Library Essentials Conference: Community Engagement

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Date(s) - 04/12/2019
8:30 am CDT - 4:00 pm CDT

Florida State University - Panama City, Holley Academic Center

Keynote: Community Engagement – The Work, Its Worth and Our Customers’ Well-being with Brian Hart, Deputy Director for the Greensboro Public Library & Board member for EveryLibrary — Community engagement is essential for the success of libraries, regardless of their size, scope, or service areas. As library staff, we must, therefore, begin and/or continue to lead by thinking objectively and strategically about our communities, individual stakeholders and their patterns and/or preferences. Becoming intimately aware and immersed in the culture, interests, and needs of our clientele will position us to help our customers, our colleagues, ourselves and our institutions excel.

Brian Hart will facilitate a discussion and activities designed to help librarians learn how to best develop and leverage their knowledge and understanding of the communities they serve to better prioritize their “work” and pour back into the lives of their customers. Participants can expect to do the following:

  • Explore the anatomy of various community engagement strategies deployed by both academic and public libraries
  • Become comfortable initiating conversations with customers/communities about their needs
  • Explore and experiment with various design thinking strategies for identifying and responding to challenges
  • Learn how to best leverage our existing skills and networks to “make it happen” for our customers and communities

Draft Agenda

Breakout Sessions:

The Last Book Club: Love, Rage, and Squandering Flowers (Senior Outreach) with Heather Ogilvie: Of the 16 million people living in Florida, 4 million are seniors (age 65 and up). More than half a million (560,000) are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The challenges of advancing age are formidable. Chronic health conditions, cognitive impairment, loss of vision, hearing, or mobility, social isolation and financial insecurity are strewn across our path to the Golden Years. Perhaps we have not prepared ourselves for this wild new sport, Ultimate Aging. The library, however, is all about learning to maximize our quality of life. The opportunities for library services are amazing. From personal interaction to crowded programs, senior outreach is lively, dynamic, rewarding, fun, and cheap. Let’s talk about what we can do inside and outside our libraries to include, engage, and empower our senior community. Heather Ogilvie specializes in nontraditional library services, using community connections to create innovative solutions for underserved populations. She is currently Outreach Librarian for Bay County Public Library in Panama City, Florida. She has a BA in English from Colby College, an MLIS from FSU, and serves as Co-Chair Elect of ASGCLA-IGARD (Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Interest Group). Heather presents customer-driven programs for the way we live now and enjoys the happy belief that anything is possible.

Subject Librarian Structure & Strategies at Florida State University with Mohamed Berray and Colleagues: This panel will explore the landscape of subject librarianship at Florida State University Libraries. Presentations will include

  • Strategies for outreach and collaboration between the FSU Libraries and academic departments
  • Storytelling strategies to show contribution to student and faculty success
  • Structuring the subject librarian program at the FSU Libraries
  • Experiences in the transition from a “functional specialist” model to being more actively involved as a subject librarian, and balancing the two
  • Experimenting with collaboration, co-liaisons, and partnerships

Mohamed Berray is the liaison to the Department of Political Science, International Affairs, and the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. Mohamed has a Master’s Degree in Political Science, a Postgraduate Diploma in International Law with specialization in Refugee Law from the American University in Cairo, and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is a former Fulbright Scholar, and his research interests include diversity in libraries and assessment of library user experiences.

Music Classes at Your Library with Sarah Burris: Music is a great way to bring the community together. Why not have classes at your library?! Playing a musical instrument can increase happiness, confidence, and brain power. Learn how to develop a music class from selecting an instrument to increasing your attendance and circulating musical instruments within the collection. Building strong community partnerships will strengthen what you’ll be able to offer inside of the library. Sarah Burris is the Community Relations and Marketing Coordinator for the Northwest Regional Library System. She received her Master of Library and Information Science degree from Kent State University (Kent, OH) in 2013. Sarah was the recipient of the 2016 Florida Libraries Association Outstanding New Librarian Award. She has been playing the Mountain Dulcimer since May 2017.

Serving Commuter Students: Implementing Strategies for Academic Success and Building a Connected Community in the Library with Maria Goodspeed and Melissa Davis: Commuter students are often detached from the campus community and difficult to reach. This session will focus on providing practical solutions for the academic support of commuter students to help ensure their success. We will also discuss how the library can foster a sense of community among the commuter student population that can lead to higher retention and graduation rates. Maria R. Goodspeed is a faculty librarian for Pensacola State College Libraries. She holds a BA in English Literature from Rhodes College and a Masters in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. Maria’s main focus is classroom research instruction with an emphasis on utilizing technology for academic research. She also greatly enjoys working with faculty as a liaison to several departments. Melissa Davis is the Warrington campus librarian, focusing on health sciences, at Pensacola State College. She holds a BA in English from the University of Florida and a MLIS from Florida State University. Prior to coming to PSC, she worked at the West Florida Public Library, where she held a variety of positions including branch manager and community relations coordinator.

Closing Session:

The Community and Culture Within with Brian Hart: Brian will facilitate a conversation about the significance that organizational culture has on the work we do in and for the communities we serve.  Come to share ideas, discuss concerns, and swap strategies on possible methods to developing and sustaining shared values in your library that will help support the work you do both in and out.

Registration and continental breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. CT (9:30 a.m. ET). Buffet lunch provided.

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