Like Alex, I spent two days at the New England Library Association Annual Conference this week, and it was one of the best ever. My favorite program was Marketing on a Shoestring. I was happy to see that we already use some of the suggested, low-cost marketing tools, but I also discovered some new things that I think we need to try.
Conferences are a form of continuing education for our staff. The library field is a rapidly-changing place, and librarians wear many hats to meet the expectations of our communities. I always come back from conferences energized by the programs and the opportunity to network with my colleagues.
Tomorrow I'm off to the READS (Reference and Adult Services Section of the NH Library Association) to learn about better library service to users with disabilities. At the 2007 READS fall conference, I was honored to be presented with the READS Award of Excellence, and tomorrow I will help present the 2008 award to another librarian.
Next month will be the fall conference of the new Hampshire Library Association, where we will talk about literacy programs in libraries.
For people who can't get to conferences easily (not enough time or staff development money), there's always plenty of professional journals, as well as blogs and great web-based training sites like Webjunction. Libraries are very collaborative, and we all learn a lot from our colleagues about best practices in libraries. We pass those ideas along to you to continually improve our services to you.