Although it was the North Carolina Library Association (NCLA) 63rd Biennial Conference, it was my first time attending.  Since NCLA was held here in Winston-Salem, I made sure that I started the conference during the pre-conference sessions on Tuesday and endured till the end at the closing keynote on Friday.  Jam packed full of a variety of sessions, NCLA encouraged me to expand my budding knowledge as a librarian, continuously find ways to tidy my digital and physical space, keep in mind and test for the accessibility needs for everyone, shake the proverbial tail feather at the reception, and last but not least develop my personal brand as an engineering and science librarian.

Rather than detail every session, I’ve included my top five sessions/events and ended with my top 3 favorite moments.

Library Spaces for Everyone (Tuesday, October 15th)

The afternoon pre-conference workshop session defined accessibility, detailed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, reviewed user types/people, demonstrated how to audit a website and online resources, as well as reviewed how to read a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).  Although I staggered out of the session due to the sheer amount of information provided, I possessed actionable steps that I could use on the e-book, journal, and patent index trials I’m conducting.

Psst!  When using the link to access the conference materials, click on the top level folder “NCLA 2019: Web Accessibility Basics Resource Folder” to access the presentation (NCLA 2019_Web Accessibility Basics_accessible.pdf) and the 1 page (Accessibility Resources & Tools.pdf).

Using the Virtual Space of the Learning Management System (LMS) to Engage with Our Community (Thursday, October 17th)

I previously viewed a webinar on integrating LibGuides into an LMS.  However, this was my first opportunity to see how another library integrated LibGuides into Canvas.  UNCG and UNC Charlotte created a Librarian role in Canvas in order to embed librarians into specific courses.  In doing so, librarians can create content, interact with students online via discussion forums, and/or develop quizzes/tests.  Don’t worry!  With the Librarian role in Canvas, librarians do not have access to grades.  Also, instructors added liaison librarians to their courses.  Due to scalability, not every course included an embedded librarian nor did every embedded librarian interact with each course in the same manner.

Each course shell included a “Library Resources” tab which connect to a LibGuide.  The functionality requires using an LTI with LibGuides CMS.  For courses that possessed a course-specific LibGuide, librarians used metadata to connect the exact LibGuide to the appropriate course and created a generic LibGuide as an access point for all other courses.

Tidying Up and Calming Down:  Tips for Increasing Workspace Productivity (Thursday, October 17th)

I may need to do a staycation in order to develop a plan of action and implement the tips Claire Leverett from NC Live shared during the presentation.  SIDE NOTE:  Caroline Hallam from NC Live contributed but was unable to attend.  Claire shared a variety of tips in the following areas.  Feel free to contact me for detailed notes.  😉

  • To-do:  How to you control the action items lists that form in a single meeting, day, and/or week?  How do you keep up with all of the various lists and items?
  • Time Management:  What are different time management techniques that you can use?
  • Focus:  Can you truly do more than one thing at a time?  The activity for this section was extremely illuminating.  Just in case you didn’t’ know, the answer to the question is an emphatic “No!”
  • Happiness:  Do you integrate activities to help you appreciate the good and de-stress from the bad?
  • Digital Clutter:  How do you manage your files as well as your emails?  I will raise my hand for this section and confess that I am a multiple-browser-window-and-plenteous-tabs-open-in-each-browser addict.
  • Habits:  How can you form new habits to replace the bad habits of today and yesterday?

Developing Your Personal Brand as a Librarian (Friday, October 18th)

I highly recommend reviewing each slide from the presentation and the supplementary information provided.  As librarians if we’re not embedded, students, faculty, and staff easily forget who we are, how to contact us, and what we do.  During the session, we practiced developing our individual elevator speech to convey to stakeholders, customers, and colleagues.  In addition, the presenters reviewed different ways to create and maintain our individual personal brand internally as well as externally.

NCLA Conference Keynote (Friday, October 18th)

If I could simply sit at Jaki Shelton Green’s feet and listen to her speak life and learning, I would.  Not only did I sit in amazement endeavoring to type shared nuggets of wisdom on my iPhone, I had to take the opportunity afterwards to share with her personally how moved I was by her words.  I’ve included a few of her comments below:

  • Remember to remember your story. What you keep …
  • How do you imagine your future story as you examine your past circumstances?
  • Librarians are traditional gatekeepers and guides of information . . . fostering collaborative relationships with teachers … the value-added content and purpose in research projects.
  • Remember to remember the stories that say “Do you know who you are?”
  • Own your stories everywhere. Own your voice.
  • I didn’t learn to be quiet when I had an opinion. They knew who I was because I told them.
  • Lauren Hill: I consider myself a crayon . . . I may not be your favorite color but one day you’ll need me to complete your picture.

Moments of Remembrance

  • Parking Gems:  I had heard that street parking existed at the Benson Convention Center.  However, everywhere I looked for street parking showed a 2 hour limit.  As a result, I parked in the parking deck across the street.  Talking with Jess during a break, she pointed out through the window the “free” parking lot behind the convention center.
  • Line Dances 101:  Before Thursday at the All-Conference Reception and Awards Presentation, I thought I knew how to cut a rug, shake a tail feather, and above all else perform the standard line dances.  Who knew the plethora of line dances performed?  Librarians . . . that’s who!  I stepped out to slide and turn with the Electric Slide, shuffled on the Cupid Shuffle, and dipped on the Charleston.  I will confess to using SoundHound on my iPhone to figure out a couple of the other line dances that played.  I’ll either use YouTube or HowCast to build my repertoire.  Stay tuned!
  • Networking Anywhere and Everywhere:  From quick chats in the hallways to attending the same sessions, I appreciated talking to individuals in ZSR who I don’t see on a day to day basis.  The wackiest moment of meeting someone new happened on my way from the Benson Convention Center to Jeffrey Adams for lunch.  I guess I walked with purpose because one of the other conference attendees stopped me to ask where the Marriot was.  I shared the fact that I was a newbie to Winston-Salem and hadn’t navigated my way through downtown.  However, the Maps app saved the day and we chatted while walking.