I would not have been able to attend CALCON without the Colorado State Library MPLA/CALCON 2016 Small/Rural Scholarship. My library is both small and rural, and I’ve had to make some sacrifices in our Professional Development/Continuing Education Budget. Being small and rural can sometimes feel a bit isolated, and CALCON is a nice opportunity to stay fresh on the changes of our profession.
This year was exceptionally fun joined with MPLA – those people are wild. We have a very active and inspiring library community in Colorado, but it was nice to get additional perspectives. I attended the ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’ session presented by Christopher Schipper and Kimberly Lowe of San Juan College in New Mexico. They presented about their WiFi hotspot checkout program, and while I know Denver Public Library recently did this, San Juan College’s experiences and struggles seem to closely align with the struggles I would have launching a program in my library district. I recognized a lot of the same characteristics of my community: rural, geographically isolated, and low income.
To me, conferences are all about discovery and sharing. I was lucky enough to attend both lightning talk sessions and present my own talk. The Lightning Round Sessions consisted of about 10 presenters, each of us speaking for 4 mins on a wide variety of topics.
My presentation was ‘Creating a Colorado Collection’ about my library’s implementation of identifying materials about Colorado or by Colorado authors. This is a project I’m very proud of. It was a simple idea, fairly easy to implement, and has received a bunch of positive praise from our patrons. I was excited for the opportunity to share this project & idea, but there is NO WAY I’d be able to stretch the information into a full hour session. There is only so long a person can talk about CO Flag Spine labels.