Stephen Abram, Scott Dikkers and Everything in Between: WLA Conference Recap

Posted by Lisa Strand on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 in Uncategorized


Despite concerns about library budgets and costs of the Milwaukee venue, 834 registrants enjoyed the 2011 Annual Conference, including a sold-out exhibit hall, dozens of programs, five tours and a grand awards banquet in the Hilton’s Empire Ballroom. Both the keynote speaker, Stephen Abram, and President’s Luncheon speaker, Scott Dikkers, were provocative on completely different subjects!

Attendees surveyed said their main reason for attending was the chance to interact with others in the library field, followed closely by the program schedule and topics. The schedule included technology topics such as e-books, Koha ILS, technology in children’s programs and Google tools, while also hitting topics on staff and self-management, hiring, diversity, literature, outreach, ethics and more.

Five tours of libraries and library resources rounded out the educational experience, though two tours sold-out, to the disappointment of later registrants. WLA thanks Milwaukee Public Library for providing access to their Krug Rare Books Room, the Villard Square Library and hosting a fabulous reception and tour at the Central Library.

The WLA Foundation raised nearly $4,000 with their annual silent auction and a fundraiser at SPiN, a table-tennis nightclub in the Third Ward. Thanks to Foundation board member Bill Robison, a partner at Engberg Anderson, which designed the facility, fundraiser attendees were able to enjoy a private room for their friendly competition.  In addition to Engberg Anderson, sponsors of the event were Maris Associates, Alpine Book and Quality Books.

Thanks to all who attended the conference in Milwaukee. We hope to see even more of you next year in La Crosse!

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