Nora’s back with her deadly brand of trivia for the library community!

Join us on Sunday for the chance to show your trivia prowess and reconnect with colleagues before the conference starts. Get a team together or join one for a chance to win the coveted trophy and bragging rights.


The Evolving Movement to Ban Books and Censor Education

In the past two years, educational censorship has spread rapidly across the country, targeting schools, colleges, and libraries. Advocates for free expression and democracy are raising the alarm, watching as robust protections for intellectual freedom are whittled away by book bans, curricular prohibitions, and laws that threaten to punish teachers and librarians. As the movement behind this wave of censorship continues to evolve from local parents to legislative proposals, it is critical that librarians understand these dynamics, prepared to confront new tactics as they defend the freedom to read.

MODERATOR: Andrea Fiorillo, MLA IF/SRC Co-Chair and Head of Research and Reader Services, Reading Public Library

SPEAKER: Jonathan Friedman, Director, Free Expression and Education Programs, PEN America


Metadata and Community-Building in Digital Projects: It’s More Smooth Sailing than it Seems! | Sea Crest I

Many small libraries are reluctant to embark on digital projects that collect community stories, images, or documents, and organize them for online display , or to contribute to a repository like the Digital Commonwealth. Library staff may have the community connections needed, but be daunted by the idea of collecting metadata or working with online hosts. Learn how Falmouth Public Library projects use simple tools to reach out to the community, collect and categorize their insights, and share local knowledge statewide.

SPEAKERS: Phoebe Acheson, Head of Adult Services, Falmouth Public Library; Kim DeWall, Head of Technical Services, Falmouth Public Library; Anna Lee, Technical Services Assistant, Falmouth Public Library

Online Abuse Self-Defense with PEN America and the Library Freedom Project | Sea Crest II

Abusive tactics, from threats and slurs to doxing, are increasingly deployed online to intimidate and censor writers, readers, and librarians–especially those who identify as women, LGBTQIA+, and/or black, indigenous, or people of color. Join us to exchange practical tools and strategies on how to navigate online abuse, take care of ourselves, and support others.

MODERATOR: Andrea Fiorillo, MLA IF/SRC Co-Chair and Head of Research and Reader Services, Reading Public Library

SPEAKERS: Viktorya Vilk, Director, Digital Safety and Free Expression, PEN America; Maria Rios, Privacy Advocate, Library Freedom Project & Humanities Research Services Librarian, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts; Andrea Puglisi, Privacy Advocate, Library Freedom Project & Digital Initiatives/Technology Librarian, Westfield State University

Healthy and Inclusive Library Buildings | Sea Crest III

The last few years have caused seismic shifts in both patron and staff attitudes about being welcome and safe in library buildings. Libraries can adapt to the new reality with changes to their physical space. This program will offer ideas based on the WELL Building Standard (, from small adjustments to major reconfigurations that will help libraries create an environment that promotes occupant health, safety, and choice. An overview of ideas from the new WELL Equity Rating for buildings will also be presented.

SPEAKER: Lauren Stara, Library Building Specialist, MBLC

The Role of the National Archives in Today’s Democracy: A Conversation with the Former Archivist of the United States | Nauset I

We value archives for access to primary materials and beyond. This conversation covers the launch of the National Archives Task Force on Racism, the Citizen Archivist Program, the Citizen Literacy mission, and innovative efforts to protect the records of US history and citizens’ rights.

SPEAKER: David Ferriero, Former United States National Archivist


Everyone at the Table: Engaging All Library Staff | Nauset II

How do you build trust and buy-in among library staff? This interactive program will provide a case study of increased staff engagement, transparency, communication, and shared planning. After the case study, participants will work together to develop strategies that would work in their libraries. Although this session is largely geared towards library managers and supervisors, all will come away with concrete ideas transferable to any workplace.

SPEAKER: Kate Flewelling, Director, Library Services, Boston University Medical Campus

Join us for the ribbon-cutting ceremony as we open the exhibit hall. Interact and build relationships with our vendor colleagues and conference supporters. And while you’re at it, visit the incredible basket raffle on display.

SPEAKER: State Senator Susan L. Moran, Senator, Plymouth & Barnstable District 

Mapping Your Patrons | Sea Crest I

The Minuteman Library Network has begun geocoding its patron records, enabling us to match up patron data with demographic information from the US Census Bureau. This enables us to explore our communities in a wealth of new ways that also assist with maintaining patron privacy by anonymizing data, and it’s all automated. Learn what we’ve discovered and how we went about accomplishing this project.

SPEAKER: Jeremy Goldstein, Data Curation Librarian, Minuteman Library Network

Providing Legal Reference via Zoom | Sea Crest II

Get an overview of the Trial Court Law Libraries system, what legal reference services we provide, and how the Brockton Law Library partnered with surrounding public libraries to implement Zoom reference services. This addition resulted in an expansion of awareness of the Trial Court Law Libraries, as well as increasing accessibility to elderly, disabled, and otherwise vulnerable patrons who would not have been able to visit in person.

SPEAKER: Alexandra Bernson, Head Law Librarian, Brockton Law Library, Trial Court Law Libraries

Bring Your Baby to Work: Parenting and Career Advancement Roundtable Discussion | Sea Crest III

Managing the demands of leadership roles and parenting young children will be the topic of this discussion.

SPEAKER: Kelly Linehan, Library Director, Waltham Public Library

Becoming a Dementia-Friendly Community: The Critical Role of Libraries | Nauset II

As a trusted source of information, libraries are an integral part of communities. People of all ages turn to their local library to feed their curiosity, find many forms of entertainment, and expand their knowledge. This means that residents will turn to the library to build their understanding about aging and try to understand the common experience of many older adults: living with dementia. Learn the basics about dementia and working with both patrons living with the disease, and their caregivers. This session will also cover how libraries can enhance their collections and programming to support older adults living with dementia.

SPEAKERS: Karen Tobin, Assistant Director, Goodnow Library, Sudbury; Patty Sullivan, Program Director, Dementia Friendly Massachusetts

Tackling “Things” in Tech Services | Sea Crest I

Libraries of Things (circulating equipment, games, tools, etc.) have become very popular in libraries, and delight patrons who discover unexpected items to borrow. But what about Tech Services? Where do you even start cataloging a pressure washer in such a way that both staff and the public will find it in the catalog and in the stacks? What about oversize or fragile things, not to mention those with many pieces, or materials that need replenishing? The Morrill Memorial Library has hundreds of items under the “things” umbrella (including an actual umbrella)! This session will address acquisitions, cataloging, and processing issues pertaining to Libraries of Things. Attendees will take away tips on standardizing practices, getting buy-in from staff, and easing the burden of handling the strange and unusual.

SPEAKER: Lydia Sampson, Assistant Director, Morrill Memorial Library, Norwood

Make a Charisma Check: D&D, Building Social Skills for Teens, and Building Leadership Skills for You | Sea Crest II

This presentation will discuss Dungeons & Dragons and how it can be used to build interpersonal social skills in tweens and teens, as well as helping educators develop their own leadership and management skills. D&D is—at its core—collaborative storytelling, and is the perfect arena in which tweens and teens can flex those social muscles. We’ll also discuss how to broach this topic to directors and trustees for librarians looking to introduce tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs) into their library.

SPEAKER: Tyler Hixson, Assistant Director, Flint Memorial Library, North Reading

Eclipse 2023-2024: What Libraries and Librarians Need to Know | Sea Crest III

The 2023-2024 school year will be an exciting one for astronomers and the general public! On April 8, 2024, North America will experience a total solar eclipse, passing from Texas to Maine and points in between. Massachusetts will see a partial eclipse on this day—up to 90% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. An annular eclipse will occur on October 14, 2023.

This workshop will provide library staff with information about eclipses and how to view them safely, as well as the best places to find free and low-cost resources for libraries. The presentation will include hands-on activities and maker projects; programs and resources for children and adults; where to find subject experts; and sources for low- and no-cost eclipse glasses. You will leave the workshop with a collection of engaging programs around eclipses, the sun, the moon, and space science to use next year and into the future.

SPEAKER: Meg Thacher, Senior Laboratory Instructor, Astronomy Department, Smith College

Uncharted Waters: Designing Programming for New Demographics | Nauset I

One of the most persistent questions we face as librarians is how best to support our patrons and engage with the communities around us. How do we encourage existing patrons to take advantage of library programming and services while also “reeling in” newcomers? In this session, librarians from Weymouth and Boston public libraries will discuss programs they’ve debuted in 2022 that promoted social engagement and addressed the needs of new and existing library patrons in their communities. There will be time for questions and discussion at the end – we’d love to hear about exciting programming initiatives at your library!

SPEAKERS: Claire Drone-Silvers, Rare Books and Manuscripts Specialist, Boston Public Library; Alea Stokes, Research Services Librarian, Boston Public Library; Heather Backman, Assistant Director of Library Services, Weymouth Public Libraries

Getting to AHA! Using Creative Freedom to Build Justice Through Empathy | Nauset II

Let’s face it, the world we live in today is strikingly different than the one we knew just a few years ago. A global pandemic, societal unrest, political upheaval, and economic pressures have affected our lives – both at home and at work – in measurable ways. Learning to navigate these changes in a healthier, happier way depends on being creative and innovative. It also depends on better understanding others, regardless of differences. The “Aha!” moments that occur in the creative process are much like those that happen when we finally connect with another person, understanding them as we haven’t before. This workshop will give participants the chance to learn and practice a number of exercises that develop our ability to think creatively and act more empathetically. Come for a fun, engaging, and relevant workshop. Come for the, “Aha!”

SPEAKER: Sally Gore, Manager, Research and Scholarly Communication Services, Lamar Soutter Library, UMass Chan Medical School

Learning Grounds for Conviviality

Sharing space and resources with people different from us is a necessity for democracy – but also a skill that requires lifelong learning. Using examples from libraries near and far, Tommi Laitio shares his vision of how libraries can claim their place as learning grounds for conviviality.

MODERATOR: Michael Colford, Director of Library Services, Boston Public Library

SPEAKER: Tommi Laitio, Bloomberg Public Innovation Fellow, Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins


First Time Director: It’s Not Just You | Sea Crest I

Three first time directors share their struggles, successes, and lessons learned during their first year in the areas of staff, dealing with trustees, getting over your ex (director), toxic legacies, where to go for help, and more. This program will offer shared experiences for other directors as well as some realistic insights for those who are looking to move up to director positions.

SPEAKERS: Noelle Boc, Director, Peabody Institute Library, Danvers; Kim Hewitt, Director, Needham Free Public Library; Hermayne Gordon, Director, Woburn Public Library

Access to Justice and MA Legal Information Resources | Sea Crest II

Morrill Memorial Library (MML) in Norwood was the first library in the Commonwealth to partner with the Massachusetts Trial Court’s Access to Justice initiative. Several others have since joined the movement. Library Director Clayton Cheever will be joined by Liz Reed, head of Adult and Information Services for the MML, and Erin Harris, the Access to Justice Coordinator for the state. Discover how they got started, what lessons they’ve learned along the way, what they see coming next, what has happened in other libraries across the state, and how to join the movement. There will be time for questions at the end.

MODERATOR: Clayton Cheever, Director, Morrill Memorial Library, Norwood

SPEAKERS: Liz Reed, Adult and Information Services Department Head, Morrill Memorial Library, Norwood; Erin Harris, Access to Justice Coordinator, Massachusetts Executive Office of the Trial Court; Sarah Jackson, Director, Chelsea Public Library; Alexandra Bernson, Head Law Librarian, Brockton Law Library, Trial Court Law Libraries

Bringing TEDx to the Library | Nauset I

In early 2021, the Nevins Library developed a plan to host a TEDx event as a response to the pandemic. In October 2022, the event finally happened. We will share what we’ve learned in taking on a program of this size, and the benefits we found in creating this space for local ideas worth sharing.

SPEAKERS: Sarah Sullivan, Assistant Director, Nevins Library, Methuen; Tatjana Saccio, Reference Librarian, Nevins Library

Rearranging Religion to Decolonize Dewey | Nauset II

In 2019, OCLC provided an alternate arrangement for the Dewey Decimal System’s religious subjects (200s), which organized them by chronology and geography, rather than centering on Western Christianity. After learning about another library using this alternate method, Springfield City Library decided to adopt it, and reclassified materials in all nine of our locations. Attend this session to learn why we pursued this project, a bit about our process (including helpful handouts and contacts), and most importantly, why we think your library should make the same change to increase collection diversity and accessibility for your community.

SPEAKERS: Elizabeth McKinstry, Training and Programming Librarian, Springfield City Library; Matthew Vasquez Jaquith, Technical Services Supervisor, Springfield City Library; Tom O’Connell, Manager, Collection Development and Technical Services, Springfield City Library

Silent Waters | Sea Crest I

The College of the Holy Cross has begun a two-year CLIR “Digitizing Hidden Collections” grant project to digitize key components of the Deaf Catholic Archives (DCA) to make this unique information discoverable, accessible, and usable to the Deaf community as well as students, researchers, and anyone interested in the material. In this presentation, we will discuss the process of applying for the CLIR grant and the initial processes of working with the materials in the collection to prepare for digitization and distribution. The complete grant project will include uploading materials to CrossWorks, the institutional repository of the College, and creating exhibits using a dedicated web presence. This will facilitate access, promotion and outreach efforts for the collection. These efforts, as well as the creation of metadata and description, will intentionally include input from members of the Deaf community here at Holy Cross and in partnership with others.

SPEAKERS: Lenora Robinson, Project Archivist, Deaf Catholic Archives/College of the Holy Cross; Abby Stambach, Head of Archives and Distinctive Collections/College of the Holy Cross; Lisa Villa, Digital Scholarship Librarian, College of the Holy Cross

The Living Library: It’s Alive! | Sea Crest II

The Living Library is an initiative which began in Spring 2022 to provide healing and reconnection following the shutdown of the pandemic. Inspired by a series of gardening videos called “Bloom Zoom” (, the Living Library strives to promote horticultural education through gardening programming, a specialized botanical collection, a seed catalog, a “Garden of Things” and an informative resource section containing pamphlets and How-To guides. By exploring the benefits of indoor/outdoor growing, the library hopes to cultivate interest in improving health, nutrition, entertainment, outdoor activity, and community engagement. Designed to accommodate “green thumbs” of all levels and expertise, the Living Library is ALIVE with possibilities for learning and enjoyment.

SPEAKERS: Suzie Canale, Adult Services Librarian/Programmer, Westwood Public Library; Caroline Tighe, Circulation Librarian/Adult Services Librarian

Is the Boss OK? | Sea Crest III

The COVID-19 pandemic and the social justice movement of 2020 brought the inequities in our society, and the unrealistic demands of the workplace into sharp focus. As leaders struggled to protect their staff, their patrons, themselves and their loved ones, they were rarely asked: Are you OK? The toll that this took could be overwhelming for everyone, but in leadership, many leaders were already teetering on the edge of burnout even before 2020. How do you know if the boss is OK?

MODERATOR: Sara Slymon, Library Director, Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy

SPEAKERS: Kelly Linehan, Library Director, Waltham Public Library; Roy MacKenzie, Reference Supervisor, Public Library of Brookline

Partnering with the Local Business Community: Framingham Public Library and the FBRC | Nauset I

During FY ’21, the Framingham Public Library partnered with the City of Framingham to develop a section of the library specifically aimed at supporting the local small business community: The Framingham Business Resource Center (FBRC). Through the FBRC, the library created a central contact point for entrepreneurs and business owners and was able to expand into supportive programming. Grant funding enabled the purchase of LinkedIn Learning, an online program which provides on-demand programming with thousands of courses and video tutorials in business, software, technology, and creative skills. We also continued our long-running program of one-on-one career development and hired a Certified Professional Resume Writer to provide weekly appointments for resume building, interview preparation, general career advice, and more.

SPEAKER: Alison Armstrong, Head of Research and Information Services, Framingham Public Library

Library Social Work: Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Roles | Nauset II

Join us for this panel discussion to learn about the roles of social workers on staff at the Cambridge and Boston public libraries. We’ll discuss different levels of social work services at libraries. You will hear about best practices and lessons learned from social work internships. This session will provide you with the information that you need to know to successfully hire a social worker, host a social work intern, and collaborate with social workers in your community.

MODERATORS: Michelle Eberle, Consultant, Massachusetts Library System; Shelley Quezada, Consultant to the Unserved, MBLC

SPEAKERS: Marie Mathieu, Library Social Worker, Cambridge Public Library; Taylor Morris, Library Social Worker, Boston Public Library; Emma Henson, Social Work Intern, Cambridge Public Library ; Isabella Burtscher, Social Work Intern, Boston Public Library

All attendees and exhibitors are welcome to join us for a lively complimentary cocktail reception.

Join us for our first After Dark event. A buffet dinner and cash bar will be available. We think you’re going to love Silent Disco!

A Silent Disco is when people listen and dance to music via wireless illuminated headphones. Two different channels will be active, so that people with different music tastes can choose which song they want to listen to. It is so much fun! Check out this video to see an example of what we mean.


MLA Business Meeting 

Join us for the annual business meeting featuring special guests Lessa Kananiʻopua Pelayo-Lozada, President of the American Library Association, with additional remarks by Dr. Maria McCauley, President of the Public Library Association with additional remarks by MLA President, Kim Hewitt and incoming MLA President, Michelle Filleul. The annual budget and additional motions will be presented at the session.

SPEAKER: Lessa Kananiʻopua Pelayo-Lozada, President, American Library Association; Dr. Maria McCauley, Director of LIbraries, Cambridge, MA; President, Public Library Association

Riding the Tsunami of Change: Why Libraries Must Challenge the Status Quo and Reimagine Their Role in Communities

In a globalized world that is constantly and rapidly evolving, libraries must adapt to remain relevant and effective in their communities. But adaptation alone is not enough: to truly make waves, libraries must challenge the status quo, question assumptions, and re-examine their role and impact on the communities they serve and the communities they should serve. In this keynote, we will explore the value of pushing boundaries, taking risks, and embracing innovation. We will also discuss the urgent need for libraries to critically assess their practices and policies, and to work actively towards social justice and equity. Join us as we dive deep into the ocean of change and ride the tsunami toward a brighter future for libraries and their communities.

SPEAKER: Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council


Bridging the Gap: Youth Outreach through School Library Deposit Collections | Sea Crest I

The eternal question that plagues many teen librarians is “How do I get teens into the library?” While it is still important to try and bring teens into your library space, the reality is that many teens just don’t have the time or transportation to come to the library. Instead, why not bring your collection to them? This program will review how to start a deposit collection in schools and school-based programs/institutions, and how sharing part of your collection with teens in their school libraries can help to reach a wider teen audience, meet their literary needs, and bridge the gap between school and public libraries.

SPEAKERS: Dina Delic, Youth Services Librarian, Morrill Memorial Library, Norwood; Maty Cropley, Teen Outreach Librarian, Boston Public Library

The Intersection of Wellness and Leadership: Why Mental Wellness is a Critical Factor in Leadership | Sea Crest II

As an event professional, I had one of the world’s most exciting and exhilarating jobs. I traveled all over the world, experiencing new cultures, meeting people, and getting to build unique events that impact how people feel. Often friends, family, and coworkers were envious of this seemingly glamorous lifestyle. Like me, you may love your job and the work you do. But, waking up post-pandemic, it seems the world has changed. We have all changed, and so has the value we put on our time. The lines of work and life seem to have blended, and we want more. Hence Quiet Quitting and the Great Resignation have become routine, and as the economy, elections, inflation, and social injustices consume us, it feels like it never ends. Many are tired, exhausted, burnt out, sick, overworked, or stressed. Many have suffered from anxiety, depression, and chronic stress for years. Many continue to suffer in silence, fearful about asking for help or sharing how they feel and scared of putting themselves at risk at work. As leaders, we get the work done, fulfill the requirements, manage crises, navigate the unknown, and hit deadlines with fewer people, time, and money. At the same time, supporting, inspiring, caring about our people, and caring for ourselves are hard. Our jobs are more complex than ever, and our stress levels are rising as a nation.

SPEAKER: Jenn Artura, Award-winning Global Executive, Advisor, and Consultant; Founder, Jenn Artura Consulting LLC; Advocate for Mental Wellness at Work


Privacy and Reproductive Rights: What You Need to Know | Sea Crest III

This session will cover the ways that our digital lives—including app use, social media, purchases, GPS data, and more—expose information about our reproductive choices. Participants will learn how to map their own personal risk profile and will leave with strategies to protect themselves from having their personal information weaponized against them, as well as how to protect the safety and choices of library patrons.

SPEAKER: Claire Lobdell, Library Freedom Project and Online Learning Librarian and Archivist, Greenfield Community College

Managing Programming from the Top Down | Nauset I

Programming is a core library service and needs to be championed from the top down. Does your library have programming policies? How does programming fit into your mission and vision? How can staff in management positions support staff conducting programs? Are you trying to balance programming and managing at the same time? Join us for this presentation and discussion on how you, as a library leader, can create the infrastructure that you, your staff, and your community need to have the best programming possible!

SPEAKERS: Betsy Perry, Library Consultant; Meena Jain, Director, Ashland Public Library

Who Let the Dogs In? Using Therapy Dogs to Help Your Patrons De-stress | Nauset II

This program will review the benefits of having therapy animal visits with patrons, and will discuss the De-stress with Dogs program at the Worcester Public Library. We’ll cover the following topics: Why you should use therapy animals, organizations to collaborate with, event promotion, how to use this program to promote other mental health services in your city, how it benefits your staff and community, and research supporting the positive effects of animal-human interactions. Furry friends will be in attendance!

SPEAKER: Tara Jankowski, Reference Librarian, Worcester Public Library

Annual Meeting for the Youth Services Section of MLA. Membership will be voting for the new slate of officers.

SPEAKER: Felicia O’Keefe, Chair, MLA Youth Services Section

Building an Effective Library Website | Sea Crest I

In an increasingly online world, library websites are critical for connecting with your community and providing access to library resources and services. But how do you make sure your website is functional, accessible, and meeting your users’ needs? This program will highlight the lessons learned from a recent website redesign and usability study at UMass Dartmouth’s Claire T. Carney Library.

SPEAKERS: Katherine Polley, Web Services Librarian, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; Matthew Sylvain, Systems & Digital Services Librarian, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Roll for Initiative: Building RPG Collections & Programming at the Library | Sea Crest II

Maybe you’ve seen role play programs listed at other libraries; perhaps your patrons come in talking about Critical Role or Stranger Things, or you’ve seen Dungeon & Dragons books come through ILL. If so, now comes the question “what IS all of this – and how do we meet patron interest?” Join us and learn the ABCs of RPGs (role playing games): what are they, how to get them, what to do with them, and more as we talk about developing our own library RPG collections and incorporating them into library programming. Bring your questions to our panel discussion and learn about getting started with the all ages fun of RPGs in your Library.

SPEAKERS: Tegan Mannino, Technology and Technical Services Librarian, Clapp Memorial Library, Belchertown; Danielle Cook, Adult Services Librarian, Hopkinton Public Library; Chris Look, Circulation Assistant, Edgartown Public Library

Feeling the Pain: Libraries’ Ongoing Struggles with eBook Restrictions | Sea Crest III

Patrons love eBooks and digital audiobooks, but libraries struggle to meet the demand in the face of rising costs and restrictive licensing. Consumers often pay less than fifteen dollars for an eBook, while libraries are charged $52 or more for the same title. Library advocates have recently proposed legislation to push publishers to sell their content to libraries at a “reasonable cost.” Please join us for a conversation about the current state of access to eBooks.

MODERATOR: Will Adamczyck , Former MLA President and Director, Milton Public Library

SPEAKERS: Steve Potash, Founder and CEO of OverDrive, Inc.; Juliya Ziskina, Policy Fellow for Library Futures; Ruth Balser (or one of her staff members), State Rep. Ruth B. Balser, 12 Middlesex District

Reading Rivals: How To Create a Reading Challenge That Inspires Your Patrons | Nauset I

Have you ever wanted to take your town’s football rivalry and turn it into library gold? Learn how Wilmington and Tewksbury did just that! The Reading Rivals challenge invigorated patrons in both communities, who read a combined 1.5 million minutes in six weeks. Discover how to create and market the challenge, so you can do the same in your town.

SPEAKERS: Danielle Masterson, Assistant Library Director, Wilmington Memorial Library; Erin Driscoll, Adult Services Librarian, Wilmington Memorial Library; Robert Hayes, Community Outreach Librarian and Head of Technical Services, Tewksbury Public Library; Nicole Goolishian, Assistant Library Director, Tewksbury Public Library

Library Programming for Neurodiverse Youth | Nauset II

Not all library programming is automatically accessible to everyone. In this session, learn how to reach neurodiverse (ND) youth of all ages in your community from a group of librarians with experience in neurodiverse programming, as they discuss what neurodiversity is, current terminology around neurodiversity/neurodivergence, examples of successful programs for ND youth in their libraries, how to adjust existing programs to make them more inclusive/sensory-friendly, and more. The panel will conclude with a Q&A session, and resources will be provided.

MODERATOR: Maddi Ranieri, Youth Services Librarian, Charlotte & William Bloomberg Medford Public Library

SPEAKERS: Ashley Waring, Children’s Librarian, Reading Public Library; Alissa Lauzon, Head of Youth Services, Cary Memorial Library (Lexington); Stephanie Capuzzo, Holbrook Public Library

Launching a Library Comic Con | Sea Crest I

Thinking of starting a comic con at your library? Learn how to get started with librarians who have done it before! We’ll talk about getting staff involved, convincing your administration, and how to maximize community impact, as well as budgeting and how to work within your library’s constraints.

SPEAKERS: Casey Chwiecko, Head of Youth Services, Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield; Brigid Black, Generalist Librarian, Somerville Public Library

You Can Fix It: Deploying a Culture of Community Repair Through Your Library | Sea Crest II

Many libraries in Massachusetts are holding community repair events – Repair Cafés or Fixit Clinics – where people learn how to repair broken items. While the idea of hosting one at your library might seem daunting, there are many resources and partnerships available to help you leverage already pre-existing programming to give your patrons a rich and rewarding experience from the get-go.

SPEAKERS: Meena Jain, Library Director, Ashland Public Library; Kathi Mirza, Environmental Analyst IV/MassDEP

Paraganza | Sea Crest III

Join the Paralibrarian Section in honoring the recipients of the Outstanding Library Support Staff and Outstanding Advocate of the Year awards, the PARA Certification, as well as participate in the Paralibrarian Annual Meeting.

SPEAKERS: Anna McGrath, Chair, Paralibrarian Section; Gerry Deyermond, Memorial Hall Library/ Chair Career Development Committee Paralibrarian section

How to Start Your Own Sensory Friendly Inclusive Group and Make a Difference in Your State | Nauset I

Discover the process of starting a sensory friendly inclusive group and programs and learn about the needs of families that care for loved ones with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We will discuss how collaboration among public libraries and non-profit organizations that serve individuals with ASD has helped to create a stronger community for these patrons and their families. Together we can make a difference and better serve the underserved population.

SPEAKER: Maria Cotto, Bilingual Children’s Librarian, Pawtucket Public Library

Trans Identities: Myths & Misinformation | Nauset II

Information about trans identities has exploded into the mainstream media over the past few years, and as a result, transgender people have become the subject of an intense national debate. As information has proliferated, however, so too has misinformation. Learn more about the common myths and misinformation around trans identities, people, and experiences, as well as how to better judge what out there is fact, what’s fiction, and what’s merely opinion. This presentation includes a Q&A.

SPEAKER: Heath Umbreit, Adult Services Librarian, Morrill Memorial Library, Norwood

Why Would a Public Library Host a Zine Fest? | Sea Crest I

Zines are small-batch, DIY publications that provide a powerful platform of expression for underrepresented perspectives and voices. We launched our first zine collection and zine fest in the fall of 2021 with three goals: to introduce young adult patrons to our library, to empower our community to tell their stories through zine making, and to add more diverse perspectives and stories to our shelves. Through a mix of traditional and DIY promo strategies and program planning, Watertown Zine Fest became a flagship annual program for our library. We want to share our lessons learned, two years in.

SPEAKERS: Carey Conkey-Finn, Teen Services Supervisor, Watertown Free Public Library; Allie Fry, Programming Librarian, Watertown Free Public Library

Arbo-READ-um: Anchoring the Community through a Community Read Event | Sea Crest II

Although community read events are well-known in the library world, there is still the challenge, especially for small to medium libraries, of how to plan, execute, and evaluate a large-scale, community-wide event. Partnerships are integral to the success of hosting a community read event, but in addition to securing a partnership, what else goes into the planning and execution of the program? And how do you anchor in the community to ensure broader involvement? Learn about the 2021, 2022, and soon-to-be 2023 Arbo-READ-um events, how they were planned, executed, and evaluated and how the program successfully reached the goal of providing opportunities to promote literacy, library and arboretum usage, and community conversations by encouraging the community to come together by reading and discussing a single book.

SPEAKER: Zoey Mills, Community Engagement Librarian, Acton Memorial Library

Dynamic Duos: Librarian-Paralibrarian Teamwork | Sea Crest III

Wizardry and super powers will be revealed! Join a panel of remarkable librarians and paralibrarians who worked in partnership on exciting projects to strengthen patron services in unique and engaging ways. Let’s talk about outreach, promotion and marketing, and party open house! Dynamic secrets may be revealed during the Q&A.

SPEAKER: Gerry DeyermondS, Assistant Head of Circulation, Memorial Hall Library, Andover; Kimberly Lynn, Assistant Director for Personnel and Borrower Services, Memorial Hall Library, Andover; Michelle Filluel, Assistant Director Reading Public Library; Desiree Zicko, Communications Specialist, Reading Public Library

Reader’s Theater | Nauset I

Do you have a passion for theater? Do you think your community would enjoy a performance? Learn how the Dracut Library Children’s Room adapted a classic children’s story into a 30-minute performance suitable for ages 6-12. As part of our summer reading program in 2022, we hosted a multi-week program where kids learned the fundamental rules of theater performance, as well as literacy and story structure, by means of a play. They then performed the play with costumes and props in front of an audience. Join us to learn the ins and outs of a children’s theater program, as well as how you can incorporate this program into your own library.

SPEAKERS: Elizabeth Cormier, Library Assistant, Parker Memorial Library, Dracut; Christine Muir, Parker Memorial Library

Safe Spaces, Inclusive Programs | Nauset II

Libraries are increasingly answering the call to provide safe spaces for young people from all walks of life. Beyond providing a physical space, LGBTQIA+ youth deserve inclusive library programming to enrich their lives and to provide much needed community support for their families. This presentation will explore how public libraries can partner with community-based organizations to provide and promote safe, affirming programs for LGBTQIA+ families and teens.

SPEAKERS: Kate Tigue, Head of Youth Services, Morrill Memorial Library, Norwood; Clayton Cheever, Director, Morrill Memorial Library; Lily Pearl, Program and Education Manager, OUT MetroWest; Christi Farrar, Consultant, Mass. Library System