Monday, May 5, 2008

Recap: New Jersey Library Association conference 2008

I was out of the office most of last week at the New Jersey Library Association conference, and here are some highlights:

Tuesday, I went to a preconference on podcasting given by David Free of ACRL. Despite the constant joy of projectors not working, I found his presentation to be very informative and perfect for the audience's level of podcasting/vlogging experience. His blog is here.

Unfortunately, I had to be home at night all three days of the conference, so I missed the gaming session. Boo to that.

On Wednesday I got to spend a little time with Catherine Balkin of Balkin Buddies, which I highly recommend if you're looking to book an author for a library visit. Catherine was instrumental in getting the authors together for a panel I'm moderating at ALA in June; she really knows her stuff. I also attended a fascinating program given by Esther Nevarez, who is Community Relations Coordinator for the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety Division on Civil Rights. It was really more aimed at directors but I like to keep up on concerns directors have. Ms Nevarez broke down discrimination laws like, "What is the difference between race, creed, color, national origin?" and more. She talked a lot about how employers must treat employees differently from patrons, what constitutes a work event, what you are and aren't responsible for off library grounds, all very interesting things. I then went to a joint lunch for bloggers of Pop Goes the Library and Library Garden. In the afternoon, I attended the wonderful "Graphic Novels for Adults" program and spent some time at the exhibits, the NJLA YA section table, and the NJ Summer Reading program. Then I listened to Bachman-Turner Overdrive on the way home.

On Thursday, Ilene Lefkowitz of the Denville Free Public Library and I presented "I Didn't Know the new James Patterson was a YA Novel!: A crash course in Young Adult literature for adult services librarians." (That's our presentation via Google Docs; you'll need to log in to your Google account to see it). You can also download the handout and the PowerPoint version of the presentation from the NJLA Conference Wiki. (Scroll down to "Readers' Advisory Roundtable handouts.) We had a fantastic time presenting and we could not believe that we had over 50 people at the presentation! I hope that everyone who was there learned a lot.

Thursday was also the Garden State Book Awards luncheon and the speaker was Michael Buckley, the very funny author of the Sisters Grimm series. I didn't know he had worked on my favorite episode ever of Beavis & Butt-head: The Great Cornholio. That alone was worth going to the luncheon for. (That and the salad and dessert.) The music on my way home was Metallica.

So now I'm back at the office, working on reading, an article, a review, looking through the new issue of YALS... A librarian's work is never done.

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