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ILF annual conference notes

October 20, 2009

I’ve been spending my last two work days at the Indiana Library Federation annual conference, which is being hosted by my city, Fort Wayne!  Yay!  It’s nice to attend a conference and not have to deal with hotels, airplanes and taxis.

The first session I attended was “The Power of Public Relations” with Kelly Young of Baise Communications.   Although Kelly is a p.r. professional and not specifically working with libraries, she is savvy to social networking and shared some great information about “telling your story” to attract and keep customers.

I was listening for information that I could use in my work, especially with the weekly videos that I create for our website.  Kelly talked about six things you need to tell your story. From her presentation:

Passion–The more passionate the storyteller is, the more authentic and the more compelling their story becomes.

A hero –Your story needs a hero; somebody who can be respected and related to. This person, community or group engages as your audience as they want to see what happens to them and learn more about them.

Conflict –If there isn’t anything at stake, there’s no story. What is the hero up against? There doesn’t need to be some super villain; think poverty in the community or lack of education.

Awareness–What’s the “Aha!” moment in your story? A moment where people learn or realize something they otherwise wouldn’t have. Did the hero learn something? What was the meaning behind the story?

Transformation –What has changed throughout the length of the story? Think about the impact, what is different and what has changed as a result of the story you are telling. (a personal success or any little change can be very moving)

Call to Action –What do you want the reader to do after reading your story?

This is great stuff.  I’ve been looking for a way to add a little more interest to my videos, in terms of what I talk about.  I feel that I can draw from any of these ideas to improve.

The second session I presented “Traverse the ILS Borderlands” (see below).  Several people asked questions; I enjoyed talking about this subject and thank Sean Robinson for the opportunity to share it.

During the third session, I spent my time with photographer Sam Hoffman and videographer Steve Hill from the Journal Gazette, who were completing the multimedia components of an article that  journalist Stefanie Scarlett is writing, about organizations that use YouTube to promote their product.  I’m excited to see the article when it is published on Thursday, October 22, and I’ll re-post it here.

Later yesterday afternoon, I attended the second half of the session “Hearing from your Users: Thinking about Surveys and Other Options”, where I heard the tail-end of a discussion about the pros and cons of surveys, interviews and focus groups. Finally, I attended a session about “A Day in Allen County” presented by our very own Tom Manning and Roseann Coomer. They did a good job showing everyone how we use ContentDM to keep our photo collections organized online.

I also presented at this morning’s first session about Library Camp (see above). About eight people attended but it sounded like several people were interested in hosting an unconference. This is great news and I hope I am invited to every single one of them!

Late morning I attended “Readers Advisory Wants to Add You as a Friend: RA in the World of Social Networking”. I had not thought about using social networking sites like Goodreads and LibraryThing for reader’s advisory so I will use these tools more often.

For lunch I’m headed over to the Chamber of Commerce to attend a brown-bag and presentation about using Facebook to market your services. I’m looking forward to this.

Finally, this afternoon, I’ll be attending “Digital Activities, Real Results: Playing to Learn with High-Tech Toys” and “Encouraging Wellness in the Library Workplace”.

Thanks ILF for putting on a great conference. It’s been a real learning experience this year and I enjoyed meeting more Indiana librarians.

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