FLA 2010 – Thinking Outside the Book

The 2010 Florida Library Association Annual Conference was held on April 7th – 9th in Orlando Florida. The conference motto was “Thinking Outside the Book”, which went well with the sessions I attended.

Web 2.0 technologies were discussed extensively at the conference. I attended workshops on Second Life and Twitter. In the Second Life workshop, many of our presenters were in different parts of the country. We even had one presenter in Europe. They gave virtual tours of different libraries and museums. They also gave some basic information on how to get started. In the Twitter workshop, we all agreed that Twitter is more for the age bracket from your mid-20’s to your 40’s. We discussed the different applications for Twitter including informing customers about library databases and future programs. You can include a tinyurl in the tweet for more information.

Tagging Your World included information on how tagging is affecting the library. Some examples include LibraryThing, Delicious (social bookmarking), and Flickr. There are even libraries that use tagging for their catalogs. One great example for libraries is the University of Pennsylvania.

Teen Spaces was full of diverse examples of teen spaces throughout the country. Each teen space was different based on budget and staffing. Photos were shown with before and after pictures of each teen area.

Orange County recently had a partnership with their local Parks and Recreation department on delivering skill building, test preparation, college preparation, and career orientation sessions to seven community centers. In Delivering Library Services through Partnerships with Other Local Government Departments, they discussed in detail how the program worked with all of different government agencies and individuals. They also shared some of the programming ideas used in this program.

Jacksonville Public Library recently changed their website and added library card key chains. They developed an exciting public awareness campaign aimed at users and non-users. Tactics included donated advertising, social media, community outreach and internal communications. For example, Outback gave 10% off customers who showed their library card to the restaurant. I thought this was a great idea in getting Billboards were very successful in bringing customers to the library. They were able to get the artwork donated and special deals on the other advertising aspects. They mentioned you should always ask for a donation or special deal for the library. The worse thing they can say is “No”.

I was also involved in the convention itself. On the second day, I presented in a poster session titled “Successfully Developing Youth in Library Teen Advisory Boards”.  In the past, teen development strategies were defined by either prevention or rehabilitation. Recent scientific studies using MRI scans of the brain have shown that the brain continues to develop throughout their teen years. One of the last areas of the brain to develop includes planning, setting priorities, organizing thoughts, suppressing impulses, and weighing the consequences of one’s actions. This fact helps prove that youth behavior is not just about genes and hormones. The environment has a huge influence in the positive development of the teen and the library can have a part in this process. The poster gave the definition of a Teen Advisory Board and discussed the positive development strategies you can use in teen programming.

Many of my fellow students presented posters at FLA 2010. It was a great learning experience for all of us. I might even try to talk them into posting about it.

Bill Harris

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