ALA 2014: Public Program Office Recommendations for Annual Conference

ALA's 2014 Annual Conference is just weeks away (June 26 to July 1 in Las Vegas). In preparation, we in the Public Programs Office would like to share our top picks for sessions, discussions and film viewings. Look forward to seeing you there.

Turning Outward to Lead Change in Your Community (Four-part series)

All communities have challenges. Librarians are uniquely positioned to help conquer them — given the right tools. Through four hands-on sessions, Harwood Institute coaches will show you how to leverage your trusted position in the community you serve to engage people on issues that matter to them. Each stand-alone session focuses on a single tool; taken together, they become a powerful framework for engaging community and leading change.

The New Library Imprint: Libraries and Self-Publishing
Saturday, June 28
8:30 – 10 a.m.
S227
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Public libraries have long made published works available. Now your community is creating content and self-publishing online and in print. How are libraries transforming their communities with self-publishing? Libraries are encouraging content creation rather than simple consumption, recording the community's stories, and helping local authors. Learn how three libraries are bringing self-published works to life with new programming opportunities and community collaborations. Provincetown (MA) Public Library, State University of New York at Geneseo, and Sacramento (CA) Public Library discuss their successes, cautionary tales, and how they sustain their self-publishing programs.

Managing Challenges, Maximizing Impact: Policies and Practices for Controversial Programming
Saturday, June 28
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
N240
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From religion to health care to immigration — controversial subjects can pose a unique challenge for librarians. How can we offer high-quality programs on these important, but potentially polarizing, topics while maintaining an environment conducive to civil dialogue? In this session, intellectual freedom advocates and experienced programming librarians will discuss how to prepare for and host events that may attract controversy, but also can increase visibility and foster community engagement.

Ignite Saturday Session: What oral history can do for your library!
Saturday, June 28
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
N239/241
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Learn how to connect the dots between exhibits, social media, creative reuse of materials, and opportunities for outreach when working with oral history interviews. Whether your library has an existing collection of recordings to creating new interview content, this ignite session will provide ideas for working with audio/video materials in diverse ways, from the traditional to the cutting edge. Come learn how oral histories can add increased value and visibility to your institution.

Supporting Community Transformation: Becoming a Community-Engaged Academic Library
Saturday, June 28
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
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S229
Researchers and their academic library partners will illustrate their direct impact on local communities. Speakers will explore the collaboration of researchers and academic libraries involved in community-engaged learning, service, and scholarship through two current UNLV projects – one that teaches community members about business opportunities using librarian curated resources and strategies, the other an oral history project that engages and strengthens ties within the local African-American community.

Now Showing @ ALA (film series): “Defiant Requiem”
Saturday, June 28
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
N242
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The film Defiant Requiem tells the little-known story of the WWII concentration camp, Terezin, and how the Jewish inmates there fought the Nazis with the arts and humanities. Led by imprisoned conductor Rafael Schächter, prisoners of all ages staged plays, attended lectures, composed music, and used paper and ink to record the horrors around them. Schächter taught a choir of 150 inmates one of the world's most powerful choral works, Verdi's Requiem, re-imagined as a condemnation of the Nazis. American conductor Murry Sidlin dreamed of bringing the Verdi Requiem back to Terezin — a dream he realized in 2006 when he assembled a chorus and orchestra at Terezin for a memorial performance of the work. Defiant Requiem brings the story of Terezin to life through soaring concert footage, powerful survivor recollections, dramatizations, and animation. Murry Sidlin will be present to introduce the film and to answer questions.

Conversation Starter: People Experiencing Homelessness: How Libraries Can Be Community Collaborators & Catalysts for Positive Action
Saturday, June 28
1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
N239/241
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Homelessness is a challenge for communities across the country and public librarians find themselves at the forefront of this issue. From navigating the political process to hiring a Peer Support Specialist to collaborating with homeless service providers, learn how to position your library to be part of the solution in your community.

Creative Aging @ Your Library
Sunday, June 29
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
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N243
Help midlife and older adults realize their visual, literary and performing artistic potential with programs and services at your library. Incorporating researched-based programs and led by professional artists, creative programs from public libraries large and small with be highlighted, with practical tips and tools for implementing an arts education series in your library.

PLIG Program: Out-of-the-Box Book Clubs to Banish the Boring
Sunday, June 29
1 – 2:30 p.m.
S220
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Book clubs can be so much more than just sitting around a table discussing plot twists. Organizations such as the Library as Incubator Project are pairing hands-on artistic creations with monthly book readings in their Books to Art Project. Princeton Public Library has been the home to many innovative book groups over the years with names like Talking Politics and Book Journeys. Their latest project is to serve as an incubator for local book groups, playing matchmaker and spirit guide for readers with a niche interest before setting them free to go forth and conquer on their own. Darien Library has attracted a new audience through their Business Book Club, Read, Ride, Imbibe program, and Back to the Future Book Group to encourage networking and promote digital reading. Find out how to reinvigorate your book discussion programs and share your own ideas and experiences with others.

Meetings

Programming Librarian Interest Group Meeting
Saturday, June 28
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
N119
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Libraries Fostering Civic Engagement Member Interest Group
Sunday, June 29
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
N115
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