WebJunction at ALA Annual in Washington, DC

WebJunction /

Update: Recordings from sessions are now available!

WebJunction staff attended ALA Annual 2019 in Washington, D.C. In addition to conference presentations and poster sessions, they presented at the OCLC booth for Hot Topics, 15-minute presentations where you can learn about technologies and strategies that help your library serve your community more effectively. There were also a wide range of OCLC events in the nation's capital where library staff learned more about OCLC initiatives and to connect with fellow members. 

HOT TOPIC: Wikipedia for Health (15-minute OCLC booth presentation)

Friday, June 21 | Washington Convention Center Exhibit Hall, OCLC Booth 1647 | 6:00–6:15 pm

Sharon Streams, Director, WebJunction, on empowering library staff to confidently guide patrons to reliable Wikipedia health and medical topics.

OCLC Panel Discussion: Community Engagement as a Mindset

Saturday, June 22 | Washington Convention Center, Room 144A | 9:00–10:00 pm

Community needs shift fast. To stay relevant and have the most impact on people’s lives, public libraries have to pivot just as fast. Join us for an energizing conversation with three passionate public library leaders who are redefining community engagement as a mindset—with customers at the center, inspiring every aspect of the library. Panelists include: Pam Sandlian Smith, Director, Anythink Libraries; Mary Lou Carolan, Assistant Director, Newburgh Free Library; and Cordelia Anderson, a marketing and communications executive and former director of marketing and communications for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Outreach Poster Session – From Dull to Dynamic: Active Learning Transforms Small Libraries

Sunday, June 23 | Washington Convention Center Exhibit Hall, Poster Sessions Area | 11:30 am–1:00 pm

Active learning can ignite your library’s physical space, inviting community members to co-create, participate in hands-on learning, and strengthen their social connections. Learn about the dynamic experiences of fifteen small or rural libraries who re-imagined and reconfigured “smart spaces,” using placemaking and design thinking principles and strategies. Through a guided innovation process that centered on “the community is the expert,” these libraries transformed their physical spaces and the way community members interact with the library and each other. The before-and-after photos tell their vivid stories—from surplus book storage to creative makerspace, from little-used corner to lively teen space, from static shelves to multi-purpose activity center …and more. A community that learns together and from each other is a community with the strong social infrastructure and resilience needed to go boldly into the future. In the words of one participant, “asking the community to get involved in co‐creating space was a win‐win for us and we will utilize this community buy‐in perspective with all future projects.” Get inspired because you too can follow this process to more dynamic, engaged use of your space and connection with your community. Presented by: Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Program Manager.

HOT TOPIC: Design Thinking (15-minute OCLC booth presentation)

Sunday, June 23 | Washington Convention Center Exhibit Hall, OCLC Booth 1647 | 2:00–2:15 pm

Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Program Manager, on applying core concepts to library programming, strategic planning, and telling your story.

Learning Roundtable (LEARNRT) Training Showcase

Sunday, June 23 | Washington Convention Center Exhibit Hall, Special Events Area | 3:00–5:00 pm

Do you, or your organization provide staff or public training? Join us to chat, share tips and showcase best practices in library training, learning, and continuing education. LearnRT members facilitate training talk tables and provide space for the sharing of training materials and information about all types of training programs. Bring your materials, best practices, and challenging training situations to this fast-paced, fun, welcoming event! It's also a great time to network!

OCLC Research Update: Active Engagement

Monday, June 24 | Washington Convention Center, Room 151A | 10:30–11:30 am

OCLC Research examines the challenges and issues currently facing libraries and explores new and emerging areas of librarianship. In this session, Andrew Pace, Executive Director for Technical Research, will explain OCLC Research’s continuous cycle of active engagement with institutions; examples will include current discovery and access projects, open content, and Wikipedia, as well as details of OCLC’s recent linked data prototype. Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Director of Library Trends and User Research, will share progress on case study research of public libraries responding to the opioid crisis with community partners. And Chela Weber, Senior Program Officer, Research Library Partnership, will talk about the work the partnership is doing with libraries and archives in the area of special collections. Time for Q&A will follow the presentations.

Libraries and the Opioid Epidemic: Community-based Responses

Monday, June 24 | Washington Convention Center, 149A-B | 2:30–3:30 pm

As communities across the country experience the impact of the opioid epidemic, public library staff are finding themselves on the front line of this public health crisis. How should libraries respond? Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Epidemic with Their Community is an IMLS-funded project led by OCLC and PLA to expand libraries’ capacity to support their communities during this public health crisis. The project studied a diverse set of communities where the library is an active partner in response to the opioid epidemic and facilitated discussions with library leaders and a range of government, public health, and community organizations. In this session, panelists will share insights gained from the case studies and cross-sector discussions about emerging practices, opportunities, and challenges, and identify resources to help library staff guide their libraries’ response to the opioid crisis. This presentation will preview a forthcoming white paper that synthesizes the research, information, and resources generated by the project. Presented by: Lynn Connaway, Director of Library Trends and User Research, OCLC; Michelle Jeske, Denver Public Library; Marion Rorke, Denver Dept of Public Health and Environment; Sharon Streams, Director, WebJunction.