For this episode of B Sides, we meet with a couple University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science students who attended the 2016 Iowa Library Association Conference, which was held in Dubuque, Iowa in October.
The ILA Annual Conference is “a unique opportunity to engage with our colleagues from around the state, participate in and glean new ideas from conference sessions, and build and broaden our professional expertise.” (ILA 2016 Conference Program)
Second year students Laura Sauser and Shari Neal share with us why they decided to go to the conference and why they recommend others attend.
“For me, coming to library school is looking at a career change for myself. I’m going to school and getting the foundational classes; I’m also working at a public library. We walked in with some technical expertise and this [conference] made it more real-life.” -Laura Sauser, 2016
For Shari and Laura, the ILA conference was a opportunity to practice advocacy and build networks with potential future colleagues and employers. It was also an opportunity for them to learn about current issues and glean inspiration from practicing librarians throughout the state; inspiration they could potentially walk away and immediately use in their own jobs.
“It’s interesting to know what the issues, and what’s coming up…what’s trending in libraries. […] She [the speaker from St. Ambrose) talked about how to educate undergraduates to handle archives and primary sources. It was a CSI course that she had set up with artifacts and crimes [that had been committed unto them].” -Shari Neal, 2016