Over the weekend, I and a few other APALA members (Eileen Bosch, Young Lee, Candice Mack, Cynthia Mari Orozco, and Heawon Paick) had the great honor of presenting a poster at the OC REFORMA Chapter‘s “Library Leadership for the 21st Century” conference which was sponsored by the Seeds to Trees: Growing the Librarians of Tomorrow from High School Diploma to MLIS with the Santa Ana Public Library, which Eileen helped to coordinate.
The Seeds to Trees program is pretty awesome. The librarians at the Santa Ana public library noticed that many of their teen volunteers were so active in the library that they eventually became pages and clerks, some became librarians, and some moved into admin library positions. They created this program through a Laura Bush grant to foster those teens and their drive to become professionals. Many of these teens are first generation college students, so part of the goal of the program is to give them mentors and sounding boards while going through school as well as teaching them the tools they’ll need to navigate a professional environment.
The day began with a talk by Cheryl Eberly (Santa Ana Public Library), one of the creators of the program who gave us an overview. Then, Luis Herrera (San Francisco City Librarian and Library Journal’s 2012 Librarian of the Year) was invited to speak. He spoke about the increasing digital and content divide, to always push yourself and grow (“Feel the fear but deliver”), and to use power and prestige to create positive change in your community and not to use them for vanity. Leadership goes beyond the self. All that I got out of that amazing talk will have to be saved for a different blog, but I am just going to say this. Out of all of the speeches and rallies I heard in Emerging Leaders, this one would have been most helpful. And probably for a variety of reasons, but I’ll go into that in my next blog post. After Luis Herrera was lunch and then the poster sessions.
The poster sessions were all really fabulous! My favorite was by Young Lee, La Verne University’s Law Librarian. He created this amazing 3-D, interactive display on Why Librarianship, Law Librarians, and What he does all day. He definitely blew all of us out of the water. My poster was on being a children’s librarian and all of the fun we have and how 2 days are never the same. The students were really engaged in our posters and asked us pertinent questions. My table had pixie stix, so they also enjoyed that, although I’m sure they were just super interested in becoming Children’s Librarians.
Overall, the afternoon was really great and I’m thankful I got to participate. One of the problems that I have with a poster session is that I always forget stuff. People come and go so quickly that I forget to mention things like my work outside of the library – in associations, in my everyday life – which was funny and frustrating since my poster was titled “Librarianship is a Lifestyle Choice” (the guy at Kinkos told me that “Some people say you’re born with it” hahaha). Oh well, hopefully the kids still got something out of what I was able to share with them. I know I sure did!