Job Searching · Networking · Professional Conferences

Missouri Library Association Conference, Day 2

Breakfast: biscuits and gravey, scrambled eggs, potatoes o’brien, and bacon. Free!

I gave up coffee (!) about three weeks ago due to the aggravation it causes my GERD. This whole time I’ve not missed it as much as I am this morning. I know it’s mostly psychological, but after a short night I can’t seem to clear the cobwebs, this morning.

First session of the day is on emergency preparedness.

—45 minutes later—

Good session, but no new information for me. Everyone needs to be trained in first aid, CPR, and AED!

This hotel is so poorly designed in layout that I, again, got lost going to a room that I’d already been to. Getting my steps in, though!

Next session is on libguides.

That session was really good, too. I actually learned things, this time. It was all about how SLU was using the new version of LibGuides and culling the analytical data from that to better serve their patrons and declutter their guides and websites. Excellent!

One of the audience members asked a question and introduced herself as the head of reference at SLCL. I took note and captured her afterwards. I introduced myself, gave her my card, and we talked a moment. She’s going to call me later this evening so we can discuss the issues I’ve been having.

Next session was on cheap and free outreach and promotion materials. The first half was chiefly on a software package called Canva, the second was on leveraging social and traditional media outlets. This one was a bit more dull, but good information just the same.

Then, I had an excellent lunch with my friend, Lena, and called my wife.

Now, I’m waiting to begin my volunteer work as a gofer on the trade floor, so no more sessions for me, today.

Well, that was a bust. I showed up and introduced myself only to be told that they had nothing for me to do before at least 2:00. So, now I’m attending a session on aligning your library to ACRL standards.

That was dull. Worst session I’ve been to this conference. It wasn’t really about meeting ACRL standards. It was a description of how this woman puts together her annual reports. Zzzzzzz.

Volunteering consisted of me being a stagehand for the raffle drawing. It was kinda fun. Now, I’ve been roped into attending the actual business meeting of the conference. They were begging people to go in to reach a quorum. “Why not,” I thought, “I’m done for the day.” It’s not like I haven’t sat through committee meetings before. Maybe I’ll learn something.

Meeting activities:

  • Thank you’s to outgoing executive members.
  • Introduction of new executive members.
  • Reading of reports.
  • Reading and amendments of legislative agenda.
  • Reading and amendments of bylaws

There was probably more, but I ducked out early to meet my SLCL contact at the hotel bar. We had a very nice conversation in which we discussed the trouble I’ve been having in my job search, especially in attempting the transition to public library. What she suggested to me was to work harder at correlating my current skills to the specific needs of a public library. I have the skills, already, but what I need to do is a better job of conveying how my skills are translatable, not just saying that they are. That’s the gist, anyway. She’s made the transition from academic to public, herself, so she has some credibility here. Before I apply for any more public jobs I need to rewrite my cover letter, definitely.

This has definitely been a good conference for me. I’m looking forward to going home tomorrow, but it’s been a good time.

Related Tales of a Librarian:

Missouri Library Association Conference, Day 3

Missouri Library Association Conference, Day 1

Schmoozing Skills

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