ASSOCIATES (vol. 8 no. 1, July 2001) -

New York State Library Assistants' Association
23rd Annual Conference:

Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century
Soaring to New Heights


Judith Andrew

Library assistants from across the state of New York gathered June 13th through the 15th for their twenty-third annual conference. The conference was held at St. John's University in Jamaica, Queens, and marked the first time the conference was held in the New York City area. This year, the conference was hosted by the Library Assistants, Support Staff, and
Associates (LASSA) Special Interest Group of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), and was sponsored in part by METRO. Participants from the states of New New Jersey, Virginia and Connecticut joined the New Yorkers.

Many conference attendees took advantage of the university's generous housing options by arriving one to three days early or staying an extra day after the end of the conference, using the extra time to sight-see in Manhattan, see a Broadway show, or visit with friends and family in the area. On Wednesday, the conference participants could choose from tours of the Statue of Liberty and South Street Seaport, the Empire State Building and Herald Square area, Fifth Avenue, or the NBC studios.

Before the workshop sessions began on Thursday, we gathered to present awards to NYSLAA's five and ten-year members. This year's recipients of the NYSLAA Certificate of Achievement were also recognized at this time.

Participants attended two workshops on Thursday and two on Friday. Some of the topics from which to choose included Basic and Intermediate HTML, Stepping Up to Communication, Business Writing, Retirement Income Options, Soaring Leadership, Beat the Time Famine, Demystifying Everyday Law, Group and Meeting Dynamics, Introduction to Excel, Intermediate
Excel, and The History of Queens, NY. Library assistants, librarians, professors, and business professionals came together to present this wide variety of educational opportunities.

Thursday evening's festivities began with an exceptional dinner, followed by an inspiring keynote address by Howard Dodson, Chief of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a national research library associated with the New York Public Library. Afterwards, the Swing Dance Express dance company presented a creative depiction of the history of music, tracing the roots of contemporary popular music to traditional African culture. The dancers taught some members of the audience some
basic swing dance steps, and soon the whole room was full of library assistants dancing to swing, rock, country, and rap music!
The annual Town Meeting was held Friday morning. This is an opportunity for NYSLAA members to hear about the past years' activities throughout the nine regions of the state. Members also take this time to discuss concerns and share ideas about the worldwide library assistant community.

At Friday's luncheon, the annual Ray Murray Award was presented to David Nuzzo, head of the library's Acquisitions Department at the University of Buffalo, for his exceptional support of the state's library assistants. Unfortunately, Mr. Nuzzo was unable to be present at the conference. The annual Craig Coste Award is given to a NYSLAA member for outstanding
service on a local, state, or national level. This year's award was given to Judith Andrew, co-founder and past president of NYSLAA, and currently the chairperson of the Public Relations Committee. After the awards presentations, the attendees listened to a stirring address by keynote speaker Connie Elliott, Executive Director of the Anderson County Tourism
Council in Tennessee.

On behalf of NYSLAA's Executive Council and many other members of the New York State Library Assistants' Association, many thanks go to this year's organizers for another outstanding conference. Next year's conference will be held in Oneonta, New York, June 12th through 14th.

Go Back ArrowReturn to Top of Page

About Us | Subscribe | Editors | Submit | Current Issue | Archives | Links | Survey | Home