IACRL @ ILA Programming

2021 ILA Annual Conference
October 12-14

The Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries (IACRL) is sponsoring IACRL @ ILA -- a track of programming for academic librarians at the 2021 ILA Virtual Conference. IACRL @ ILA programming is open to all conference attendees and academic librarians are free to attend programs outside the IACRL @ ILA track. 

The full conference schedule is available here.


IACRL Annual Meeting
Tuesday, October 12
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

All are invited to attend. 

IACRL @ ILA Schedule

Tuesday, October 12

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Opening General Session featuring Clint Smith
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 YorkerThe New York Times MagazinePoetry MagazineThe 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.

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Incorporating Student Voices: Decision-Making and the COVID-19 Student Library Experience
UIC Library began planning for the Fall 2020 semester knowing that COVID-19 and social unrest stemming from police actions across the country would impact library safety for the university community. The goal for reopening was to implement best practices that incorporated University health and safety guidelines.This presentation will discuss how a public research university library responded to user needs in an altered landscape with radical service changes during Fall 2020. In focus group sessions involving almost 100 students conducted in summer of 2020 and late spring 2021, students identified primary concerns about visiting the library. Some of these concerns included physical distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and monitoring compliance in the library among their peers. Through the use of ongoing assessment, the library was able to determine whether it met the challenges resulting from COVID-19. We will also discuss the planning process for Fall 2021 and additional changes made in response to students' needs.Discussion will benefit library leaders, administrators, and user experience librarians making tough and unprecedented time-sensitive decisions using evidence-based data from stakeholders.
Speakers: Elena Carrillo, Jung Mi Scoulas, Linda Naru
Track: Leadership, Management, and Staff Development

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
IACRL Annual Meeting
In lieu of its traditional in-person luncheon and membership meeting, IACRL is holding its annual meeting virtually on Tuesday, October 12 from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM. All IACRL members (and potential members) attending the conference are invited to join the meeting, where the IACRL president and committee chairs will report on activities of the last year. If time allows, we will also discuss ideas for the upcoming year for IACRL. This is a great opportunity to learn more about IACRL and get involved.
Speakers: Emily Gilbert, Sue Franzen
Track: Leadership, Management, and Staff Development

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Social Media 201
Your library has a Facebook account (and maybe Twitter and Instagram, too!). You're posting and you have some followers, but are those followers engaged with your social media channels? Are your posts achieving what you hope they will? Join us for some tips and ideas to take your social media game up a notch. We'll talk social media strategy, data, content types and more as we help you find the best ways to reach and engage your social audience.
Speakers: Hollis Sienkiewicz, Melissa Bradley
Track: Outreach Services

Wednesday, October 13

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
IACRL Unconference
Join your academic colleagues for networking and idea sharing, as we discuss topics important to our everyday work. Facilitators will recommend topics for discussion, but audience members contribute their suggestions as well. IACRL is planning for a first-ever virtual unconference. Now more than ever, we need to share our stories, offer innovations, and discuss how we pivoted during the last year. Spend the morning with your colleagues to problem-solve, describe innovations, and leave with new ideas. Academic library staff from all departments, classifications, and levels of experience are welcome and encouraged to attend. Suggest topics to discuss with other academic librarians and library workers at the IACRL Unconference at ILA 2021. Please suggest as many as you like!
Speakers: Emily Gilbert, Sue Franzen
Track: Leadership, Management, and Staff Development

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
ILA Membership Meeting and President's Program
ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall will present the President’s Program after the ILA Membership Meeting.  

In February 2020, Hall was appointed the American Library Association’s 10th executive director in its 143-year history. In her new role, Hall oversees the oldest and largest library association in the world, made up of 57,000 members and more than 200 staffers. Hall is the first female African American executive director in ALA’s history. Upon Hall’s appointment ALA President Wanda K. Brown observed that “Her unique combination of philanthropy and library know-how position her to be the leader ALA needs today. She is optimistic, energizing, and innovative, qualities that will serve the association well as it continues its investments in advocacy, development, and information technology.”  

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
How to Make History: Creating Public Library-University Partnerships to Digitize Cultural Heritage
Helping preserve local cultural heritage aligns well with the role of the public library, an institution that collects and makes accessible information while serving the local community. But staff, budget, and technological limitations can make it challenging for libraries to meet the needs of their community in this regard. Partnering with local educational institutions on digital cultural heritage projects can provide libraries with skilled labor and access to advanced technological tools, and students with an unparalleled experiential learning opportunity. This session will describe the long-term, Sirsi-Dynix Power of Libraries award-winning partnership between the St. Pete Beach Public Library and the University of South Florida, to digitize the collection of the Gulf Beaches Historical Museum. This session will briefly describe the outcomes of this collaboration, which include 3D scanning/digitization of more than 400 artifacts to date, digital archiving, metadata generation, virtual exhibition development, and heritage communication through oral history capture. The primary focus will be on helping librarians determine how to implement similar partnerships in their community, to extend the capacity of the library, serve the community, create accessible digital resources (particularly relevant in a pandemic), and make visible the integral role the library plays in preserving local history and memory.
Speakers: Catherine Wilkins
Track: Outreach Services

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
Track: User Services

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.
Speakers: Magan Szwarek, Nanette Donohue
Track: Core Values

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Shelter in the COVID Storm: Building Relationships through Mentoring
Imagine moving across the country to start a job at a new library during a pandemic. Acclimating to a new job working from home in isolation can be unnerving. How does one connect with new colleagues? How does one learn about the institution's culture? An Illinois library hired an unprecedented number of new librarians in the summer of 2020 at the height of COVID-19. To build community for these new colleagues, librarians implemented a mentorship program. The working group created a foundation of supporting documents, called for volunteers to act as mentors, matched mentors to new employees based on a survey of needs, and crafted an initial framework. The organizers planned team-building events and DEI programs to supplement mentor-mentee meetings. At various times, the group collected data from all participants to garner feedback on the program. In this presentation, working group members will share best practices, assessment strategies, framework development and programming ideas. They will describe challenges as well as continuation and expansion of the mentoring initiative. Mentorship is vital to a library's success even at the best of times. Don't wait for the next pandemic to start mentoring!
Speakers: Angela Yon, Grace Allbaugh, Sharon Van Der Laan, Sue Franzen
Track: Leadership, Management, and Staff Development

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, Keith Michael Fiels
Track: Core Values

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Designing for Engagement in Post-Pandemic Library: How Behavior Shifts will Impact Your Library
What will patrons expect from their libraries after the pandemic? How will a year or more of social distancing and self-isolation impact the way people interact with - and within - their libraries? How should library leaders plan for renovations and modifications in the wake of the pandemic? How can designed flexibility help libraries adapt to a rapidly changing world? What are simple things you can do now to improve the patron experience? Topics covered include personal space post-pandemic, the crisis of rising expectations, reengaging communities post-pandemic, establishing libraries as a civic hub, and health in library design.
Speakers: David Vinjamuri, Joseph Huberty
Track: Leadership, Management, and Staff Development

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Facilitating and Fostering Social Services in the Library
Connecting people with information has always been a core purpose of libraries. Furthermore, libraries provide a safe and inclusive environment for all citizens and, in particular, those experiencing social and economic disadvantages. Thus, Decatur Public Library has gone a step further to address gaps and barriers in the community by implementing a social service worker inside the library to provide support and referrals to patrons seeking assistance and implement staff training that focuses on effective service provision from a trauma-informed care perspective when working with patrons. Fostering and facilitating social services in the library provides an additional avenue for patrons to access services and address social justice issues. The purpose of this session is to inform and share proactive steps for other libraries to get a social work program in their libraries. Speakers: Alix Frazier, Jessica Hill

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Today There Are Many of Us, Tomorrow There Will Be More: BIPOC Students and Library Workers Meet and Greet
A gathering for students and new professionals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color to meet and establish relationships with each other and with seasoned BIPOC library workers. We will discuss ways to build and grow our community within the library and information science field and learn about opportunities specific to marginalized groups. We will also exchange experiences, ideas, and resources, as well as simply decompress.
Speakers: Christina Bueno, Heidi Estrada, Kyra Lee, María del Carmen Cifuentes, Sophie Kenney, Vanessa (Nessa) Villarreal

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
The Chicago Collections Consortium: Building Community by Collaborating, Preserving, and Sharing
The Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC) is an innovative collective of libraries, museums, and other institutions with archives that chronicle the diverse history and culture of the Chicagoland region. As a collaborative, the CCC's more than 50 Illinois partner institutions work together to preserve and share this unique information and are committed to offering open access and learning experiences to all. Through creation of its portal, EXPLORE CHICAGO COLLECTIONS, users throughout the state, across the country, and around the world are able to freely access the CCC's shared repository of finding aids and digital images. The CCC also offers public programming and digital exhibits, as well as workshops that afford valuable professional development opportunities, especially for smaller institutions. Implicit in its vision is a commitment to advocacy, equity, and inclusivity. In this session, on the eve of its 10th anniversary, the collective will share strategies that have allowed the CCC to grow an adaptable, multi-type organization, to represent community needs and interests, and to engage users throughout pandemic-imposed disruption. Takeaways will include understanding the power of a collaborative entity, why it's important for Illinois libraries and archives, and how its unique outreach agenda supports breaking down barriers and building up communities.
Speakers: Ellen Keith, Jeanne Long, Marianne Ryan
Track: Outreach Services

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
ILA Awards Ceremony
Join us at the 2021 ILA Virtual Awards Ceremony. As we continue to navigate through this uncertain time, let's take advantage of this special occasion to celebrate and cheer on this year's award winners with our colleagues and friends in the Illinois library community. All conference attendees will be able to view the pre-recorded ceremony.

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