On the call were Maurice Coleman, Tom Haymes, Diane Huckabay, Jill Hurst-Wahl, Paul Signorelli, and Andrea Snyder. Andrea told us about the Public Library Association Conference, which was the first large in-person conference she’d been to since February 2020. She started with a thank-you to the Network of the National Library of Medicine, which provided funding to her. She noted that NNLM provides free health resources which libraries can use for programs.
According to Andrea, 4000-5000 people attended conference in-person (half the size of their pre-pandemic conferences) and there were also virtual program offered at the same time for those who were not at the in-person event. PLA reported 6000 people total between in-person and virtual. Masks, etc., were required for the in-person event.
The most impactful thing Andrea got from the conference was the concept that libraries are micro colonizers. She picked that up from Julian Gooding‘s lightning talk entitled “How to Decolonize Your Library Programs.” Description:
The effects from hundreds of years of colonization continues to harm cultures, language, and literacy development. Using the lived experiences of Native Americans and African Americans, documentary filmmaker and adult services librarian Julian Gooding will discuss his journey to decolonize his own mind and recognize unconscious bias and microaggressions as a Black man delivering programs within BIPOC and white communities. Participants will learn to look within their own thinking and apply the strategies of restorative practice for healing and growth.
We talked about the program Andrea did with Cassie Guthrie on “Pathways to Professional Diversity Through Library Internships.” Then we talked about internships, being a generalist, and more. We also talked about the book:
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. (paid link). (2021)
Have fun listing to the episode. There are a few laughs that you’ll enjoy as well as good info,