Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MLA Thursday night - Awards Banquet

Okay, so this is going a little bit backward, but I wanted to be sure I posted a big kudos to MCTC program student, Brandi Bauer, who interned last spring at the University of St. Thomas' Ireland Library. While at the reception prior to the awards banquet, I ran into several people from St. Thomas. Completely unsolicited, several people thanked me/us for sending Brandi to them, and how great it was to have her do her practicum there. As the person coordinating internships for our program, it always warms my heart to hear positive feedback about our students. And, St. Thomas is asking for more interns, for circulation at their Minneapolis library, and for other projects they have. So, if you're a current program student thinking about your internship, think about doing one at St. Thomas.

While waiting for the bus to take us to the Minnesota State University - Mankato campus, which was where the awards banquet was being held, I found myself standing next to Regina Harris, administrator of the Urban Library Program, a 12-credit certificate program offered through the College of St. Catherine and St. Paul Public Library, and Minneapolis Public Library is involved too. We had a great conversation about our two programs, and how we could help students who complete their certificate continue on in our program to finish their A.S. degree or our certificates.

Part of the point of all this blogging is to demonstrate the tremendous value of attending a professional conference, both for professional development and for networking. You never know who you're going to end up standing next to in a line, or seated with at a meal. Mary Ann Van Cura, Library Development and Continuing Education Coordinator for the Minnesota State Library Services office in the Department of Education was seated at my table. She used to be the head of technical services at Hamline Law Library. Later, I had the opportunity to talk with Joan Roca, the Dean of Library Services at MSU-Mankato. I had lunch on Friday with Orrin Ausen, Director of Library Services at Bethany Lutheran College. All the mailed resumes in the world can't substitute for sitting down and having a conversation with folks who are active professionals in their libraries.

In 2008, the Minnesota Library Association conference will be held in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Planning has already begun. Join the association and tell them you'd like to help. Work on local arrangements, help with the silent auction, or volunteer to help with registration. Get involved now, and make the most of the networking opportunities that a professional conference provides. Your professional association needs you.