I am the Library Board’s Attorney for the Knox County Public Library. I previously wrote an article that was part one of two concerning my experience at the American Library Association Conference that was held in Washington, D.C. in June of this year.
The June 2019 American Library Association Conference was my second time attending this conference and the experience did not disappoint. A general overall view of this conference is that it has hundreds of top authors and speakers; exhibitions concerning top new library products, services and new titles; ideas about how to transform libraries to move forward in the future; innovative ideas about library services. This conference is an incredible resource for our county library and it is such a blessing that members of our library and myself were able to attend.
The main thing that I took away from the conference was a session we attended concerning libraries across the country and how they deal with adversity, civil rights, and other very hard topics that come about.
What really hit home with me was that libraries across the country are a beacon of hope and opportunity for disenfranchised people. Libraries give people of all economic classes the opportunity for free help concerning job searches, equal rights opportunities, and mainly represent a place where all people are welcome to come and congregate and just be who they are. It was really inspiring listening to the speakers discuss these topics from all across the country because if you watch the news cycle it seems like we are really a nation divided. It felt really good to know that we are all from the same country and we are all in this together. That was a session I will carry with me the rest of my professional career.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the highlight of my trip. Board president Yvette Kirchoff of the law firm Kolb Roellgen and Kirchoff was able to secure a behind the scenes tour of the U.S. Supreme Court for our group from Knox County. Needless to say as an attorney that is like a baseball fan going to old Yankee Stadium in New York; it is the Mecca of our profession. That was one of the best experiences of my life.
All in all I would say that this years American Library Association Conference was a complete success and I really hope that I am able to attend more in the future.