Monday, April 30, 2007

Preparing for Conference

Hi Everyone! Michael Colford here, one of the co-chairs, along with Gianna Gifford and Ellen Keane, who run the Massachusetts Library Association's Annual Conference. I'm going to be blogging the conference as much as time allows, but things get fairly hectic during conference so that might not be so much. Not to worry! Our blogmistress extraordinnaire, Beth Gallaway, has assembled a team of bloggers from libraries of all types to keep you informed about all the goings-on at this year's conference! This is a great way to find out what you missed in programs that you can't attend.

My posts will show you a little bit of the "behind-the-scenes" at the conference. We report in at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center for a 3:30 meeting with hotel staff tomorrow, to go over all the last minute arrangements; make sure the food, room set-ups, and AV needs are all correct; and most importantly stress the importance of clean women's rest rooms!

Tonight there's a bit of a frantic, last-minute preparations feel to things. It's after 9:30 p.m. and I just got off the phone with MLA's Executive Manager, Diane Klaiber, working out a transportation crisis for one of our speakers, and following up on some other last minute craziness. One of the drawbacks of having so many nationally known speakers is that they're all flying in and flying out. Being in Sturbridge, it's not all that easy to get them to and from the airport. Scheduling the ground transportation has been a bit of a roller coaster, as we decided to try and save the exorbitant care service fees by providing the driving ourselves. So yes, we'll save some money, but not without some headaches. Right now we're looking at poor Gail Simone being stranded at Logan tomorrow night! Just kidding. We've got a plan in motion.

So do check in often, tell your friends and colleagues, and feel free to comment if you feel moved to do so. Hopefully many of you will be attending the conference... and if you're not registered yet, don't worry... you can still do so onsite!

Conference Session Schedule Change!

forwarded from Michael Colford, Conference Committee:

I just wanted to let you all know about a major schedule change for the Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. Please adjust your personal schedules accordingly if you will be attending the conference on Wednesday.

Technoschism: Reorganizing and Restructuring Libraries for the Real Future will now take place on Wednesday, May 2, 11:00 a.m., as a second keynote address. Vice President of Innovation for Sirsi/Dynix, Stephen Abram, will discuss our changing demographics and newest innovations in social networking, tagging, portals, and persona development, as well as the three emerging trends in the environment: technology, community focus and teamwork

Meeting the Millennials is a new program meeting in Cheshire/Danforth at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2. Stephen Abram, will interview a group of 10 - 15 teens about their attitudes about life and libraries. Come hear first-hand how the next generation to hit adulthood deals with the world and their quest for information.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

MLA Speaker Interviewed

Over on MangaBlog, comic book writer/illustrator Bettina Kurkoski is interviewed. You can also find a great article on Ms. Kurkoski here at Newsarama.) Why am I bringing this seemingly random bit of information up here, you might ask? Ms. Kurkoski, creator of the series My Cat Loki, is one of three comic book writers appearing on a panel on Girls + Comix on Thursday, May 3 at the Massachusetts Library Association's Annual Conference.

This program on comics, "Girls + Comix: How Comics are Gaining Popularity with Women and How Librarians Can Better Serve their Audience," is one of the truly remarkable events taking place at the MLA Conference, and anyone with even a passing interest in comics needs to be there. Here is the blurb from the conference brochure:

"For decades the comics industry was seen as a "boys club," but more and more women and girls are reading, writing and creating comics. The most visible splash has been made by manga, and Tokyopop's teen audience is 75% female. There have always been women creating and behind the scenes in comics, but only recently have girls and women shown their power as readers. Join an all-star panel of comic creators, moderated by graphic novel advocate and teen librarian Robin Brenner, that will focus on connecting librarians with comics while highlighting the diverse and increasingly vital contributions of women to the industry as writers, artists, three-dimensional characters, and reader."

And who is this all-star panel of comic creators? Well, the afore-mentioned Bettina Kurkoski has become known for her Tokyopo-published series My Cat Loki. Appearing with her is Terry Moore, who began writing and drawing his award-winning comic book series, Strangers in Paradise in 1993. Since then he has produced over ninety issues of the larger than life saga of friends in Houston, Texas. It is one of the most succesful independently published books in the comics industry. Find out how Moore has become known as one of the best writers of three-dimensional female characters in comics. Rounding out the panel is one of the superstars of DC Comics. Gail Simone is a former hairdresser who has in the last five years become arguably the busiest and highest-profile female writers in comics. She has written comics exclusively for DC Comics, with such high-level titles as Justice League, Birds of Prey, Teen Titans, and their flagship titleAction Comics featuring Superman. Next up for Gail is an open-ended run on Wonder Woman.

Mark my words, this is an important panel, as anyone who reads comics will tell you. Best of all, these three panelists will be moderated by Massachusetts's own graphic novel guru, Robin Brenner. It's sure to be a fun and lively high point of the conference.

MLA Career Center Prepares for Conference

MLA is doing something new this year by offering a Career Center at Annual Conference! Kelly Woodside, Career Resource Librarian at Simmons College, will coordinate the Center and provide career resources, and provide resume checking services and mock interview practice. Representatives from the Central MA Regional Library System will be on hand to let people know about BiblioTEMPS, a regional service to help place out-of-work librarians into temporary jobs. Libraries of all types will also be invited to post jobs and conduct actual interview while on site at the Conference. To that end, Kelly sent an e-mail message asking libraries to post their jobs on the MLA website. Here is the text of Kelly's message:

Greetings on behalf of the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA), which has invited me to coordinate a Career Center for its Annual Conference this May 2-4 in Sturbridge. If you looking for an easy way to let Massachusetts library professionals know about positions available at your organization, we can help! The MLA Conference Career Center is pleased to offer the following free services to library employers:

1. Position Listings:

Advertise your library positions for free online and at the Conference Career Center. We will accept listings for professional, paraprofessional, internship, and volunteer opportunities. We recommend you submit your listings by 5pm on Friday, April 26, but we will continue to accept submissions through the final day of the Conference (Friday, May 4). To submit a listing, please visit:

2. Resume Collection Service:

During the Conference, the Career Center will collect resumes from attendees interested in listed positions and hold them for library employers to review. Stop by the Career Center to pick up resumes as often as you wish during the Conference. Career Center hours will be Wednesday 12:30-2:30pm, Thursday 10am-12pm and 1:30-4pm, and Friday 9:30am-12pm. If you are unable to attend the Conference but would still
like to take advantage of our resume collection service, we can make special arrangements. Of course, candidates are still free to contact you directly, and we encourage them to do so in advance of the Conference, if possible. (If you would prefer not to participate in the resume collection service, just send me a message at

3. On-site Interview Room:

The Career Center will include an interview room where you can meet with candidates during the Conference. Use of the interview room will be booked on a first come, first serve basis. To schedule the room, employers should contact me at or simply stop by the Career Center during the Conference. Please note that employers are responsible for contacting candidates directly to arrange interviews. (Resumes collected at the Career Center will include a cell number or room extension where candidates can be reached during the Conference.)

I look forward to seeing you in Sturbridge next month. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the MLA Conference Career Center or our services for employers, please let me know.


Kelly Jo Woodside
Coordinater, MLA Conference Career Center
Career Resource Librarian
Simmons College
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898
(617) 521-2510