Local Library Director Reports on Conference

CLEARFIELD – Paula Marshall, Director from the Joseph & Elizabeth Shaw Public Library recently returned from the 2007 Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Library Association held at the Penn State Conference Center in State College.

Marshall participated in this annual, four-day conference, the premier education opportunity in Pennsylvania for public, academic, and special librarians and staff, as well as trustees and friends of libraries from every corner of the state. This year’s theme – Pennsylvania Libraries: Soaring to New Heights – focused on the amazing resources for learning and professional services accessible in Pennsylvania’s libraries, as well as how libraries extend greater opportunities for education, economic development, and community vitality.

Marshall was on the 2007 Conference Planning Committee and a Co-Chair of the Conference Registration Committee. A highlight of the 2007 Conference gave Marshall the opportunity to serve as a committee member for the Carolyn Field Award. This award is given annually at the PaLA Conference and honors a Pennsylvania author and/or illustrator for their significant contribution to children’s literature. “The committee chose from over 80 books that were submitted by various publishers and met the award criteria,” shared Marshall, “It was very exciting to be part of this tradition.”

More than 90 different sessions covered a wide range of library issues including administration, fundraising, electronic resources management, community partnerships, libraries’ return on investment, services to children and the future of librarianship. “These sessions were great and will help us meet the challenges we face in our library today,” said Marshall, “At the PaLA conference, I always learn something new and exciting that helps me in my work.”

This year, nearly 700 registrants gathered to attend workshops, visit with library vendors in the exhibit hall, and network with colleagues from across Pennsylvania. PaLA’s annual banquet featured Ishmael Beah, author of the best-seller, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Other noted speakers included Chris Crutcher, author of the Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, and library innovation leader, Stephen Abram from SirsiDynix.

“This was a great opportunity for me to learn, and not just from the speakers on the programs,” Marshall added. “It was the perfect time for many of us to get together and compare notes. The library landscape is constantly changing and the PaLa conference helps me to recharge and stock up on good ideas.”

The Shaw Public Library is located at 1 South Front Street in Clearfield. The library, established in 1940 serves the Clearfield Borough, Lawrence and Bradford Townships and is a participant of the Access PA Statewide Borrowers Card program. For information on library hours and programs, please call 765-3271.

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