Annual Conference

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Vernā Myers 

Tuesday, October 10

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Opening Keynote 

Vernā Myers is on a personal mission to disrupt the status quo and she knows how to: she’s lived it. Myers rose out of Baltimore’s working class to become a Harvard-trained lawyer, entrepreneur, author, and cultural innovator. Her dynamic, laugh-out-loud speeches inspire audiences to go further — to move beyond leveling the playing field to create a new field altogether — and empower people of all backgrounds to contribute at their highest levels. For the last two decades, Vernā and her team of consultants have helped eradicate barriers of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation at elite international law firms, Wall Street powerhouses, and the 10,000 member Fire Department of New York City, with the aim of establishing a new, more productive, and just status quo.

Terri Murphy

Wednesday, October 11

8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Youth Services Forum Author Breakfast

Terri Murphy has crafted a life surrounded by art, books and children.  She is the picture book illustrator for Dance Y’all, Dance and One Day I Went Rambling authored by Kelly Bennett and published by Bright Sky Press, and frequent contributor to Spider, Ladybug and Cricket Magazines. She is also the Illustrator Coordinator in Illinois for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), where she brings Chicago-area illustrators together for their continuing education. As a Youth Services Librarian at the Prospect Heights Public Library, Terri develops Young Artists Workshops for children and teens and Young-at-Heart Artists Workshops for adults, which eventually make their way to area libraries.


Carson Block

Wednesday, October 11

12:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Public Library Forum Luncheon

Carson Block has led and loved library technology efforts for more than 20 years. He's been called a "Geek who speaks English" and is occasionally compared to Ferris Bueller and Calvin (and Hobbes). Carson is dead serious about the essential and positive community impacts of libraries, and evangelizes libraries to SXSW Interactive and other tech communities.


Lian Ruan

Wednesday, October 11

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

DiversiTEA: RISE UP!
Join the ILA Diversity Committee for tea! Dr. Lian Ruan is Head Librarian and Director of International Programs for the Illinois Fire Service Institute Library and 2017 Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year. Dr. Ruan will discuss her career as a librarian, mentoring graduate and PhD students in library science, and development of training programs for Chinese and Korean firefighters and emergency responders. Her recent co-edited book, Academic Library Development and Administration in China (2016), is the first major work on Chinese academic libraries written in English. The tea will be a mind and awareness-raising discussion.


Nancy Sylvester

Thursday, October 12

9:00 – 10 a.m.

Trustee Day Keynote: I'm A Library Trustee, And My Role is…? 

Becoming a board member is much like becoming a parent. In both situations, it is assumed that if you know how to become one, you know how to be a good one. Not true in either situation! This presentation will focus on developing a better understanding of the power of a Library Trustee, the role of the Board, being a part of the Library Leadership Team, and understanding the board-staff relationship. Nancy Sylvester is a Certified Professional Parliamentarian through the American Institute of Parliamentarians as well as a Professional Registered Parliamentarian through the National Association of Parliamentarians. She has presented to organizations across the country. 


Sonali Dev

Thursday, October 12
1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
Dealing in Diversity: Proactively Serving Communities Through Authentic Representation 
Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after. Sonali’s novels have been on many best books lists. She won the ALA’s award for best romance in 2014, is a RITA Finalist, RT Reviewer Choice Award Nominee, and winner of the RT Seal of Excellence. Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband, two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.


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