A Conference Adventure

Today I drove for an hour and a half (including a quick stop for gas) to my very first library conference. I was up at 6 and left at 7 and my emotions vacillated between excited, and nervous the whole trip. See, we don’t get registration confirmations and when I checked last night my name was not on the attendee list. So this morning my options were to drive to a conference I wasn’t sure I would be allowed to attend or not go to a conference my employer had paid for. I opted to head to the conference because I thought even if I were not on the list I might be able to get in if someone cancelled or I could just be on the list.

Luckily I shouldn’t have worried because I was, in fact, on the list. So I arrived and immediately noticed that most attendees had arrived in groups. I was the only person from my system so I was all alone and took a seat at an empty table. But I wasn’t alone for long before another attendee asked to join me. We made small talk.  She got coffee, I got hot chocolate and then a group of three sat at the table. I said I was interested in attending a makerspace talk but I wasn’t sure if I should go to that or a children’s non-fiction panel. One woman said, “Oh, the makerspace is us, you should come!” and I did. I now have a very good idea of how I want to structure my upcoming Maker Mondays and I am excited to start working on my maker kits.

After the makerspace program I attended a panel about running fandom programs in the library. Sadly, I don’t think a lot of their suggestions will work in my library so I will probably just continue doing things as I am. I do know I want to do a My Little Pony program in October for the movie release.

Then it was time for a lunch break. I was hoping for good food but packed a protein bar and some cheese sticks just in case. It was probably a good thing because the food was… interesting and I was tricked by dreaded american cheese (totally not cheddar)!

After lunch we had two more sessions. I went to one panel about using outdoor spaces. It was good but not really what I expected it to be. The final panel was about implementing board game collections into the library and I think that was actually the best panel of the day. I really want to introduce something to the collection to complement some baby/toddler learning backpacks we have started circulating. I have had several bigger kids ask if they can check out the backpacks or if there are any for them. There is nothing saying thy can’t take them, but they really aren’t age appropriate so I would like to have something that is. Be it board games, lego sets, or maker kits.


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