Notes from Oregon Library Association Conference in Bend

May 05 - Jane Basaldua and I were fortunate enough to attend the Oregon Library Association conference in Bend, Ore. held April 18-23. Each day we networked, and attended seminars that were very informational.

Thursday, the first class we took was called “Reimagining Service to Tweens: the how’s and why's of a young teen collection”. We got to see how three different libraries handled the cataloging and ordering of the tween collection of books. Our library calls it “Middle Ground”, it’s classified as the set of books that aren’t quite old enough for some of the subject material in the Young Adult books, and not young enough for the material in the Juvenile books.

I personally think that the way we are doing it is efficient, and well handled.

The next one was titled, “Library Programs with Museums”. Learning about the different museums across the state that we could have visited, or have the children and families visit, was great. Also, we got some information on which museums can send us hands-on activities to teach kids about things from the museums.

The last class on Thursday was titled, “Mental Health Matters: Brainstorming Library Mental Health Services for All Ages”. This was a great one to benefit the community and help us assist the patrons in the library. It was good to hear about resources that other rural libraries used, and to also hear about other libraries that are facing many of the same obstacles that we are in Cottage Grove.

Friday was a new day and a new set of classes. We started off with, “Next Level Storytime”. Story times are a great way to draw children in and keep the next generation of patrons coming to the library. I love our story time at the library, both the baby lap time and our preschool story times. It was great to hear how we could add to them and make them even better.

Next was, “Great Teen Advisory Groups”. I was especially interested in this class because I believe we need to have more activities specifically for the teenagers.

We got to hear from three different libraries on how they run their teen advisory boards. It was good to hear the diverse ways they went about it. There were testimonials from the teens from the libraries as well, telling why they enjoyed and what they did with the advisory boards. Setting up a teen advisory board at our library would help not only the library but also the community.

The teens can help in many ways that could benefit everyone and themselves. Examples would be helping with community projects or projects within the library. It can also give a voice to kids that don’t have a chance to feel like they’re being heard, in that they would get to share opinions on how to spend the advisory board’s time.

Friday’s last class was called “3D Printing in Your Library''. This was helpful to learn about because I think this could be another way to draw kids and teenagers in. The way the machine works and what you can make with it is truly fascinating. This would help the kids and even adults in our library learn a new skill set that could help them in an ever-changing technological world. While our library does not own a 3D printer, I think it’s something we should consider if the funds ever permit.  

The last thing this conference allowed us to do is network. We had lunch with a woman named

Brenda, who is an architect and interior designer, said that she would love to come visit our library. We also saw lots of vendors and companies that ranged from books to chairs, to self-check-out kiosks. It was good to be informed of all the things that could potentially be offered at our library.