I finally made it to Jasper after almost four years in Alberta. An extremely long drive from the forgotten corner of the southeast, but well worth the trip. I attended the Alberta Library Conference for the first time and filled in as a last minute session presenter (while very sick, no less).
Our session was on the partnerships and projects in place in southeastern Alberta: Medicine Hat College, Medicine Hat Public Library and the regional Shortgrass Library System, and three high schools. Once we started creating a list, it became clear that we have some amazing partnerships here. It’s small enough in Medicine Hat that all the librarians fit in one room – and since we have so many projects in place, it’s natural to involve each other as we develop new initiatives. We also are lucky to have enthusiastic staff that are willing to try new things.
Best conference takeaway: in one of the sessions, a managing librarian’s advice was to just refer to any change you want to make as “a pilot” so people would be on board and you don’t have to have an exact plan (or know much about how things are going to turn out). I’m pretty sure this has always been the college philosophy of project implementation. Another session from Edmonton Public Library made me cringe at the size of their system, number of employees and the earnest effort to put each of the 600+ employees through a rigorous training program. It’s nice to be nimble.