AzLA Conference Wrap-Up – Call for Notes!

I had a great time last week at AzLA attending sessions, chatting with poster presenters, being a poster presenter, and networking with library professionals! If you had a great time, too, I would love to have you submit your thoughts/notes on what you found most useful!

Blakiston Notes
Attendee Rebecca Blakiston from U of A Tweeted a snap of her notes (@blakistonr)

I enjoyed Jamie LaRue’s speech kicking off the AzLA conference – and tweeted my favorite parts. (You can see AzLA-related Tweets here and here). He was kind enough to attend the entire conference and offer more thoughts on libraries’ place in the e-society at Friday afternoon’s wrap-up panel.

I learned LOTS at the many panels and poster presentations – and I was delighted to be able to put faces to names when I met library professionals I had previously only emailed!

I enjoyed meeting those of you that attended the CULD meeting, and want to help you get the most out of our AzLA division. Please share your thoughts/notes/random comments, and I’ll publish them for the benefit of all CULD members. I’ll also be wrapping up my own thoughts and publishing them here!

Don’t let great ideas get away – keep the conference momentum going!

Comments on the Conference in Tucson

Our recent  AZLA Annual Conference in Tucson was filled with opportunities for professional development, networking,  visiting vendor booths, and just plain catching up with colleagues around the state who we don’t have the opportunity to see any other time.

Here are some responses to our CULD question “What grabbed your attention at the Annual Conference in Tucson?”

Pamela Rineholt, Learning Resource Center Coordinator at Collins College said:

“My burning desire when attending the AzLA Conference in Tucson last week was to learn some truly functional way to distribute information, particularly instruction, to my patrons, both students and faculty.  I hoped that the half-day pre-conference, “The Library Minute – Creating Short and Effective Outreach Videos,” presented by Matthew Harp, Mimmo Bonanni, and Anali Maughan Perry from the ASU Libraries, would be useful.  My hopes were realized in one of the most informative and practical workshops I have attended anywhere!  I suppose the caveat is that I am fortunate to work with a film school, so, for me, putting the library minute into practice lies simply in collaborating with faculty and staff who have the technical expertise and the equipment to make my ideas happen.

I was happily surprised to find two other sessions in the program that addressed my need as well!  Yvonne Mery of UA presented “Engaging Students With Interactive Tutorials” on Wednesday morning, when I was thrilled to learn that there are (free) tools to create and post short video presentations on the library website or portal.  Wednesday afternoon, more of these tools were described by Allison Leaming of Thunderbird School of Global Management in “Creating an Online Learning Landscape – What Do Students Want?”

There were other great sessions as well, but thanks to these three excellent presentations, I came away from this  year’s conference with the most practical and timely information ever!

Thanks, conference planners and presenters!!!”

Rebecca Blakiston, Instructional Services Librarian and Website Production Manager at University of Arizona Libraries said:

“The LibX presentation by ASU was great and I can’t wait to experiment with it! When the presenters walked us through the process of creating a toolbar for your own library, it demonstrated how easy it is to implement at my own institution. What a great use of technology to reach users where they are.”

Margaret Espinosa, ALA-NMRT Liaison to AILA and RUSA said:

“As always AzLA was wonderful. Stephen Abrams was more thought provoking than our usual keynote speaker, and I would love to see next year’s conference elaborate on his points. My other fav was the AzLA button booth. What a great way to take a break in the midst of information overload. “

Leslee Shell, Health Sciences Librarian at Arizona State University’s Information Commons Library said:

“In his creative and funny presentation, Life on Cloud 9 3/4,Vincent Alascia of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records pointed to the fact that now that we have so much stuff on multiple devices, we need the cloud to update all of our devices at the same time. He gave us a quick look at a few of the major choices – Google Apps (Calendar, Mail), Evernote (notes), Dropbox (documents), Picasa (photos) and Cloud Player (music). I can’t wait to try out some of the new services Vinny highlighted in his informative and entertaining presentation.”

Tina Sibley, Distance Education Librarian at Arizona Western College said:

“I was really inspired by  Li Kang’s (Gateway Community College Library) Roundtable, Library as Place: Using Web 2.0 Technologies with Dev. Ed. Students.  She shared a wonderful, interactive assignment for students to get to know the library and develop some information literacy skills while conducting their own self-paced exploration of the library with an MP3 player and a printed handout. Not only do the students become comfortable with the library, some who are not tech savvy also gain a new technology competency, the MP3 player.  Li has had good results with this and I think it is a great idea for use with my students.”

Do you have some hi-lights to share? We’d love to hear them.

Reflections on a Conference

This past November I had the opportunity of attending my first AZLA conference (actually, my first ever professional conference). Though I could only attend one day, I had a chance to sit in on a few informative workshops, one of which dealt with presenting an effective webinar. This workshop was especially timely, as the school I work at now offers online programs and our library is looking for ways to bring services to those students. But aside from the workshops I found a huge benefit in attending the workshop was just networking with other library professionals. And what a friendly group of people we are! During lunch, everyone at my table was excited to talk about what’s going on at their library, and some people left with ideas to try back “home”. I definitely plan to attend next year as well.

Sara Zapotocky

Sara is the Assistant Librarian at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, AZ. She received her Master’s in Library Science from the UofA in 2005. On a side note, she recently became involved with “In2Books,” an online program that pairs volunteers with students to read and discuss books together.