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MLA '24 Continuing Education: Meet Susan Kendall

In the weeks leading up to MLA ’24 in Portland, we’ll profile the conference Continuing Education instructors and their courses. We continue the series this week with Susan Kendall (SK), who teach CE 201 - Collections Budgeting: It's More than Spreadsheets.

Registration is required and you do not need to register for MLA '24

What are you most looking forward to seeing/eating/experiencing in Portland?

I’m not going to be at MLA for very long, but now that I’ve left the medical librarian world and am working with collections on the broad academic library level, I’m looking forward to seeing medical librarian friends again.

How did you get interested in your topic and what most excites you about it?

When I was a health sciences librarian, I became more and more interested in collections work. I think it was partly because it has elements of strategy games and puzzles. But, ultimately, I think what most excites me is the opportunity to make a tangible, measurable difference at my institution by providing the best collection that I can for the money.

What problems, obstacles, or lack of knowledge might your intended audience experience that your course addresses?

Librarians new to collection development may feel overwhelmed by being handed a budget and left to manage it on their own. They may feel unprepared for talking with the leaders at their institutions who control the money.

What practical, immediately applicable information or skills will learners gain from your course?

Librarians will come away with a plan they developed for approaching collections budgeting in their own institution, ideas for dealing with various budget situations, and information on the pros and cons of implementing strategies they will learn in the course.

How will your course help learners provide value to their employers and advance in their careers?

Being put in charge of a budget for an institution is a big responsibility, which offers the opportunity for librarians to demonstrate their value in a tangible way. Smart budgeting, saving money, being able to negotiate a good deal—all of these skills impress employers.

What’s the main thing you hope learners will take away from your course?

There's no right answer, but there are lots of wrong ones!

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