PALS staff members Alex Kent and Linda Richter attended the MLA Conference in Duluth, MN this year. The conference was located at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and worked really well as a venue. The session rooms, Exhibit Hall, and the main reception hall were all easy to locate and close together.
PALS had a booth in the Exhibit Hall and we enjoyed talking with all the librarians who made it up to Duluth! We had some definite interest in our giveaways, especially our custom cleaning cloths featuring photographs from repositories we support. There were also some conversations about how PALS can solve your DAM problems.
My favorite session was the one on “Arketing Magic.” Or rather, “Marketing Magic.” The projector in this room liked to cut off a small portion of the slides.
This session provided some good marketing tips including recommending and walking through Canva, a free graphic design web-based tool. It’s something I’ve used heavily and it was good to hear others use it successfully as well. Another strong recommendation was to really think about images you use, and try taking your own – and remember to leave enough room in the frame for text you may want to use.
The highlight and true importance of MLA were the many chances to network with colleagues. MLA offered “Dinner with Colleagues” on the night before the first day of the conference, and I enjoyed a great pizza and beer at The Thirsty Pagan. Only two of us made it out but that just meant more pizza and drinks for us! Next time you attend MLA I strongly recommend attending one of these dinners.
I think the main social highlight of the conference was the chance to visit and tour Glensheen Mansion . There was a very unique feel to this stunning estate, and easy to get lost wandering the hallways and rooms full of history and stories.
But, really, the setting isn’t what’s important about the networking. It’s a common theme but the chance to meet and talk in person is invaluable. This is really where ideas and innovation begin, with conversations over a cup of really good chili at dinner (or breakfast, or lunch).
We really enjoyed attending MLA, as always, and look forward to next year.