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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mississippi Library Association Conference 2016 Wrap-up

This year's Mississippi Library Association annual conference took place at the Vicksburg Convention Center from October 18-21. The theme was Mississippi Libraries: The Heart of Our Communities and many of the sessions focused on this important idea. Several MLC staff were fortunate enough to attend part or all of the conference. After some reflection, here are our thoughts.

"The panel on digital curation was AMAZING. It gave me so many ideas about how to further my work. On another note, I’ve always wanted to know about Big House Books, so the fact that they had a panel was A+. They gave me so much more information than I was expecting."

-Katie Gill, Library Development Director

"MLA is such a wonderful opportunity for library folks to gather to share thoughts, ideas and to network. Our advocacy session on Wednesday was so highly attended that it made us realize the importance of this topic during these challenging economic times. Also, to have a couple of our community partners, Big House Books and MS Museum of Art, participate this year made us recognize the benefit of connecting people to achieve greater results. It was a great week! Way to go MLA!"

-Susan Liles, PR Director

"I was very inspired by the bookmobile-on-a-shoestring budget session. Not only was the 'shoestring budget' concept impressive (they used, not the $100,000 bus for mobilization, but rather, a customized trailer pulled behind a truck at a fraction of the cost) but it was also wonderful to see how a relic from vanishing past, the beloved bookmobile, can be re-invented with popular technologies of today--automated online scheduling, a traveling computer lab complete with wireless connectivity, niche customization. The creativity and resourcefulness of the Philadelphia-Neshoba County Library shown in this project was delightful to learn about!"

-Lucinda Ogden, CE Coordinator

"My favorite part was passing out stickers to entice folks to a program Wednesday morning as I was strategically located right next to the coffee and doughnuts!"

-Mac Buntin, Senior Library Consultant

"There are always so many great sounding sessions at MLA and I never get to attend all the ones that I want. (There's just not enough time!) This year I really enjoyed Anna Brannin's session on collaboration between school and public libraries, Shelby Parsons's presentation on Big House Books, and Cal Shepard's session on libraries yesterday, now, and in the future. The best part though? Reconnecting face-to-face with all the librarians I only see through social media and reference questions the rest of the year."

-Elisabeth Scott, Reference Librarian/Social Media Coordinator

"One of the best things about attending the MLA Conference is meeting some of the librarians from around the state, and talking about the needs of their patrons. It is a great opportunity to advocate for some of our special programs and get to know some of the people who referred some of our patrons to the Talking Books Program. The presentations are always informative, and the exhibits are always interesting. There are always great speakers to keep us motivated, and lots of good fellowship."

-Margaret Smitherman, Readers Advisor

We can't wait to see everyone next year in Hattiesburg. Until then, happy reading!

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