Programs by Room/Track


Han Solo and Chewbacca Room

Librarian as Candidate

Voters, constituents, and donors behave the way they do about public libraries for specific reasons, and very little of it has to do with what conventional wisdom says. Most of what drives their behavior—at the polls, when you ask them to advocate, or when you appeal to them for donations—is not their own user experience, but is instead their perceptions and attitudes of two things: 1) the public library as an institution, and 2) the people who work there as engaged, passionate people who serve the community. You will learn short, actionable messaging and marketing techniques to begin to update citizens' perceptions and to change their attitudes in your favor.

Presented by: EveryLibrary
Session 1

Librarian as Cause

Successful political candidates know the right way to connect with their own voters, and to sway voters who self-identify as independent. They know when to disregard voters who are unreachable, and how to frame their opposition in terms that deepen a relationship with, again, their own voters. In this session, EveryLibrary's Executive Director will conduct practical message-development exercises using tools from winning political campaigns to build, frame, and help you effectively deploy communications about your library and staff. We will explore both positive and opposition messaging, begin to develop your messages, and provide useful take-home exercises for staff at all levels.

Presented by: EveryLibrary
Session 2


Why do we advocate for libraries? How do we best support our organizations and staff? What tools does the Illinois Library Associations provide that can be used to successfully advocate for your community and your library? Trustees, staff, administrators, Friends groups and librarians are all supported through education, inspiration and legislative advocacy and you can discover how to maximize ILA’s support in your organization or community. Libraries are competing for the same dollars and support that other community institutions are, so come and find the power that exists when we collaborate on ideas and coordinate efforts to build and sustain our libraries.

Presented by: Pattie Piotrowski
Session 3

Going to Ballot

EveryLibrary provides pro-bono campaign consulting to libraries for referendum and for negotiating with town boards and city councils. In this session, join EveryLibrary's executive director John Chrastka as he shares critical public-perception data and field-tested messaging to activate those perceptions. If your library is thinking about going to the ballot in the next 3 to 5 years, this session will help you shape more effective marketing for your library and plan a successful campaign.

Presented by: EveryLibrary
Session 4


Droid Room

Maker Spaces in Small Places

Curious or terrified or nervous or doubtful about makerspace programming at your library? Whatever your feelings on the matter, there's no denying this trend in public libraries. Learn how one small library in a very rural community turned an underutilized and dated reference room into a vibrant and popular makerspace with limited knowledge and just a few dollars.

Presented by: Joel Shoemaker
Session 1

iRead Summer Reading Program


Presented by: ---
Session 2

NaNoWiMo: Writing and Publishing

National Novel Writing Month takes place every November.  For many, this is an effort to write a novel in a month.  Once that novel is written, where do you go from there?  This panel aims to help libraries answer that “what do I do now”?  Or even, “How do I get started”?  Maybe your library wants to offer NaNoWiMo programs, how do you go about that?  This is the panel to ask all your writing and publishing questions, whether you want to be a writer, want to host writing programs, or just want to better answer patron questions.  

Presented by: Joann Beth Tweedy, PhD and Ray Elliott
Session 3

Community Empowerment

Libraries can empower their communities to solve problems, harness opportunity, interact compassionately, and have a great time doing it. This interactive program will give you practical resources to implement programs and build coalitions that work for your community. Learn how to offer a Human Library. Your patrons will meet Living Books whose life experiences differ from their own. You can build (or join) a coalition to address a community problem, need or opportunity. You can work with community partners to conduct thematic community-wide programming. Learn about “11 Days for Compassion” (or Peace, or Dialog, or Diversity, or whatever you want to focus on), in which the library, community organizations and businesses host dozens of thematic programs and exhibits over the course of 11 days. Finally, learn how you might partner with a local university to bring a social work intern into the library to help your patrons with their social service-related information needs. Do big things. Do little things. Share ideas, and find something that works for you, your library, and your community.    

Presented by: Diana Sussman
Session 4

Amazing Spelling BEES!

Prepare to BEE amazed! This fun interactive program will give you all the tools you need to bring a Spelling BEE to your community. Adult BEEs, Multi-generational BEEs and Senior BEEs are all options. Learn how to engage local celebrities in a BEE. Bring teachers, local politicians, members of the press, organizational leaders and your patrons together as competitors in a BEE that brings good will, community love, and fabulous PR to all of them, and to your library! Bring your community together to just BEE! You can pull this off at any size library, and go BEE-wild decorating for this BEE bash. In addition to sharing ideas and all the resources you’ll need, we’ll demo a Spelling BEE. Stand up and volunteer, or quietly sit and spell. Either way you’ll have a chance to win prizes, you’ll laugh, you’ll get crafty, you’ll realize you can bring this BEE thing home to your library!

Presented by: Joe Collier and Diana Brawley Sussman
Session 5


Vader Room

Branding Your Library

What do Target, your insurance company and McDonalds have in common?  They know how to brand their businesses.  Libraries have to think the same way to remain relevant.  Our patrons see over 5,000 advertisements a day. They don’t have time to figure out what your flyer, newsletter or Facebook post has to say.  With proper branding, your patrons will know immediately who you are and be able to focus on what your message is. Branding does not have to cost anything. It can be as simple as using the same font and color scheme on all marketing materials.  At this session, you will learn how to conduct a sign audit, create a branding manual and have a clear message to drive patrons to your door.  

Presented by: Amy Byers
Session 1

Social Media: Going Beyond Facebook

Libraries need to be where the people are, and they are on social media.  This session will talk about various platforms and ways to use them.  We will cover GoodReads, Litsy, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, and any others not listed.  Find out how you can easily use one or all of these tools to help promote your library and its programs.

Presented by: Ryan A. Franklin
Session 2

Wireless Hotspots


Presented by: ---
Session 4

Devices, eMedia, and Patrons - Oh My!

Assisting patrons with eBooks, eMagazines, and other eMedia can be intimidating and stressful in the best of circumstances.  With so many devices and so many services it’s almost impossible to keep up with technology! In this session, we’ll talk about how to best facilitate patron instruction when it comes to electronic resources. Simple tips for helping patrons will be provided and we’ll discuss ways to melt away the stress in your next patron/device/eMedia interaction. 

Presented by: Lesley Zavediuk
Session 5

Staff and Staffing

Storm Trooper Room

Active Shooter: Not Just Fiction Anymore

In today’s world, active shooter events are all too common.  We can not longer sit by and say “that will never happen in our library”.  It can and it has.  While each library is different, the experts at the Mattoon Police Department will run through things all library staff should know in case this type of unfortunate event ever occurs.  They will also be on hand to answer any questions about finding active shooter training in your area and other patron/staff safety concerns.

Presented by: Officer Alexander Mattoon Police Department
Session 1

Respecting Our Patrons

Libraries act as community centers in many towns.  We are open to all, and want to be respectful of all who walk through our doors.  Our panel will be talking about what library and staff can do to better sever our various patrons.  In this session we will be looking at better serving  veterans, patrons on the autistic spectrum, and members of the LGBTQ community.  This is also a chance to learn how you can assist when it’s not the staff, but other patrons making library usage difficult or uncomfortable.  Libraries are for all, and we want to be welcoming to all.

Presented by: Jerric Honn, Jessica L. Ward, Regan S. Carey
Session 2

Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS)

The Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) is a postage-free mail order public library of audio books and braille for any Illinois resident who is unable to read standard print material comfortably due to a permanent or temporary visual or physical disability.

The Regional Library acts as the liaison with National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and circulates books to all residents enrolled in the Talking Book and Braille Service. In conjunction with the Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center, the regional center provides a full range of library services specializing in braille and audio books.

Presented by: Sharon Ruda
Session 3

Healthy Staff: It's not all about hand sanitizer

Having a healthy staff goes beyond making sure you have enough hand sanitizer in stock.  It also means preventing repetitive motion injuries, staying mobile, and figuring how to beat the “stuck in front of a computer all day” shoulder and back aches.  The experts from the Mattoon Area YMCA will be on hand to discuss not only these topics, but also ideas for making healthy living part of every staff member's day.  Weather it’s a staff incentive program aimed at getting everyone up and moving, or helping libraries to provide services and programs that will make life more enjoyable, your local YMCA has the knowledge to help you succeed.

Presented by: Emily Hayden Mattoon Area YMCA
Session 4

Rural Libraries Unite! How to Feel Less Alone in a Very Small (<5K) or Small (<15K) Rural Library

Are you new to your small rural library? Do you feel isolated and out of step with your bigger library neighbors? Do you wonder if you can find a mentor who understands the issues you face? You are not alone--Illinois has many small and very small rural libraries and we are blessed with a sharing community! Join us at this session to: meet other staff members of small rural libraries, ask questions unique to small rural libraries, and identify groups and mentors.

Presented by: Michael Baumann, Cathy Grafton, and Beth Duttlinger
Session 4