Save the Date: Difference is You Conference!

This year’s Difference is You Conference will be held on Friday, Sept. 23 at the Indiana State Library. The DIY Conference is a training event for support staff and paraprofessionals created by the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Committee. The theme this year is “Refresh and Recharge.”

The keynote speaker will be David Seckman, Jeffersonville Township Public Library director. He’ll be presenting “Build a Better World with Kindness and Gratitude.” Seckman has been researching and studying the effects of kindness and gratitude on well-being and relationships for 15 years and speaking on these topics for the last 12 years. He is especially interested in how kindness and gratitude can transform the culture of an organization to bring a sense of fun and joy to the workplace. With over 10 years of experience as a library administrator and manager, he puts these concepts into practice on a daily basis.

Keynote description
Have you ever wondered why some teams are highly productive, creative and innovative while other teams with similar levels of talent and experience seem to be stuck in neutral? Science has shown that people who practice gratitude in their lives show an increase in enthusiasm towards life, make more progress towards their personal goals, sleep better, show less symptoms of illness and depression and have more energy. In this keynote, presenter David Seckman will discuss how cultivating kindness and gratitude can improve work and personal relationships, as well overall well-being.

Below is the proposed schedule:

2022 DIY Schedule

  • 10:00-10:50 a.m. (50 minutes) Welcome and keynote
  • 10:50-11:00 a.m. (10 minutes) Announce DIY Award winner/Break
  • 11:10 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (50 minutes) Session 1
  • 12:00-1:00 p.m. (60 minutes) Lunch
  • 1:00-1:50 p.m. (50 minutes) Session 2
  • 1:50-2:00 p.m. (10 minutes) Break
  • 2:00-2:50 p.m. (50 minutes) Session 3
  • 2:50-3:00 p.m. (Wrap up and evaluations)

Registration fee is $25 per person. If you have any questions, you can contact Kara Cleveland.

This blog post was written by Courtney Brown, Southeast regional coordinator from the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office.

Valuing library support staff

Last week, on Friday, July 20, 2018, the Indiana State Library hosted a free, day-long conference for library support staff across the state called The Difference is You. I attend many conferences for my profession, but this is the one annual gathering that I won’t miss. This year’s theme, “Be Inspired” was fitting as The Difference is You is the most inspiring of all meetings I attend, which is why I’ve now participated for four years in a row. “Be Inspired” was a tribute to INSPIRE, the marvelous collection of databases that are provided, at no cost, to Indiana residents, available through this link. INSPIRE contains over 80 databases, organized by A-Z or by subject, and allows free access to information by way of articles from journals and magazines, which would otherwise require hefty fees. Additional resources include tools for operating a small business, resume help and career advice, foreign language lessons, news stories and videos, newspaper access, digital collections and much more. As Indiana citizens, we can’t take this access for granted! These resources are generally only available to university professors or students as part of tuition fees. We have open access to these resources as taxpayers. Explore INSPIRE now for more details about what you can find.

A full house.

Friday was an incredible day for teaching and learning! Sessions were filled with practical presentations that boosted our understanding about daily interactions and operations in the library. Conference presenters highlighted specific examples for problem-solving and conflict resolution. Plus, hands-on technology demonstrations and step-by-step training for online resources were offered. In my session after lunch, I overheard someone saying her brain was getting full.

Keynote speaker Lorelle R. Swader

The most inspiring part of the day was keynote speaker, Lorelle R. Swader, associate executive director of American Library Association (ALA) Offices and Member Relations, as well as associate executive director of the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). The ALA-APA is unique in that it focuses on both professional librarians and library support staff. ALA-APA provides library workers with tools and resources for their own professional goals and promotes occupational awareness, workplace wellness and fair salaries. I believe that libraries are unique in that they attract employees who support one another, share resources and work as teams to accomplish goals. The ALA-APA goes one step further and supports employees from outside of their organizations. Their current tagline is “Libraries work because we do.”

Conference organizer Kimberly Brown-Harden

By the end of the conference, while relaxing near the well-stocked snack table, I had a chat with someone who said they had really valued the conference. I was able to turn that statement around and say to them that we value you. The conference was organized by members of the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Committee, with assistance from state library staff. As a library worker for the past 14 years, I’m giving a special shout out to my colleague Kimberly Brown-Harden, who employs her own kind of magic to ensure this conference is a success. Thank you, Indiana State Library and IMLS, for making this conference a reality!

This blog post by Katie Springer, reference librarian. For more information, contact the Reference & Government Services Division at 317-232-3678 or submit an Ask-A-Librarian request.

The Difference is You: Be INSPIRED!

Want to connect with your peers in a beautiful, historic library? Want the opportunity to present on a topic you care about to your peers and friends? Want to learn about technology, youth services and other topics relevant to libraries and library staff? We have an opportunity for you! Join us for our annual support staff conference, the Difference is You: Be INSPIRED! This year our theme honors and celebrates the 20th anniversary of INSPIRE. The conference will be held at the Indiana State Library on July 20, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Our keynote speaker is Lorelle R. Swader, director of the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR).

The call for proposals is now open! Submit your program topics and ideas here.    Program proposals will be accepted until Monday, March 19, 2018. Registration officially opens Monday, March 26, 2018 at 8 a.m. Details about this year’s conference can be found here. We’re looking forward to seeing you for a day filled with networking, learning and fun!

This blog post was written by Kimberly Brown-Harden, northwest regional coordinator, Indiana State Library. For more information, email Kim.