Making Valuable Connections

By: Gina Powell
Outreach and Volunteer Services Librarian for the North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NCLBPH)

making valuable connections

The first NCLA Conference I was able to attend was in 2013. I was only able to stay for one day, but that one day made me wish for more. Attending the NCLA Conference was a wonderfully positive experience!

This year’s theme of Collaborate, Innovate and Celebrate is perfect. It describes what attending the conference has meant to me and is an ideal I can agree with. While at the conference in 2013, I  networked from other librarians across North Carolina and shared many different ideas. Networking and sharing ideas is especially important to my role with NCLBPH. I serve the entire state from my office in Raleigh and I need librarians across the state to help me. NCLA also gave me the opportunity to present about the services we offer to our patrons.

Attending conference wasn’t all work. After my presentations were over, I relaxed and just enjoyed being at the conference. If NCLA 2017 will be your first conference, be sure to make time to relax! Also make sure to leave enough time between information sessions to visit the exhibit hall and talk to vendors. That way you can get everything the conference has to offer you and make valuable connections.

My last piece of advice is to be open to everyone who’s at the conference, even if they don’t work in the same type of library as you. In 2013, I was surprised by the varying groups in attendance. Not all of them pertains to library services, but all of them were interesting. In the spirit of 2017’s theme: you never know where your next great collaboration and innovation partner will come from. And we’re all going to be in Winston-Salem to celebrate!