Shawn’s conference report

After getting bumped, driven down to Albany, New York from Burlington, Vermont, leaving the next day because of leaking oil into the engine and debris on the Chicago, O’Hara Airport runway, I made it to the beautiful capital, Madison, Wisconsin for the Back in Circulation, 2014 conference.

142 people from 22 States and one Canadian Province attended the one and a half day conference. It was about 50/50 split between public and academic libraries. The conference took off on the 3rd floor of The Pyle Center, which overlooked Lake Mendota with the key note speaker Dee Dee Rapp who presented “The power of Leading to Achieve Great Service” . The conference continued with a choice of 2 sessions in the morning , 2 after lunch and two in the late afternoon. The next day we all had a choice of two session then we all gathered to listen to the very entertaining and memorable Kelly Krieg-Sigman who was a nicer version of Jane Lynch, but just as funny.

The 1st session I went to was “Leading the Way to yes: Building Good Will Through Circulation Policy and Practice.” This talk was delivered by Heather Jett, Access Service Librarian of University of Wisconsin-La Cross Library. Her soft spoken, dry Tennessee accent had us in stitches as she presented this topic.
We had a delicious lunch in the Alumni Dinning Room which looked out over the lake and then off to my second session, “ Making Service Great-For YOU!”, which was presented by our key note speaker Dee Dee Rapp.

The second session I went to was, “An Access Service Model Responsive to Change”, by C.J de Jong, the Canadian representative from University of Alberta Libraries. Click on the link it will bring you to some of the presentations that were posted. Budget cuts and staff reductions was what CJ inherited when he was hired as the Access Services Librarian.

The 3rd session I went to was “Help Me Do My Job Better or Make Me a Better Person: training circulation assistants beyond standard expectations” presented by Sarah Andrews, Access Services Supervisor, University of Iowa Libraries.

The closing Session with Kelly Krieg-Sigman had us breaking in groups and playing with Legos.
“The Lego Approach: Skill Sets for Today & Tomorrow”
Kelly has been a involved with Libraries since 1987. She presently is the Director of La Crosse (WI) Public Library. She asked us if anyone knew why she went into Library studies. After various responses she said “I chose this field because I didn’t want to deal with computers.” Her presentation was entertaining, informative and she didn’t use any technology except for a marker and a pad of poster paper (and Legos). Kelly described the traits she looks for in people that she interviews for any position:
1. Imagination
2. Flexibility
3. Ability to play
4. Sense of humor ( particular with yourself)
5. Patience
6. Curiosity
7. Wiliness to solve problems
8. Ability to deal with high values of ambiguity
9. Irresistible drive to learn and serve
The conference was an informative and fun conference. I would recommend going to this one again for any library folks. Plus Madison is a nice place to visit.

Anyone wanting further information or links to specific presentations, please contact Shawn.

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