WLA Conference Brings Wyoming Library Community Together



The crowd gathered for the morning at Natrona County Public Library in Casper, one of the Wyoming Library Association conference's host sites.
The crowd gathered for the morning at Natrona County Public Library in Casper.

More than 175 Wyoming library staff gathered at nine sites around the state — and more signed in from their desktops — to take part in the Wyoming Library Association 2016 conference on Oct. 27. This free conference employed a hybrid mix of live streaming, recorded videos, and on-site sessions to give the library community the opportunity to gather, learn, and network.

WLA President Sid Stanfill gave opening remarks in the morning, and gave out the first of two awards to Jennifer Rife, from Laramie County Library System, who was named “Outstanding Heroine.” In the afternoon, Judy Armstrong, of Sheridan County Library System, was honored as “Outstanding Librarian.” Read more here on the awards.

Volunteers at host sites made it possible for participants to gather in person at a location near them. These were located at Campbell County Public Library in Gillette, Park County Library in Cody, Casper College Library, Crook County Public Library in Sundance, Eastern Wyoming College Library in Torrington, Teton County Library in Jackson, University of Wyoming Coe Library in Laramie, Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library in Rock Springs, and the Wyoming State Library in Cheyenne.

I appreciated being close to home, being able to meet with other library staff members from both public and school libraries, and the informative sessions that were available.
-Joan Brinkley, Goshen County Library Director

Hands-on fun with thumb pianos in Casper.
Hands-on fun with thumb pianos in Casper.

Each site saw a live stream of the morning keynote speech by Bob Beck, News Director of Wyoming Public Radio, and the afternoon keynote by Eugene Gagliano, author and Wyoming State Poet Laureate. In addition, all host sites had the opportunity to pick from a list of pre-recorded programs. In Gillette, participants could attend one of three concurrent sessions, and the Cody site offered four. Some held live programs onsite. The Wyoming State Library sent Chris Van Burgh to Sundance to give a tour of the GoWYLD databases and Paige Bredenkamp to Casper for a hands-on makerspace session. Torrington participants received information on how to get involved with the upcoming solar eclipse in 2017.  Individuals who couldn’t make it to a host site were able to access all webinar and video offerings.

I would like to add a note of appreciation to the State Library and WLA for recognizing that we needed to have some type of a conference this year, and for thinking outside the box in coming up with a way it could be done without a great expense to anyone involved…It takes true leadership to know this was a great opportunity to have librarians experience those things we are promoting: a blend of technology, virtual classrooms, distance learning, and face to face experiences.
– Lisa Scroggins, Natrona County Public Library Executive Director

Suzi Worthen at the Lyman Branch Library taking in Gene Gagliano's afternoon keynote address at her desk.
Suzi Worthen at the Lyman Branch Library taking in Gene Gagliano’s afternoon keynote address at her desk.

The State Library will have the keynote videos available for viewing on its YouTube channel soon if you missed out. All the pre-recorded programs are still available whether you were unable to attend or just unable to get to all the ones you wanted to see. Also available are book trailers/reviews and vendor information.

See more photos from the conference on the #WYLA16 hashtag on Twitter (click on the “latest” tab to see all of them) or in this Google Drive folder. Find all the conference resources on the WLA website.

 

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