2021 Trustee Program Schedule

ILA Virtual Annual Conference Trustee Programming  

October 12-14, 2021 

The programs listed below are suggested for Trustees, but you are able to attend any program of your choice. Recorded sessions will be available to view after the conference. Click here to view the full schedule of conference programming.

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Registration Rates and Deadlines

Tuesday, October 12

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Opening General Session featuring Clint Smith
ILA is excited to welcome Clint Smith to the present the keynote at the 2021 Annual Conference. Clint Smith is staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Clint has received fellowships from New America, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review and elsewhere. He currently teaches writing and literature at the DC Central Detention Facility. His debut nonfiction book How the Word Is Passed, which explores how different historical sites reckon with—or fail to reckon with—their relationship to the history of slavery, will be published by Little, Brown in June 2021. He received his B.A. in English from Davidson College and his Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University.

Clint Smith's appearance is supported by the Illinois State Library, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Please note that Clint Smith's presentation will not be recorded.

Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Our Transformational BREAKthrough: Approaches to Community Engagement and Innovative Library Service at the Highwood Public Library
Under a new strategic plan, the Highwood Public Library has dedicated its purpose to assessing and responding to the intersectional structural barriers impacting individuals and families. The result has been a complete transformation of the library to create a robust array of programs and services responding to the needs of the most vulnerable populations. Our programs have proven to be a doorway to progress and opportunity, increasing adult and early childhood literacy, access to education, and combating the impact of the digital divide. Our secret to successful outcomes is through our community engagement strategy, BREAK (Bridging Resources for Educational Access and Knowledge). BREAK has proven to be an effective model for libraries to not only open access to literature and information, but to cultivate a community engagement strategy that identifies and then breaks barriers by developing engaging programs to bridge trust and build community. With a limited budget and small staff, the Highwood Public Library is still able to support the literacy needs of its community, even being named a finalist for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Join us to learn more about our efforts to build and transform our community through innovative library service.
Speakers: Carmen Patlan and Rachel McMullen, Highwood Public Library

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Meeting Stakeholders Where They Are: Crafting a Library Message to Build Buy-In
How often have you found yourself trying to explain to people in your community (or even your colleagues) what the library does or how funding works? Lack of understanding around this perennial issue impacts how well, and even if, our patrons and stakeholders will support libraries when called upon. We often think of advocacy as the job of library administration, but the most successful libraries know that everyone is a potential advocate if they can tell the right story in the right way at the right time. Join the Advocacy Committee for a moderated conversation among representatives of all library types to learn tips, techniques, and best practices you can bring to your library community.
Speakers: Magan Szwarek, Schaumburg Township District Library, and Qiana Johnson, Northwestern University

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
DEI Programming During a Pandemic
Learn how Wheaton Public Library and community members came together to offer DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) programming via Zoom to the Wheaton community, including panel discussions, educational and historical presentations, community conversations, and book discussions focusing on racial equality. Utilizing community partnerships and relationships, WPL and the community committee worked together with the common goal of having difficult but necessary conversations on race, social justice, and systemic racism.
Speakers: Caroline Kisiel, DePaul University, Courtney Tedrick, Wheaton Public Library, Mary Yeboah, Wheaton College, and Erica Bray-Parker

Wednesday, October 13

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Why Psychological Safety Matters More Now Than Ever
Psychological safety is the ability to reveal one's true self and opinions without fear that doing so will lead to negative repercussions in terms of reputation, career or status. While high levels of psychological safety in the workplace are linked to better outcomes, increased innovation, and deeper work satisfaction, many organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to create a sense that it is safe to speak up or take risks. In this interactive session, we will address current forces working against psychological safety in the workplace to include tone policing, vocabulary shaming, political differences, and remote work.
Speakers: Paula Singer, Lauralee Adams, and Allison Vaillancourt, The Segal Group

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
ILA Membership Meeting and President's Program
The Membership Meeting will be followed by a presentation by Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of the American Library Association.

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Silver Linings: Innovations from the Pandemic
The pandemic has forced libraries to be nimble and pivot their services in the face of restrictions. Some of these pivots, like curbside pickup, book bundles, and virtual programming, have proved to be popular and responsive options for our patrons. As we are starting to emerge from our pandemic closures, it is time to consider how we will resume services. Should we return to the pre-pandemic models? Or, should we consider continuing to offer some of the pandemic prompted service innovations as we move into the future? We are always on the lookout for initiatives that make our programs, services, and collections more convenient and more accessible; let's not let these service innovations fall by the wayside in the post-pandemic world.
Speaker: Jeanne Holba Puacz, University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science 

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Advocacy Tips & Tricks from Legislators
The Illinois Library Association's Advocacy Committee wants to provide some insights about how to communicate with local legislators -- and who better to provide those insights than lawmakers themselves. Join Advocacy Committee members as they host a panel discussion with a few of our legislators from the Springfield area. Hear what these lawmakers have to say about best practices and their recommendations for delivering your message. After the moderator-led discussion, there will be plenty of time for questions from the audience.

Thursday, October 14

10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Ready, Set, Advocate! An ILA Advocacy Mini "Boot Camp"
Ready, Set, Advocate! Is ILA's new advocacy toolkit and training program designed to help you become a powerful advocate for your library at the local level, and a powerful advocate for libraries at the state, national -- and even international -- level.The most successful libraries understand that advocacy involves everyone. They also know that sometimes the best advocates can be found in unexpected places. Whether you're extroverted or introverted -- whatever your comfort zone -- you can make a critical contribution to advancing your library and community through some easy-to-use steps that you can use back at home today. Whether you're a seasoned pro or newbie, a director, staff member, trustee or friend, involved with a public, academic, school, or special library, Ready, Set, Advocate! will help you hone your advocacy skills and increase community support for your library.The session will also provide an overview of the new ILA Ready Set Advocate! toolkit and in-depth online training modules, available through the ILA web site.
Speakers: Betsy Adamowski, Wheaton Public Library, and Keith Michael Fiels, Retired Executive Director, American Library Association

Walk the Line: How Trustees Can Best Lead Their Libraries Without Overstepping Their Authority
Being a Trustee is an important job. You are part of a team that represents the tax payers, oversees the Library Director, and advocates for libraries. However, where exactly do your duties end and the library staff's begin? This line, while very clear from a legal standpoint, can become a bit fuzzy in practice.Come learn from Becky Spratford and Joe Filapek, presenters with a combined 40+ years of library worker and Trustee experience, as they help you understand how to walk the fine line between being a leader and being in the way. They will discuss how you as a Trustee can best help the library thrive, noting when you should step in but also when you should back off, strengthening the Illinois library community in the process.
Speakers: Becky Spratford, RA for All and Trustee, La Grange Public Library, and Joe Filapek, Reaching Across Illinois Library System and Trustee, Aurora Public Library

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
YOU'RE MUTED!!! A Mock (Potentially Remote) Board Meeting of the Kleintown Public Library
This program will teach attendees, including newly elected and seasoned library trustees, library directors and staff, proper procedures for complying with the ever-evolving Open Meetings Act, FOIA, Robert's Rules of Order. The program will be conducted as a mock library board of trustees meeting. The attendees will learn the requirements for posting meeting notices both on the library's website and at the location of the meeting, the level of detail required for regular and special meeting agendas, open and closed session procedures, and electronic attendance requirements. We will also review training requirements for elected officials and employees who may be Open Meetings Act designees under the Act. We will also cover the ways in which a Board can adapt to remote meeting participation, patron engagement when the doors may be closed, and other ways to manage the recent changes in library-related policies and laws affecting libraries due to COVID.
Moderator: Carmen Forte, Jr., Klein Thorpe & Jenkins

1:00 - 2:00
Master the Property Tax Levy!
The property tax levy seems daunting, but it can be readily tackled. We'll break it down into manageable and understandable parts. If you are interested in feeling in control of your Library's levy, this overview will help you to understand how much you can levy, how the levy fits with the rest of the budget and appropriation process, and various requirements for preparing and filing your levy. We'll also include some special situations such as TIFs and property tax appeals, and differentiate between tax-capped and non-tax capped libraries as well as district versus municipal libraries. Being able to forecast your levy revenue will also leave you more in control of the rest of you budget, since property taxes generally represent 95% of a library's revenue. You'll leave this session with an organizational framework for establishing your levy and more confident that you have an accurate picture of your finances in the coming year.
Speaker: James Rachlin, 

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
New Employment Rules and Laws Learned and Applied by Libraries in a Post Pandemic World
While living through the COVID-19 disaster declaration in Illinois, Library Directors have implemented difficult employment decisions for staffing, COVID testing, quarantining and whether to mandate vaccine use. Even library patrons have shouldered less-than perfect COVID library services and rules to avoid infection. Approaching 2022, we are fortunately closer to normal, but let's learn what has worked for libraries and their boards during the 2020-2021 pandemic and what practices failed. 
Speaker: Britt Isaly, Ancel Glink, PC

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

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