|SU Alumna Hannah Ralston|
It has been a month since the New York Library Association (NYLA
) Annual Conference
and time has flown. Time - finally - for me to write a wrap-up blog post.
At the Business Meeting
, it was announced that the NYLA membership now exceeds 5000 people for the first time ever. This is an important milestone for this statewide organization. It was also mentioned that the 2015 Annual Conference had 1,243 participants (library staff, trustees and supporters). The final total for 2016 has not been announced, but is over 1000 people. NYLA is oldest state library association with the distinction of holding the largest state library association conference held on
the U.S. East Coast.
Future NYLA Annual Conferences will be held at:
- 2017: Saratoga Springs, November 8-11
- 2018: Rochester, November 7-10
- 2019: Saratoga Springs, November 13-16
- 2020: Saratoga Springs, November 4-7
|SU faculty and MSLIS students |
There are seven library and information science programs in NYS and many hold receptions
during the NYLA Conference. The SU iSchool
had 64 alumni, current students (13 total), and friends at it reception. While the number of people packed into the reception is impressive, more impressive is that alumni employers were able to talk with students and other alumni about their current job openings. When employers can network with potential job seekers, that is powerful. [Thanks to Smote
for the photo to the right.]
, Barbara Stripling
and I led a session entitled "Recruit, Retain, Repeat
", which focused on recruiting school media (school library) students. Sponsored by the NYLA Section of School Librarians
and the School Library System Association
, the session was described as:
School librarians are creative, innovative, and brilliant trailblazers.
They are also in danger of extinction. Enrollment in graduate programs
has substantially declined over the last decade, but school library
vacancies are abundant throughout NYS. Join your peers for an active
conversation to brainstorm how we can recruit and retain for the next
generation. Learn about education opportunities, scholarships, and
partnerships offered by the New York City School Library System and
Syracuse University iSchool and share your success stories of recruiting
and training highly effective school librarians. The goal of this
interactive session is for all participants to have an engaging
conversation on the future of school librarianship and reverse the risk
We began by reviewing statewide statistics
of the number of school media students and data collected by NYLA on the number of school media specialists currently working in schools. We then reviewed information on the pathways to certification
for a school media specialist. Finally, we had those present brainstorm ideas that would help all of us recruit more people into this valuable and important area of librarianship.
Our session time went by quickly. While the notes from the brainstorming have been typed up, I haven't yet communicated then back out - as I said upfront, time flies. However, a few of the ideas were:
- Creating an easier pathway for teachers who want to become school librarians.
- Providing library orientation for student teachers, which teaches them about career opportunities while also showing them resources available.
- Exhibiting/presenting at teacher conferences e.g., NYSCATE).
- Pushing back on legislation which is making it harder to recruit school librarians.
Barb, Melissa and I are planning to submit a proposal to do a follow-up session at NYLA next fall.
, NYLA remains one of my favorite conferences! It is large enough to host a variety of sessions, yet small enough to not be overwhelming. I find it a real plus that it returns regularly to Saratoga Springs. Saratoga is easy for people to get to from all areas of NYS. It is also a beautiful location with tons of good food and gems like an independent bookstore (Northshire
). NYLA attracts all types of librarians, including special librarians. So if you're in NYS, please consider adding NYLA to your conference list. I don't think you'll be disappointed.