In an effort to better serve our patrons, Library staff are continually learning and growing in their fields. Recently, several Joplin Public Library staff attended the Missouri Library Association Conference, held in Springfield, MO. The focus of this year’s conference was reconnection with a goal of envisioning what is next for libraries, engaging staff, and empowering patrons.
Each staff member was able to choose which lectures to attend with choices like Performers Showcase, Library Outreach 101, Readers Advisory, and more! JPL’s Library Director, Jeana Gockley, was a featured presenter. Her talk, “From the Ground Up: Creating a Friends of the Library”, was well attended.
Another highlight from the conference was that Christina Matekel-Gibson, JPL’s Children’s Librarian, was awarded the Patt Behler Call-to-Conference Award. The Patt Behler Call-to-Conference Award is sponsored by the Youth Services Community of Interest (YSCI) and is offered to introduce working librarians to the activities and programs of Missouri Library Association (MLA) and YSCI and to encourage involvement and on-going participation in the professional activities of those organizations.
In speaking about the conference, Matekel-Gibson said, “I enjoyed being able to connect with librarians from all over the state to share ideas and celebrate our mutual love for libraries and literacy. The opening keynote with Marlene Chism about moving from conflict to connection was especially impactful!”
Each staff member is excited to put into practice what they have learned, and are already looking forward to next year’s conference!