I attended the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference on October 11-12. This was my first conference since beginning my position as director of the library, and I was pleased with how helpful the sessions were. I predominantly focused on management sessions with an eye toward metrics and branding. I came away with so much valuable information from Branding for Beginners with Karen Lemke from Rochester and Building Buy-in for Marketing at Your Library by Gina Millsap. As our board is currently working on branding for our library and I have relatively little experience in this area, these two sessions alone were worth my trip to MLA. In addition, as we strive to meet our patrons where they are at, the Libraries in Laundromats session was inspiring on many levels. It is invigorating to see what other libraries are doing to bring information and technology into the community. Libraries are definitely not bound by buildings.
The keynote speaker, Gina Millsap, was intelligent, enthusiastic, and inspiring. She brought so much energy to the conference and provided information I can take back to my home library to make it stronger. I also attended the MALF Evy Nordley Award ceremony. Our area Friends group does so much for our library, and the support that MALF provides to them is tremendous. Overall, without the scholarship from Prairielands, I would not have been able to attend. Fortunately, I can now infuse my library with great new ideas.