The Colorado Association of Libraries holds an annual conference for librarians of all types to come together and network, learn about current library trends, and be inspired to bring innovative new ideas back to their own libraries. This year the conference was Oct. 17-19 in Loveland.
I am particularly excited about this year's conference, which is breaking out of the mold of a traditional conference format. Approximately 500 librarians are registered for this year's conference, and we will all gather together for keynote presentations on broad topics that are germane to all types of libraries. Themes such as Engage, Dare, and Pitch encourage us to think outside the box and dream of new ways to serve our library communities. Guest speakers include New Belgium Brewing Company; Kazoo & Company Toys; and Todd Henry, the Accidental Creative. We are drawing on speakers from outside of the profession to inspire the profession.
Amy Long, conference co-chair and manager of the Parker Library in Douglas County, said about the conference: “This is a unique chance to do something new and different to help libraries come together and focus on how to better serve our communities, respond to changes like advances in technology and the changing needs of our patrons, and figure out how to articulate our value to those communities we serve.”
At the conference, I will become president of the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL). I was honored to be elected president-elect last year and have spent the past year learning more about the association and its priorities as I prepare to assume this leadership role. CAL represents all types of libraries, not just public libraries such as the one I direct. It also serves school libraries in support of K-12 education as well as academic libraries — both community colleges and universities — and special libraries such as the Denver Seminary and the U.S. Geological Library.
The common thread among all types of libraries is that we provide and enrich information opportunities and resources for our constituents. In communities with multiple types of libraries, our services overlap as we support information literacy throughout the various life stages of our communities.
I have been a member of CAL since I moved to Colorado in 1998 and worked at the library at University of Northern Colorado and High Plains Library District. I have been continually impressed with the passionate librarians I have met throughout the state who believe in the power of libraries in their lives. I look forward to supporting and enriching library services across all types of libraries to increase the value of libraries in every community in Colorado.
Kari May lives in Elizabeth and is the Director of the Elbert County Library District. She can be contacted through the library at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the library at www.elbertcountylibrary.org.