to the PLA Awards and Grants article posted in this issue, which include 10 different opportunities, including a grant to a library to build or expand its romance fiction collection and/or host romance fiction programming. What a great way to pump up your collection and programming. Nominations are due Dec. 11.

Here’s the link to the PLA Awards and Grants article:

Who will you nominate? See a grant opportunity that sparks your interest? Go for it!

Posted in Uncategorized

PLA’s Spring Leadership Academy

Are you a PLA member (or willing to join, if accepted) with at least 5 years of work experience — of increasing responsibility — in public libraries? Apply today to participate in PLA’s Spring 2019 Leadership Academy, taking place Mar. 25-29 in Chicago, Ill. The application deadline is less than a week away! Applications are due by Monday, Oct. 22.

For details, visit Leadership Academy