Monday, October 30, 2006

Programs, Programs, Programs.

At every rural conference there is an opportunity to share ideas with your colleagues. Please come prepared to let others see the great things you are doing. Rural librarians are some of the most inventive program people I know. So don't be shy, bring your bookmarks, posters, scrapbooks and news articles and promote the programs you have hosted at your libraries since the last rural conference. I know I am going to bring a display about our annual Halloween parade and pumpkin roast. This is a time for all of our staff and board to dress as their favorite library personality and parade down Main Street. Last year the winners were dressed as Legal Beagle, Lance Werner; Rub-a-Dub, Three Co-op Directors in a Tub (Mendel, Seidl and Dees); Nancy, State Librarian, Robertson and of course first place went to Mel (the) Cat. This year maybe Melvil Dewey will appear dressed as Virtual Co-op Director. Enjoy the Holidays and remember to keep some bookmarks for distribution at the next Rural Libraries Conference.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Project Runway or what to wear to the Rural Conference

I've been asked what to wear to the conference. Since I've attended each one I have a good idea of what to pack. The conference is two and half days, so I multiply by 5 when I pack. You can't bring along too much. Pack for every season, since this is northern Michigan. You'll need parkas, swimsuits (both winter and summer weight), something long, something short and of course plaid flannel for the casual evenings around the bonfire. Some conferences in the past have had at least three seasons during the time period so be prepared.

I usually plan a change of clothes for each session, but since my husband carries the luggage and is getting old I have decided this time to only change clothes in the a.m., p.m., and evening.

Seriously, though, dress comfortable, with good walking shoes and layer. Sometimes the rooms get too warm and if you layer you can make yourself comfortable and not include on your evaluation form that the room was too cold or too hot. Happy packing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

RLC History

Here's a bit of history regarding the Rural Libraries Conference. The first conference, which was held at Hidden Valley in Gaylord was organized by the Northland Library Cooperative and was an idea of Sue Williams, Assistant Director of Northland. Sue organized the first conference and included Library of Michigan and MLA as co-sponsors. The two and a half day event brought just under 200 library staff and trustees from rural Michigan to Gaylord. Funding for the event came from an LSCA Grant and registration fees. Bernard Vavrek from Clarion College in Pennsylvania was our keynote speaker and was the leading expert on rural library service. On Thursday the evening program centered on storytelling and puppetry as part of a Lake Neverwuz program. The conference was such a success that it became a conference held every two years and later became known as the Loleta Fyan Rural conference when financial support came from the Fyan estate. It is great that our state library recognizes the need to have a conference tailored to the needs of a large segment of the library community. As one who has attended each conference I can say that the topics covered are relevant to my needs and the needs of the Lake Neverwuz Village, Township, County, District Public Library.

Lunch and Dinner Discussions

When you go to the conference plan to sit with people you don't know at the dinners and luncheons. This is a great way to find new friends and also find out solutions to problems you may be having in your library. If you sit with the people you know you won't be expanding your horizons. Also you may miss meeting Antonio Banderas!! Use the conference for networking. Not all learning happens in the sessions.

Marian is back

I have missed posting to the Blog for several reasons. One is that I was on a cruise. Many of you are familiar with the Holland/America lines, they have ships named that end in dam, Zuiderdam, for example. I was on a cruise of the Great Lakes on one of their newest ships, The Beaverdam. It was great, we toured ports such as Marquette, Alpena, Tawas City, as well as going through the Soo Locks, which I think rivals the Panama Canal and Caribbean cruises. It was a great tour but ended tragically when we had a bonfire on the aft deck that got out of control. But back to business and the Rural Conference. Soon I will have a list of the programs for the upcoming Rural Conference so that I will be able to give you tips on getting the most out of the conference. At the recent MLA conference in Detroit I was able to attend in several programs on safety in the library, I hope we have some at rural conference. We may not be inner city, but in rural Michigan we have some "wild turkeys" to contend with and we need to have to learn to deal with all types of customers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rumor has it...

That Marian has been off galivanting around on a cruise ship! Doesn't she know that we are yearning for words of wisdom, wondering just what to do next as we plan for RLC 2007?

Marian! Please come back!