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How-To Stage

Oregon Convention Center, Exhibits Hall

Join us at the How-To Stage, in the Exhibits Hall, for an incredible line-up of 20-minute hands-on sessions provided by and for conference attendees! The How-To Stage offers a cooperative learning experience, teaching practical, hands-on skills that can be learned in short sessions. It’s a fun way for attendees to learn something new and to share their experiences and knowledge and actively participate in conference learning.

Wednesday, March 23

Time Presenters Topic
3:10 PM–3:30 PM Lindsey Trammell, Youth Services Librarian, Betty J. Johnson North Sarasota Public Library / Sarasota County Library System HOW TO Start a Book Subscription Box
Learn the nuts and bolts of how to start a book subscription box for teens: finding resources for it, building the framework, and where to go from there. Discover the impact this program can have—particularly on book desert communities—and imagine a new way to cultivate relationships with underserved populations. The presenter will provide scaled options for how to institute a book subscription box, tips on how to design materials for the program, and points to consider when tailoring the program to your library’s unique situation and resources.
3:30 PM–3:50 PM Sam Woolhiser, Outreach and Community Engagement Manager at Cleveland County (NC) Library System HOW TO Host a Read What You Want Book Club
In this session, an outreach librarian will share how they developed a “Read What You Want” Book Club, why it was the best fit for their community, and how they keep the conversation alive when everyone is reading a different book! This book club has developed into a monthly group hosted at a city park location. Participants actively discuss what they are currently reading and discover new authors based on recommendations from other members.
4:00 PM–4:20 PM Elizabeth (Beth) Wahler, Director of School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Charlotte HOW TO Initiate and Pilot a Social Work Practicum in Your Library
Public libraries across North America are adding social work students to try to meet patron and staff needs, yet many are “reinventing the wheel” due to lack of consistent guidance about how to effectively plan and initiate a placement. This presentation will review the steps involved in initiating a social work field placement, including preparing staff, planning logistics, determining appropriate activities for the student, coordinating with the social work supervisor, and evaluating the placement’s success. The presenter has consulted with multiple libraries and schools of social work in urban, suburban, and rural areas to plan and implement their inaugural library-based social work field placements and will share lessons learned from these pilot placements that can inform other libraries.
4:30 PM–4:50 PM Rebecca Ballard, Children’s Librarian, Athens (GA) Regional Library HOW TO Host a Karaoke Event
At this session you'll learn how to host the rocking-est karaoke event ever! You'll learn both cheap and FREE resources for karaoke songs and equipment, how to organize a song rotation, and how to be the Host-est with the Most-est. Everyone will be ready to sing at your event, and you'll be the star of your next party or library program!
5:00 PM–5:20 PM Elizabeth Massa-MacLeod, Independent Book Restorer, Portland, OR HOW TO Save a Smelly Book
Wet pages, mildew, cigarette smoke… something worse? Books often take on an unpleasant aroma after a few years of use. Portland-based book restorer Elizabeth Massa-MacLeod will demonstrate several simple and safe ways to dry, sanitize, and de-smell your collection.
5:30 PM–5:50 PM Rebecca Ballard, Children’s Librarian, Athens (GA) Regional Library HOW TO Get Started Playing Ukulele
At this session, you’ll get hands-on experience learning beginning ukulele chords. You’ll also learn how to read a chord chart and how to find free chords for songs you want to play. The presenter will also offer advice on shopping for and choosing ukuleles. You’ll be ready to start playing just for fun, or for library programs!


Thursday, March 24

Time Presenters Topic
9:30 AM–9:50 AM Michael Balkenhol, Engagement Coordinator – NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Center; George Strawley, Library Engagement Specialist – NNLM Region 4; and Darlene Kaskie, Engagement Coordinator – NNLM Region 6 HOW TO Kick-Start Health Programming at Your Library
Discover fun, creative, and interactive ways to share health information in your community! Join staff from the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) as we discuss ready-to-use ideas for library health programming. Attendees will walk away with information about free programming kits, health information resources, and funding opportunities.
PLA thanks Network of the National Library of Medicine for its exclusive support of the How-To Stage.
10:00 AM–10:20 AM Lauren McKinney-Wise, Portland State University M.S. Candidate, Graduate School of Geography; and Nancee Hunter, Director, Portland State University – Center for Geography Education in Oregon (C-GEO) HOW TO Create an Easy & Free Web Map
Maps are prevalent in our everyday lives and are powerful information objects. In recent years, web maps have become useful tools for sharing information and telling stories. In this short session, we will briefly teach you about the systems behind map creation (also called Geographic Information Systems) and how to create your very own web map! You can use this skill to share information with patrons, improve your internal workflows, or just for fun!
10:30 AM–10:50 AM Robin Walden, Technical Services Supervisor, John P. Holt Brentwood Library; and Pamela Johnson, Circulation Supervisor, John P. Holt Brentwood Library HOW TO Flip Your Library’s Collections – Visiting Project Chaos
Welcome to Project CHAOS: Creating Havoc Advancing Our Spaces! Ever consider flipping your library's collection? Our librarians will show you how we made the most of our library's current footprint to showcase collections and spaces. Flipping our collections during our beginning stages of space planning allowed us to enhance our library patron's experience. Learn all the details of using current collection numbers and shelving to re-locate over 70,000 items. You will also hear how library staff and board members bought into the CHAOS!
11:00 AM–11:20 AM Doug Crane, Director, Palm Beach County (FL) Library System HOW TO Get to Inbox Zero
Huge volumes of email are a fact of office life that threatens to overwhelm our work. Is there a way to get email under control short of mass deleting your entire inbox? Yes, there is! In this fun and engaging class, participants will learn a real world tested approach that is quick to apply and scales to any size inbox. Learn how to clear out inbox backlog no matter how large, quickly identify actionable items, and create an efficient organizational structure to ramp up email efficiency. Most importantly participants will learn the joys and peace of mind that comes from an empty inbox!
11:30 AM–11:50 AM Lynda Reynolds, Public Library Management Consultant, State Library of North Carolina; and Lauren Clossey, Continuing Education Consultant, State Library of North Carolina HOW TO Host a National Voter Registration Day Statewide Initiative
Want to learn how more libraries in your state can participate in National Voter Registration Day? NVRD is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating democracy, planned for Tuesday, September 20, 2022. In this presentation, the State Library of North Carolina (SLNC) will share our experience hosting a statewide initiative inviting all North Carolina libraries to participate in NVRD. SLNC understands the important role that libraries play in community and civic engagement and decided to use our statewide reach to encourage and support North Carolina libraries to become NVRD partners. In our first year we saw 68 libraries participating in NVRD which we considered a great success. One library reported a 65-year-old woman registering to vote for the first time and several reported registering first-time eligible teen voters. To support our libraries, SNLC created a webpage with state and national voting resources and hosted webinars for libraries to learn how to register through ALA to become a NVRD partner and share their experiences. Our efforts paid off when North Carolina was listed in the 2020 NVRD Final Report as one of the top 5 states with the most partners.
12:00 PM–12:20 PM Sara Roberts, Director of Library Operations, LibraryIQ HOW TO Use Patron Mapping to Expand and Strengthen Outreach
Knowing where engaged patrons—or arguably more important, non-engaged patrons—are located is critical to planning and providing successful programs. Is the library reaching as many community members as possible? Are there transportation limitations that prevent accessing library or outreach services? Are there language barriers that inhibit use? Is outreach serving communities with the most need? Relying on data, not instinct, to inform the library’s most critical decisions ensures that resources are used wisely, and community needs are met within and beyond library walls. Join this session to learn how the powerful combination of patron engagement and demographic data can drive real community impact.
12:30 PM–12:50 PM Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) HOW TO Respond to Challenges and Concerns About Library Resources
The American Library Association has noted a serious uptick in book challenges in recent months. As of the end of November 2022, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) recorded 155 reports of attempts to remove books in school libraries and public libraries across the country. What is causing this drastic increase in challenges? Are your library staff members prepared for such an occurrence at your library? Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director of the ALA OIF, will share the latest information on book challenges; how your library can be ready to meet any challenges; and steps to take if and when it does happen.
1:00 PM–1:20 PM Sadie McClendon, Librarian, Oakland (CA) Public Library; and Erin Sanders, Librarian, Oakland (CA) Public Library HOW TO Organize a Library Bike Ride
Looking to add more outdoor events, movement-based programs, and community building to your repertoire? Planning a library-led bike ride helps you do all three. Learn the details of route planning, safety, and outreach, and brainstorm themes that are relevant to your community. Strengthen your relationships with community partners, connect to your local biking community, and have fun getting outside!
1:30 PM–1:50 PM Terry Lucas, Library Director, Shelter Island (NY) Public Library HOW TO Throw a Murder Mystery Party
Bring excitement and intrigue to your library! A murder mystery party is a way to bring together adults of different ages and backgrounds. Pick a theme and encourage all to fully embrace their roles. I’ll show you how to host a murder mystery party on a small budget, by raiding the craft closet and using your creativity.
2:00 PM–2:20 PM Susan Craven, Branch Manager, Denton (NC) Public Library HOW TO Start a Seed Library
Presenter will share how a seed exchange was piloted at their library, and share tips for how you can start a seed exchange at your library. Presentation will cover:
  • Physical items needed to start a seed exchange (seeds, individual containers for seeds, a storage unit for all seeds, device used to track seeds).
  • Contacts needed to create the seed exchange (local gardeners, local or online seed companies, a volunteer to help with set up), and marketing ideas to get the idea/product sold to patrons and others in and around the community.
2:30 PM–2:50 PM Julian Gooding, Adult Services Librarian, Charleston County (SC) HOW TO Decolonize Your Library Programs
The effects from hundreds of years of colonization continues to harm cultures, language, and literacy development. Using the lived experiences of Native Americans and African Americans, documentary filmmaker and adult services librarian Julian Gooding will discuss his journey to decolonize his own mind and recognize unconscious bias and microaggressions as a Black man delivering programs within BIPOC and white communities. Participants will learn to look within their own thinking and apply the strategies of restorative practice for healing and growth.
3:00 PM–3:20 PM Sharon McKellar, Teen Services Coordinator, Oakland (CA) Public Library; and Sabah Abdulla, Teen Librarian, Oakland (CA) Public Library HOW TO Start a Youth Laureate Program
The Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) program is not just a poetry program but is also a teen leadership and youth development program, as well as a community building program, that libraries are uniquely and ideally situated to coordinate. Public libraries serve their whole communities with this program by amplifying young voices and giving opportunity not just for these talented poets to share their truths, but for the entire community to learn from them and what they have to say. It is also absolutely rewarding and so much fun! One of the country's longest running Youth Poet Laureate programs, the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Program has been coordinated and run by Oakland Public Library Teen Services staff for more than a decade. OPL staff have advised several other library systems as they started their own programs. At this session, you'll learn how to get started with a Youth Poet Laureate program and why you should consider doing it.
3:30 PM–3:50 PM Elena Coelho, Adult Program Manager, Worcester County (MD) Library; and Marshall Shord, Assistant Branch Manager, Worcester County (MD) Library HOW TO Start and Run an Expungement Clinic

Job seekers with a criminal record face an enormous barrier to employment. While legal service providers can assist with the expungement process, often at little or no cost, they are predominantly located in urban centers, making access difficult for those in rural areas. In this session, presenters will share their experience starting and running a bi-monthly expungement clinic in an area with few pro bono legal resources. The hybrid model they use, in partnership with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, allows participants to virtually connect with lawyers in other parts of the state through library-provided laptops in a semi-private meeting room.

Presentation will cover all stages of the process, from identifying and initiating a partnership with a legal service provider (we will provide a list of services in all states), to structuring the clinic, to best use of the space and technology available, to dealing with the technical issues that can arise during the clinic itself. In addition, the presentation will include information about “Job Fair To-Go” kits, which contain resources for job seekers and can be given out at the end of the clinic. Participants will leave confident they can start their own legal clinic with a minimum investment of staff and resources. Expungement clinics change lives. With a little bit of work and a strong partnership, any library should be able to offer their community such an important program.

4:00 PM–4:20 PM Laura Pitts, Library Director, Scottsboro (AL) Public Library HOW TO Diversify Library Book Collections
Can your library’s users see themselves on the shelves of the library? By ensuring that all people can see themselves reflected in the collection, libraries become more inclusive of all backgrounds. We'll discuss how and why to diversify your collections and leave you with strategies and ideas you can put to work immediately.
4:30 PM–4:50 PM Rebecca Ballard, Children’s Librarian, Athens (GA) Public Library HOW TO Get Started Playing Ukulele (Encore Presentation)
At this session, you’ll get hands-on experience learning beginning ukulele chords. You’ll also learn how to read a chord chart and how to find free chords for songs you want to play. The presenter will also offer advice on shopping for and choosing ukuleles. You’ll be ready to start playing just for fun, or for library programs!


Friday, March 25

Time Presenters Topic
9:30 AM–9:50 AM Shea Alltmont, Communications Manager, Avon Lake (OH) Public Library HOW TO Create Magical Connections Through Content Marketing
Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not explicitly promote an organization’s brand but is intended to stimulate interest in your library services, programs, materials, and more. Learn how to do this on your library's social media platforms inexpensively and easily. Don’t overthink content management creation, though. Instead, embrace sharing photos, information, videos and posts to stand out, increase engagement, add subscribers, entice donors, and community partners.
10:00 AM–10:20 AM Sharon McKellar, Teen Services Coordinator, Oakland (CA) Public Library; and Sadie McClendon, Programming and Outreach Librarian, Oakland (CA) Public Library HOW TO Zine
Zines are a way to get alternative points of view, lots of art, and personal stories out in the world. They connect people, provide resources, and are a lot of fun! In this session you'll learn how to make two different sizes of zine out of a single piece of paper. You'll also hear a little about how to make a zine for your library and patrons, how to make a zine with your library patrons, and how to start a zine collection for your library.
10:30 AM–10:50 AM Lecia Michelle, Information Literacy Coordinator/Xavier University of Louisiana HOW TO How to Think About, Talk About, and Be About Allyship

Lecia Michelle is a long-time librarian, activist, and the author of the forthcoming THE WHITE ALLIES HANDBOOK: 4 Weeks to Join the Racial Justice Fight for Black Women (on sale July 26, 2022 / Hardcover / 9781496738370). This book is a practical, actionable, explicit guide for people looking to not just "start a conversation" but take concrete steps toward equality.

Lecia's How-To presentation will distill the book into a 20-minute presentation touching on:

  • How to have difficult conversations about white supremacy, racism, and white privilege
  • How to listen to criticism without defensiveness
  • Why it’s harmful to ignore race or claim to be colorblind
  • How to expand your racial justice circle by joining groups led by Black women and cultivating a group of like-minded allies
  • How to recognize and address the harmful pattern of perfectionism and performative allyship

Her position is that racism can only be defeated if white people educate themselves and actively engage in antiracism work, especially in their inner circles—at home, at work, in everyday life. In her book and in this presentation, she wants to make clear that true allies are made and not born, and that it takes commitment and work to change.

11:00 AM–11:20 AM Gerry Vogel, Assistant Director, Avon Lake (OH) Public Library HOW TO Manage Series Fiction
Everyone wants to read series in order (who knew?) but there are issues for patrons and for staff to find them - in the catalog, and often on the shelf. Using multipronged approaches, we are always in the process of identifying, standardizing, labelling, and maintaining series fiction. In this session we’ll discuss some options. What's the right approach for you?
12:00 PM–12:20 PM Julian Gooding, Adult Services Librarian, Charleston County (SC) HOW TO Offer One Book Literacy Experiences
1000 books before kindergarten is great, but it's just as important to build lifelong learning skills at an early age. Using the book "Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey," participants will learn methods for finding multiple literacy experiences in a single book. The “one book, many lessons” concept coupled with creative play takes the child on a journey into art and theatre, science, math, cooking, engineering, and much more.
12:30 PM–12:50 PM Katy Pattison, Springfield-Greene County Library, Schweitzer Brentwood Branch Manager, Springfield, MO; and Tysha Shay, Springfield-Greene County Library, Republic Branch Manager, Springfield, MO HOW TO Embrace Business Librarianship
Library staff are sometimes intimidated by business librarianship, but libraries can play an important role in serving small and micro businesses. These businesses are both important for local economies and a vehicle for those who may face bias in the workplace to achieve their goals and earning potential. This session will demonstrate how to create a multi-tiered business librarianship training curriculum. With knowledge, support, and the right training opportunities gained through your custom training program, library staff can learn to embrace business librarianship, integrate into the local business community, grow your library’s business partnerships, and connect small and micro-business patrons to the library and community business resources that meet their needs.
1:00 PM–1:20 PM Deborah Caldwell Stone, Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom HOW TO Respond to a First Amendment Audit at the Library
A loosely organized social media campaign to “audit” government spaces and agencies for alleged First Amendment violations has begun to target public libraries. The individuals and groups undertaking these self-described “First Amendment audits” claim a right to film in any space accessible to the public, arguing that they’re entitled to do so as taxpayers and citizen journalists. Now, a growing number of public libraries are reporting that these individuals are visiting their buildings to film and photograph library staff and library users, creating the potential for staff harassment and a loss of privacy for library users. At this session, you’ll learn what a “First Amendment audit” is; what the related laws are; how to protect both staff and library users; and what to do when and after it happens.
1:30 PM–1:50 PM Resa Mai, PhD, Director, Morris Area Public Library, Morris, IL HOW TO Stay Connected When Socially Distant
Have you wondered where so many community connections went over the past couple of years? Have you been stumbling over the relationship hurdles created by social distancing, smile-covering masks, and mandated shutdowns? In this session we will explore options on how to remain available and accessible when you must stay apart. Join me and explore some ideas for how to be approachable while socially distanced. With little cost and huge impact, we will examine new ways to be known in your community.


PLA thanks Network of the National Library of Medicine for its exclusive support of the How-To Stage.

Network of the National Library of Medicine/All of Us logo

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