Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CALCON 14 Wrap-Up

The Colorado Association of Libraries Conference (CALCON) was held on October 16-18, 2014 in Loveland. The conference highlighted a cross-section of the trends and themes of librarianship, with a special focus on Makerspace and DIY, creative collaboration between libraries, and engaging programming for children and teens (with lots of zombies, of course).

Boulder Public Library's bike-mobile outreach program

The overall mood of the conference was one of positivity and creative problem solving, despite (or because of) major changes happening in our profession. Friday’s keynote speaker, Corinne Hill, executive director of the Chattanooga Public Library, embodied this spirit of radical change while still being grounded in the overall mission of libraries as institutions of knowledge and information. As Corinne put it, “We’re librarians. No one is going to die if we make a mistake, so get out there and innovate.”

This year’s conference was a showcase for many librarians across the state to present on special programs and initiatives happening in their libraries. Here is a small sampling of sessions:

  • Convergence: a dauntless approach to collaboration
  • A library bike bespoke for you: innovative outreach
  • You can do it! Create digital content
  • Light bulb to launch: getting your new ideas to happen
  • Media labs on the cheap: free and open source software
  • Robots loose in the library!
  • Play is serious business
  • Partnerships and collaboration: connecting with other libraries
  • Leading from where you are

Check out the entire conference schedule here.

Several teacher librarians and library leadership represented BVSD at CALCON this year.  Beatrice Gerrish co-facilitated two sessions: Dewey or don’t we? Transitioning to the bookstore model, and Reject the fears and embrace a balanced future: creating libraries that are the heart of their schools. Amy Bland and Nannette McMurtry also led two sessions: It’s all about choice, baby! Flipping the professional development model for librarians, and Going Google in the library.

A conference shouldn’t end with the closing keynote. The whole point is to share and apply what you learned when the conference is over. We shared our learning in several ways: we collected our conference notes in this shared folder that any teacher librarian can access. We also tweeted the conference using #cocalcon14 (hint: you can follow any conference this way, even if you don’t attend—just follow the conference hashtag). If you are interested, we encourage you to check out those resources to see how other Colorado librarians are growing and leading.

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