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The ILA Annual Conference is the best place in Illinois to develop professionally, advance your career, connect with colleagues, and learn about new techniques and new products that improve library services for your community. This year’s conference will offer more than 70 programs and will feature more than 125 companies exhibiting their new products and services.
“So many programs, so little time,” said our ILA Roving Reporter. Following are reports from just a few of the more than eighty informative, innovative, and inspiring 2010 conference programs and events. For those that were unable to attend, we hope you find these reports interesting, and that they whet your appetite to participate in ILA 2011, as attendee, presenter – or even as a roving reporter.
Opening Session Launches Year of “Libraries Out Loud”
ILA President Gail Bush noted that the larger-than-life Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier was the perfect launching pad for a conference with the theme, “Libraries Out Loud.” In light of the most challenging year in modern history for Illinois libraries, Bush reminded the crowd that “sitting quietly in the stacks while the world stirs around us is not an option.”
Next up was a point/counterpoint on the current state of Google, lead by cultural historian and media scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan and ALA Past President Nancy Kranich. Vaidhyanathan voiced his concern about what he perceives as a dangerous level of dependence on Google by all strata of information seekers. “While no one is getting hurt, I worry about missed opportunities and other ways of discovering things…Google limits us in what we build and explore.” (More)
Is This Heaven, or the Illinois Authors’ Dinner?
The Grand Ballroom looked like book lovers' heaven, with thirty-two Illinois authors discussing their books and mingling with conference attendees, accompanied by the fabulous jazz of the Max Clark Quintet.
The guests were greeted by Jill Rodriguez, coordinator of the evening‟s event. Before dinner was served, each author was introduced by their sponsor, and the author followed with brief comments. Author Al Gini opened with “I love libraries. I love librarians. I had children with a librarian. Then she returned me as overdue.” The authors represented a wide range of genres, and included Rodriguez‟s Beatle-expert brother, Robert, and first-time author Matt Jordan, just starting his sophomore year at Chicago State University. (More)
What Makes Elizabeth Berg Nervous? Librarians!
Author Elizabeth Berg began her presentation letting the audience know that the only time she gets nervous speaking, is when she is speaking to librarians. “They know too much, like teachers times a billion.”
Berg shared stories about her frequent moves as an Army Brat and the role the library played during those years, her typical workday and insights into her creative process, and favorite cookbooks. (More)
For Madhubuti, Hope Appeared With the Acquisition of Knowledge
At the start of his presentation, Dr. Haki Madhubuti lamented the work ethic of politicians, the current financial state of Illinois, and how it is affecting libraries. “Librarians don’t know how to fight dirty, which is needed now.”
DiversiTEA moderator Vandella Brown and Madhubuti each read part of his poem, “But He Was Cool or: he even stopped for green lights," from the 1969 collection that put him on the map, Don’t Cry, Scream! Madhubuti’s books are published by Third World Press, one of the nation’s oldest independent publishers of Black thought and literature, which he founded in 1967. (More)
Al Gini, Socrates, and the Purpose of Life
Loyola professor, author, and ILA Resident Philosopher Al Gini was the first in his family to go to college, and only the second to finish high school. College was serious stuff, and he had no idea what he wanted to for his major. The first class he picked was Philosophy 101, thinking it was Psychology. “Best mistake I ever made,” said Gini at the start of his “Let’s Talk Philosophy” program.
For Gini, all roads lead to and from Socrates, and his “know thyself” is the base of all philosophy. (More)
An Inspired Visit to the Market
The penultimate offering of the conference was the presentation of the new Marketing Market. The Market combined marketing poster sessions and Inspiration Station marketing samples into a vibrant and eye-opening interactive learning event. (More)
Let’s Get Loud!
ILA President Gail Bush made it clear at the close of the conference, as she had at the start, that this is the year for libraries to be Loud and Proud!
The first fighting words came from Secretary of State Jesse White. He noted his admiration for the remarkable work libraries are doing in these tough times, recognizing that with the current obstacles, we are clearly still committed to providing the best service possible. Secretary White urged everyone to contact their elected officials and tell them what they fear most, “I will remember you on election day.” (More)
We look forward to seeing you at the 2011 ILA Annual Conference in Rosemont, October 18-20, for Bold Brilliant Brave! Program proposals for 2011 are now being accepted -- so join in the conversation!
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In Memory of Barry Levine