Minnesota Library Association (MLA) 2015 – Day One

Today was the first day of the MLA 2015 conference.  After the awards breakfast, I both moderated and spoke at my session, Moving and Remodeling Your Library.  This was a session in which I most ran it, but the speakers were really Kathy Rush from Northfield Public Library, Justin Padgett from Cannon Falls Public Library, Patti Bross from Lake City Public Library, and Art Tiff from Kasson Public Library.  Each of them discussed the processes and individual experiences each of them have gone through trying to move / remodel their respective libraries.  It is interesting to me that each of them have entirely different experiences, in regards to both the challenges they face, and the community resources they have available, or in some cases not available.  I hope those that attended our session were able to take away some ideas from the experiences of these four librarians.

The second session I attended as called Flying Weasels and Snoring Hummingbirds, and was actually on reading images correctly.  Such as being able to tell which are photoshopped, and what questions you should ask regarding the image to discern data about it.  Questions such as the following:

  • What do you see?
  • What can you guess from the image?
  • What do you already know?
  • What do you want to know from this image?

They also discussed customizing Google Searches to get more relevant data, such as doing domain specific searches by including a inurl:gov for government sites, etc.  You can also limit Google to Site Specific searches by adding a site:umn.edu to keep your searches to a specific site.  This was a great session to learn better searching skills, and also how to interpret images and data from those searches.

The third session I went to was called “You Found WHAT on the Internet?”  This session was about using public information on State sites to gather information on people.  Such as accessing court records, driver license information, post office forwarding, marriage licenses, online to gather information such as addresses, emails, and phone numbers.  For example if you donate to a political campaign information such as address, employer, profession, and amount are all available online for anyone to look up.  While this is scary, this can also be useful if you hire someone who is supposedly licensed, you can verify if that is true through the Department of Labor and Industry.

I even got to meet a vendor in the exhibition hall that does a computer management / print product similar to Pharos.  I am eager to learn more about this, and if it would be applicable / affordable for us to implement.  So as day one closes, I look forward to what new sessions tomorrow brings.