There are a million and one reasons why librarians, library assistants, circulation staff, and all others who WORK IN libraries should attend conference... but what about those who WORK FOR libraries? Friends groups? Trustees? Foundation members? Library stakeholders are certainly not exempt from all there is to offer at the Annual Conference!
At the 2016 conference, as I sat listening to Stanley Newman at the President’s Program, I was surprised when a member of my library’s board came and sat next to me. David Huemer is the treasurer on the Maplewood Memorial Library's Board of Trustees and he attended his first NJLA Conference in 2016. While David is always a positive guy, he seemed genuinely excited and rejuvenated by all that he heard while he was at the Monday Preconference session. And not only did he attend a preconference, but he stayed for the President’s program (he even had a book for Stanley to sign) and the Member Services event where he helped bring my trivia team to victory.
Is that a stellar trustee member, or what?
So what did David have to say about his conference experience? Let’s find out!
Q: Last year was your first year attending an NJLA conference, I believe. Can you tell me what you attended and how you heard about it?
I went to an all day workshop with Peter Pearson of the Friends of the St Paul Library. I heard about it through our board meeting and NJLTA (New Jersey Library Trustee Association) email. I also went to hear Stan Newman of crossword fame and help our team steamroll through Stan's after hours trivia contest.
Q: Did you feel that the session was useful to you as a trustee?
Extraordinarily useful and inspiring.
Q: Are there other things you would like to see offered for library stakeholders other than programs for library employees themselves? If so, what types of things would you find useful?
There was a lot of value in hearing how other boards, friends, and staff had dealt with issues similar to what we have in Maplewood. Almost any program that gets library stakeholders in one room would have value, for the communitarian aspects and because the level of people NJLA recruits to present.
Q: What was your favorite part of your experience at the 2016 NJLA Conference?
I really enjoyed meeting other New Jerseyans devoted to and involved in their local libraries--was great to connect and learn from people. At the risk of repeating myself, I also liked helping our team steamroll through the trivia contest.
Never thought about inviting your friends, trustees, and library stakeholders to the NJLA Conference? Well now is your chance! And feel free to use David's words to help maker your case!
Emily Witkowski and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee