I haven’t attended MLA in a number of years and was happy to be back!
I attended many interesting programs. I am starting a book club at my library this month, so I attended the program on launching a book club for seniors — it was interesting to hear perspectives on things to do (and not do!) I will see how my general book club goes and think more about starting something like this in the future. I also attended a program about collection management, which was helpful in many ways. Most importantly, it made me realize that I’m not alone in my struggles with “figuring out” collection management — how do you fairly split shared budgets? Do you continue to add (and to what extent) to collections that aren’t moving? How much do circulation numbers matter? The presenter at this program asked a lot of really good questions — and honestly, the answers are hard to come by. The group that attended the program contributed to the discussion as well, but we all seemed to be in the same boat, with no answers for the hard questions. I also attended a program about successful marketing at your library and got several good ideas about how to market programs and services better and to wider audiences.
The lunch keynote speaker on Thursday was absolutely fantastic. She was very inspirational and talked about her job as a museum director and how she helped bring about massive changes. When she started in her job, the museum was considering closing and they had very low member/attendance numbers. She has totally turned things around and talked about the ways she did it. She didn’t just “market more” — she and her staff went out into their community and figured out what needed to be done. She was incredibly engaging and made me think a lot about what it means to “serve people.”
I had a great experience at MLA and thought the programs, keynotes, tours, etc. were well planned. Looking forward to next year!