ASSOCIATES (2011, July, v. 18, no. 1)

Library Association/Conference Information

Massachusetts Paralibrarians Conference Success!

Allison Sloan
Senior Library Associate
Reading Public Library, Reading, MA

The MLA (Massachusetts Library Association) Paralibrarian Section had another great showing at the Annual Conference. Held at the Crowne Plaza in Danvers, MA, approximately 300 people attended and the Paralibrarians scooped 25%, drawing in a crowd of over 40 people for their programs.

The day started off with a Section Annual Meeting. Outgoing President, Gael Nappa, presented the annual report which highlighted the Section’s accomplishments for the year, including five new recipients of the PAralibrarian Recognition of Achievement (PARA), a Notice of Recognition earned for work as a paralibrarian in five different areas of librarianship. Awards were given to the Outstanding Paralibrarian of the Year, and the 2011 Paralibrarian Advocate. And we applauded all the wonderful nominees who deserve kudos for great contributions to libraries.

After the election of Officers, the program moved into the Vendor Powow! Paralibrarian Section sponsors and vendors participated: DEMCO, which also sponsors the Book Cart Drill Team program; SEBCO, a local bookseller; and Findaway World. The vendors talked about customer service and new products, such as Findaway’s new View, a handheld portable video player! There were multiple giveaways, and three raffle prizes including a DEMCO book cart, a SEBCO window box of flowers; and a basket of Playaways.

The room was packed for the next program with Lisa Genova, neuroscientist and author of Still Alice (c2008) and Left Neglected (c2010). Ms. Genova regaled with personal stories, insight into her life, writing and publishing experience (Still Alice was originally self-published and sold from the trunk of her car to independent bookstores!). The presentation was followed by a book signing.

The big day at conference concluded with the hit Book Cart Drill Team program. This year the theme was “Vendor Competition”. Team Playaway twirled and whirled to the song “Orange” with a little “cha cha cha” move in the routine. Orange is the company’s theme color, so it was quite apropos. SEBCO books, joined by Ingram Book and Blackstone Audio performed to the song “Kickass” wearing super hero costumes, reminding us that the theme of the MLA Conference this year was “Join Forces.” Topping off the program was a special Exhibition Routine by former first place winning team The Cartwheelers from Andover, MA’s Memorial Hall Library. They pranced and danced to the song “Goin’ to the Church, and We’re Gonna’ Get Married” wearing tiaras and veils, and waving properly throughout in an homage to the Royal Wedding of Will and Kate.

The Paralibrarian Section already has some great ideas for the 2012 Conference, and other projects underway. With energy and dedication to libraries and their jobs, the Massachusetts Paralibrarians remind people that working in libraries is not just a job, it’s a career.

And as the saying goes: “Nobody does it better” than the MA Paralibrarians.