Beyond the EPLD Walls
EPLD Director Nancy Scott and I are currently at the 2012 PLA Conference in Philadelphia. The PLA Conference is designed for public libraries of all sizes and happens every other year. Two years ago the conference was in Portland, Oregon and the weather was wonderful. Today Philadelphia boasted a high in the mid 70's with plenty of sun, so I guess it would be fair to say we are feeling pretty privileged again this trip.
Many of the meetings we are attending center around funding, ebooks, programming, customer service and technology...sessions one would expect at a conference like PLA. PLA is also about finding out what libraries of all sizes are doing, what we can copy, who we can learn from, and who might benefit from hearing what we are doing in Eureka. We shared our table tonight with a branch manager from Aurora,Illinois and came away with new ideas on how to work with Nook and eReader questions. As a trade-off, she asked what kinds of programs we are doing in Eureka, and we shared some ideas with her. Tomorrow I will probably see her again as we both plan to attend "Program-Palooza: 60 Programs in 60 Minutes". I am also attending workshops on creating online book clubs, technology "petting zoos", and grant writing. Nancy is taking similar sessions, and after the final sessions of the day, we spend the evening discussing what sounds like something we can bring back to Eureka. Exhausting, challenging and wonderfully fun, figuring out how to bring something new into something we are comfortable with; how to keep growing and giving to a community we both love.
I am sure in the upcoming weeks, programs will begin to take root from ideas we are hearing in Philadelphia this week. Stay tuned, we will want input as we figure out how to bring some of these concepts home. We are excited about the future of the library in Eureka.