Wednesday, November 24, 2021

#NYLA2021: Notes from Day 2 In-person Conference, Nov. 5

Jill with mask
This year, the New York Library Association held its annual conference in both virtual (Oct. 28-29)and in-person (Nov. 3-6) day 2 of the in-person conference.
Friday I started with Trustees (Not In) Legal Jeopardy! with Stephanie "Cole" Adams, JD.  Adams did her session like the Jeopardy game show, with questions on the screen and the participants yelling out answers. Adams then would give us additional information.  That made the session a lot of fun and also hard to take notes.

Being a trustee takes dedication, awareness, and a willingness to learn the ropes of library and not-for-profit legal considerations. Since that is a lot of work, this session will make it fun, promoting awareness of the most critical aspects of library trustee ethics and responsibilities through a game-show format: "What is...a fiduciary?" "What is...a conflict of interest?" "What is...Director's & Officer's Insurance?"  You will wager all of your late fees as you test and build your trustee skills in this fun and highly informative session! (Non-trustees also welcome.)

My last in-person session was Friendly Relationships, Working Together for the Library. I've already written about this session and you can read it here.

Final Thoughts

Librarians Threaten Ignorance
This was my first in-person conference since ALA Midwinter in January 2020.  If I had known that trip to Philly would be my last for many months, I would have enjoyed it more, which would have included eating more sticky buns! Since then I've attended many online events, including a number of conference, and have given webinars, conference presentations, and keynotes.  Our pivot to doing everything online wasn't always smooth, but we were able to do it...bumps and all. 
The in-person portion of the NYLA Annual Conference had to comply with rules for the convention center, which is a County facility. Those rules included wearing a mask at all times, except when eating.  In conference sessions, we sat 6 feet apart, which gave us space for our bags and backpacks (a positive). 
The conference made it easy for people to signal how comfortable they were with physical contact. A red ribbon on a person's badge meant they did not want any touching. A yellow ribbon, which I had, signaled elbow bumps. A green ribbon meant that handshakes and hugs were welcome.  I hope some version of this remains at conferences in the future, since I know that we all have different tolerances for hugs from colleagues we really don't know.

Reportedly there were 380 people registered for the in-person conference, plus those staffing the Trade Show. This is noticeably smaller than normal and fit with the rules of the convention center, which put a cap on how many people could attend. This made is a cozy conference, which I think people appreciated.

Next year's conference will be on  November 2-5, 2022 in Saratoga Springs.  That location attracts people from all across the state. Will there be an online component? Time will tell. I know it takes a tremendous effort to do a virtual conference, plus an in-person conference, plus on-demand sessions. NYLA will have to determine what is best for NYLA members and what it's conference budget can bear.

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