Statement of Benefit – Megan Barr

2023 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition

Name of Recipient: Joy Miles
Institution: Florida SouthWestern State College
Date(s) of Event / Conference / Session: June 22 – June 27, 2023

Please provide an overall, all-encompassing statement of what the event/conference/session was about.

The ALA Annual Conference is a congregation of anyone related to the library setting. Librarians from every sector were
present, as were authors of every genre and vendors that could help make any library a more accessible and comforting
place for everyone. The conference provided several learning sessions for any type of librarian, as well as opportunities for
librarians to connect with like-minded individuals.

Please complete the following statements:

Academic Librarians would have enjoyed this event/conference/session because…

There were several educational sessions and poster presentations for academic libraries, as well as opportunities to receive free books and arcs to benefit the library. There was a session titled “Academic Libraries, Campus Partners, and Student Success” that academic librarians might have found insightful. There was also a tour of academic libraries in Chicago. Poster presentations focused on current issues including book/material challenges, trends showing a shift to a more digital library after the pandemic, and the importance of readers advisory in academic libraries.

What I learned will apply to a Public Library because…

Several of the educational sessions were focused on book banning and material challenges, something that all libraries are facing now. There were also sessions on mental health and public libraries, including one about how a Boston Library has made a therapy toolkit available for patrons to check out. There was also a session on how to create an app for libraries that don’t have them.

School Librarians/Media Specialists could take what I learned and translate it to their environment by…

Connecting with authors they met at the conference to provide author visits to their school. There was also an educational session about copyright in K-12 schools that media specialists could share with teachers and administrators to prevent them from being in copyright violation. The biggest take away I learned was from comic book authors. They conveyed how comic books provide an outlet to show emotions in characters that can’t be portrayed novels. I had never thought about the importance of comics in showing emotion, but it makes sense. Also, they conveyed how comic books are a good stepping stone to develop reluctant readers’ confidence in reading.

Special Librarians would benefit from this knowledge because…

The turn from traditional libraries to a more digital landscape seems to be a trend that is growing. The educational sessions about digital collections and vendors that were present to help make the process easier would be beneficial for special collections. This could provide an easier way for more people to access these special collections, as long as special librarians see the benefit in going digital.