The 2018 TALA Conference was held at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro on May 16, 2018.  We wanted to share our experience with you

I enjoyed attending the TALA Conference held at NC A&T this year. The session on Diversity and Inclusion in TALA Libraries led by Stacey Krim and Alva Jones of UNCG as well as our own Travis Manning was very interesting.  The presenters from UNCG spoke about needing to get buy-in from their administration to have the time to do diversity and inclusion work. They also spoke about the importance of being educated about diversity and inclusion work including some continuing education resources that are available in the field. Krim and Jones also mentioned working directly with students in this work as well.  Travis spoke about some of the work that the D&I committee is doing at ZSR including potlucks, TED Talks and discussion and viewing of the TV show Dear White People. Also the diversity interns at ZSR and process of hiring those interns was touched upon. I learned a lot about D&I work at UNCG and some things I didn’t know that ZSR was currently doing. ~Bradley Podair

I found the TALA Conference to be very informative. It was great spending the day with my ZSR Library colleagues.  My favorite session was the keynote presentation by Dr. Anthony Graham.  It was very inspiring to learn how he started as a library student assistant.  Dr. Graham, Dean of the College of Education and professor of educator preparation at North Carolina A&T, has been named Winston-Salem State University’s new Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Dr. Graham will begin at WSSU on July 1.  After lunch, I took a self-guided tour of the Bluford Library.  It was a beautiful space.  This was my first year as a member of the conference planning committee.  ~Kristen Morgan

The TALA Conference was, once again, a great opportunity to connect with folks around the area doing the same work we do but doing it in different ways. I really enjoy contrasting ideas and sharing what has worked for us. The Conference is particularly helpful to people just starting out in a particular department. Those of us at the Circulation/Reserves Table Talk were able to answer many questions for a new employee as well as provide encouragement to seek collaborative opportunities for a library having ILS issues.

One of the sessions I attended was Communicating through Presentations given by Cindy Conn from Elon University. She’s an enthusiastic speaker and gave practical advice. She encouraged the participants to first study their audience when planning a presentation, then consider what information they already have, what information they need and what you want them to know after your presentation. She suggested 3 goals:

         Introduce the topic to the audience

         Choose and organize the content

         Connect with the audience

Ellen Makaravage

I enjoyed the 2018 TALA Conference.  The location was great.  NC A&T was a great host.  The keynote address by Dr. Graham was wonderful and truly enlightening to the misconceptions of black males.  I also found the “Communicating through Presentations” session by Dr. Conn very informative.  The facilities were wonderful and lunch was delicious!  ~Prentice Armstrong

The 2018 TALA Conference was a great experience.  I really enjoyed the Networking Hour Table Talks. That hour of networking really enhances the knowledge of other paraprofessionals that works in an Academic Library setting. It was great to discuss their job duties and all their work experiences.  ~Tara Hauser

This was my first year attending the TALA Conference.  One of the sessions I attended was the Networking Hour Table Talks.  We spent the hour sharing our experiences, offering advice, and acquiring new ideas.  These discussions were a great way to meet and build relationships with our colleagues from other libraries.  ~Kylie Bradley

I enjoyed the conference as a first time co-presenter on Diversity and Inclusion.  Also, I gained valuable tips from Cindy Conn on improving my presentation process and delivery.  ~Travis Manning