Social Crisis Management Conference Highlights

iStudent Blog

Published: October 22, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

All SJSU School of Information students are encouraged to attend the Library 2.0 conferences, or watch the recordings at the very least. They’re free, online and offer valuable experiences that extend your classroom learning. You get to hear from information professionals across the world working in all types of environments. It’s also a great networking opportunity. The third and final Library 2.018 conference of the year, “Social Crisis Management in a 21st Century World” took place on October 17. Read on for some of the highlights, then head over to the Library 2.0 website to watch the recordings.

Opening Keynote
Patty Wong, director of library services for the Santa Monica Public Library and iSchool lecturer, kicked off the opening keynote with an overview of the social issues facing libraries today, including “food insecurity, hunger, housing policy, homelessness, violence, mental health service needs, social, economic, educational, and relational equity and disparity[...]substance abuse and drug overdose.” She stated, “all of these many challenges impact the people who frequent our library as customers, students, faculty and staff.” Patty then went on to outline what the Santa Monica Public Library is doing to support individuals experiencing homelessness.

Next to speak was Ryan Dowd, executive director of Hesed House, a large homeless shelter outside of Chicago. Ryan summarized the training he provides to librarians on how to work with homeless individuals. He shared lots of great insights, like how touch can be a trigger for many homeless people as they have likely suffered some kind of trauma.

Madeleine Ildefonso, managing librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library/Central Library, rounded out the opening keynote by sharing how her library has prioritized services to immigrant families to the tune of 6,000 citizenship programs attended by more than 56,000 people since 2012. This includes citizenship classes and on-site immigration services under the New Americans Initiative.

Presenter Sessions
I dropped in on a few of the presenter sessions and picked up tips on what to do in an active shooter situation (hint: run, hide or fight) to how to spot opiate users in distress. Our very own Peggy Cabrera, associate librarian and Adriana Poo, health sciences librarian from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library presented alongside Deborah Estreicher, a librarian with the San José Public Library. Their topic was the needs of the students and community in San José. Did you know approximately 300 SJSU students are homeless and the homeless population in San José is over 4,000 people? I’ve provided the links to the individual sessions below, take your pick or watch them all!

Closing Keynote
The closing keynote, delivered by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, executive director at the Mid-Hudson Library System in New York, focused on sustainability and resiliency. Rebekkah declared librarians are working to save the world! Watch the recording and pick up a copy of her books: Sustainable Thinking: Ensuring Your Library’s Future in an Uncertain World and Resilience to learn more. Patty Wong then shared a few closing thoughts and encouraged attendees to “take a stand and not be a bystander” in the face of the library’s changing roles.

As with all of the Library 2.0 conferences, you get to hear from professionals in the LIS field and can learn from their experiences, absorb innovative ideas (and maybe spark some of your own) and take away practical tips you can implement in your own work. Keep an eye out for 2019’s conference line-up. In the meantime, catch up on the two prior events from this year, “Design Thinking: How Librarians are Incorporating it into Their Practice” and “Blockchain Applied: Impact on the Information Profession.”


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