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Capturing the Excitement: Before You Leave - When You Get Home

One thing I hear and see in social media from MLA participants is that even though people are excited by all the ideas and energy, they are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start to implement what they have learn.

After many years of conference going experience, I received my MLIS in 1986, and some hints from some other conference goers, I have a few ideas for you.

While at MLA or On the Plane Home

Think through and pick one idea that you really want to implement at your institution. It is helpful at this point to have a pen and paper, or electronic device, to take notes. Maybe even meditate a bit, like we did in the Janet Doe lecture. It is important to get your ideas down while they are still fresh and you are still feeling excited.

As you think about the idea, think about WHY you really want to do it. How would you justify the idea to your supervisor, library administration, colleagues, and patrons? Elevator speech techniques are helpful here.

You should also be prepared to explain HOW you would implement the idea. Will you need to learn new skills? Or will you need help from colleagues? Is there a need for equipment or other supplies that will need to be funded in some way?

You don’t need to finalize anything now, just get it all down.

When You Get Home

Use your access to the meeting content to review the paper or poster that gave you your idea, to refresh your inspiration. If the presenter mentioned resources, look into those things to learn more about your topic.

Sketch out a timeline for HOW to implement your idea. For example, if you are thinking of a new class, you might need to work out when to book a room, advertise the class, and finalize the slides.

Be sure to talk to those who would be impacted by your idea, including supervisors who want to know what you are doing with your time, patrons who will benefit, or colleagues who might need to help. Because you already have thought of WHY and HOW, it will be much easier to convince people that the idea is good.

So be sure to take an idea and run with it. After all, getting new ideas is one of the reasons we attend MLA meetings.


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