Monday, October 27, 2008

Maine Libraries Conference

This is what happens when we close for two whole days at Rockport Library. People still come and return their books!

On Saturday, this pile by the bookdrop greeted Jenni and me when we came into the library. And you know what, folks have been very gracious about our closure. Many have voiced support that they are glad our staff is being supported this way. One patron told me she didn't know about the closure and got very concerned when she saw our closed doors, hoping it wasn't a result of tighter budgets. Well, it's not! But please, please keep telling your town officials and legislators how much your library means to you.

The conference was relaxing and wonderful and busy and my brain is still digesting what I heard about there. (And I am still catching up on my sleep.) I attended workshops on Web 2.0 (more than just Facebook,, LibraryThing, but also Voice Thread and more), Nonfiction Readers' Advisory (RA is what we do when we help you find a book you are looking for), ALA's Kids @ Your Library Campaign, Y.A.D.A (a youth/adult initiative to build a better community for empowered youth in Lewiston), and that's just the beginning.

On Thursday night I set up my table of art supplies (magazines, papers, scissors, stamps, markers, etc.) for any willing and interested librarians to come and make ATCs with me. There were about 15 folks who stopped by and maybe 10 or so who sat down and made a couple of cards. They liked it when I told them how low/no-cost and intergenerational ATCs can be. Andy told me the next day she even dreamed about ATCs after making her very first card! And I sold 5 copies of The Great Library ATC Swap!

We heard state senator and Freeport Library Director Beth Edmonds speak, as well as Kate Braestrup (our patron!), Rosemary Herbert (also local and a mystery author), and Ellen Wittlinger (YA author who addresses GLBTQ issues as well as just plain universal teen issues). And while there were certainly highlights from all of our speakers, Ellen's speech really moved me. Her books, in the words of her husband, are about "how art saves us." So much more than just more teen problem books.

I came back inspired to call myself a part of this community of Maine librarians.


  1. Hey Rockport Librarians, so glad that Iris was available to share the ATC idea! I'm sitting here dreaming of starting a similar program here in Falmouth. So sorry that you all had so much catch up work to do after the Conference, but wasn't it a great experience?

    Andi,,,fellow Maine librarian

  2. Sounds wonderful...and you got to hear Ellen Wittlinger speak! I really enjoyed Hard Love. I just finished the Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games - have you read it yet? I'm reading Little Brother right now.....but I'm yearning for a good murder mystery....

    My ATC's so far are really lame. But I won't give up.

    hugs, Chris

  3. Wondering what it means to work in a virtual environment, to build and open a virtual library branch, or to work virtual reference?

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  4. Do you see what happens Larry?!!!