California Library Association will host five preconferences during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/26/2015


Don Wood

Program Officer

Chapter Relations Office

CHICAGO — The California Library Association (CLA) will host two preconferences on Thursday, June 25, and three preconferences on Friday, June 26, during the 2015 Annual Conference held by the American Library Association (ALA) in San Francisco, June 25-June 30. Registrants may view descriptions, registration costs and how to add these preconferences to their registration by visiting Attendees who have already registered for the ALA conference may modify their registration through their electronic confirmation. Each ticketed event has a code that registrants add for each preconference they want to attend. For assistance, please contact

The CLA preconferences on Thursday, June 25, are:

Communities in Need: Innovations in Service and Design for Connecting Users with Social Services, ticketed event code AFL2, 9 a.m. - 4:p.m.

Public libraries are increasingly responsive in developing new models of service to address 21st century community needs including service to persons experiencing mental illness, persons experiencing homelessness, patrons who are in need of medical care and families living in poverty.

The California Library Association, in conjunction with the Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA), is presenting a full day preconference to share the latest best practices from across North America including innovations from Richland Library and Pima County Library that feature the addition of a public health nurse to their on-site programming. Presentations will also include Edmonton Public Library, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Madison (Wisconsin) Public Library and San Francisco Public Library to highlight the evolving impacts of social worker programs in public libraries.

Relationship-Building and Community Engagement, ticketed event code AFL5, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Survival of the public library is about relevance, and the key to relevance is engagement. That’s our future. Engagement, with customers, community, stakeholders, partners and staff is about people being in relationships. Public libraries need to approach relationships with the confidence that we have something of value to offer and clarity about what we hope to gain from others that will move our strategic initiatives forward.

In this session we’ll explore the various meanings of community engagement, talk about staff engagement and discuss what it takes to build relationships in both our outward and inward worlds. We’ll hear about strategies for building productive relationships with staff, communities, partners and stakeholders. We’ll talk about how to rightsize our relationships - recognizing there should be a correlation between the level of effort we put into nurturing relationships and the value we both offer and receive. We’ll discuss how to seek out strategic relationships that align to organizational priorities, and practice having conversations to build relationships in which you might have something to teach, want to learn or hope to collaborate.

Please show up ready to be engaged, interactive, and appreciative of all that is offered, you contribute and acquire in this day long session. Our guest speakers are Susan Hildreth, Gary Wasdin, Luis Herrera, and Jan Sanders. Cheryl Gould and Sam McBane Mulford will facilitate the workshop.

The CLA preconferences on Friday, June 26, are:

Lunch at the Library: How to Establish Your Library as a Successful Summer Meal Site, ticketed event code AFL3, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Public library summer meal programs keep kids healthy, fed, and engaged while school is out. These programs contribute to community efforts to address summer learning loss and food insecurity, while bringing new families to the library and strengthening relationships with existing customers.

Workshop participants will learn how to establish their libraries as successful summer meal sites and connect families with library programs and services.

Presenters include nutrition experts who will discuss the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and the need for public library summer meal sites, and librarians who are operating successful summer meal sites, to share how they got started, their successes and challenges and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Presentations and small group discussions will include such topics as

  • getting started as a summer meal site;
  • working with meal providers;
  • recruiting and working with volunteers;
  • promoting your summer meal site and summer programs;
  • coordinating activities and programs to complement the meal service;
  • developing new community partnerships to support your program;
  • evaluating your meal service;
  • transforming your summer meal site into a meaningful youth development program; and
  • telling your story.

The workshop will take place at the San Francisco Public Library. At the end of the session, attendees will have the opportunity to observe a summer meal program at SFPL (confirmation pending; will depend on SFPL summer meal schedule).

Uncommit: How Do We Stop So We Can Start Doing What Really Matters, ticketed event code AFL6, 8:30 a.m. - noon

Libraries try to be everything to everyone. The challenge is taking on new initiatives that require new skill sets when we can’t bear to let anything go. In Jim Collins’ Good to Great framework, he says great organizations are clear about the difference between their core values (which never change) and operating strategies and cultural practices (which endlessly adapt to a changing world).

Within a changing landscape of what people need from libraries, we have to figure out what we do well and do that and stop doing what others are already doing well. We have finite capacities and must choose how to create the best outcomes and impacts for our communities. Our core values haven’t changed, and we need to find new ways to use our natural assets to deliver services, value and make a difference. It’s about delivering the value you’re meant to deliver and not just the conventional services you’ve always delivered. Please know that this session will be energizing and affirming. You’ll leave with confidence around how to get to the why of deciding to stop doing things in your library. You will be able to talk about your decisions in terms of abundance and not scarcity, in terms of creating greater impact and not taking something of value away from your community. Our guest speakers are Jan Sanders, Kent Oliver, Jane Light, and David Singleton. Cheryl Gould and Sam McBane Mulford will facilitate the workshop.

Innovation 101, ticketed event code AFL7,  1- 4 p.m.

Where does innovation come from? How can you bring more innovation to your library? Join Robert Karatsu and Michelle Perera from the 2013 National Medal-winning Rancho Cucamonga Public Library as they explain where they found the inspiration to create their Play and Learn IslandsTM or the “RC2Go!” Pop-up mobile City Hall. They will also address how to apply innovation to your daily routine.

This program will be interactive, with exercises that will foster innovation, and spark ideas that you can take back to your library following this conference.

For more information about the ALA 2015 Annual Conference, including registration deadlines, housing, special events, speakers, and more, visit and follow #alaac15 on Twitter.