Fun and Sun at the FLA Annual Conference

fla annual conferenceFor the second year in a row, the Florida Library Association Annual Conference took place right outside of Universal Studios in sunny Orlando May 4th through 6th.  I had two reasons to be excited.  First, I am a new member of the library team and this is my first conference and chance to meet clients I’ve known only over email and phone.  Second, as of August 2010 Florida is my new home state!  So while my colleagues Susan and Krissie were flying in from Wisconsin and South Carolina respectively I was enjoying the air conditioned drive listening to one of my favorite Beatles Anthology CDs and looking forward to the conference.

I was not disappointed.  The show was a great experience and while it’s hard to summarize all the conversations and highlights, here’s my top five favorite show moments:

  • PTAdventures: Our booth was right next to the performance stage and we had a lot of fun watching each group engage the audience and share their message.  My personal favorite was PTAdventures which featured a character named Paige, a “World-Famous Storyologist.”  According to the performance, a “Storyologist” travels the world collecting, telling, and writing stories.  After the performance, Paige visited our booth and told me that her performance group did a video about for Palm Beach County Library a few years back.  I couldn’t wait to check it out.
  • To Go: We’re pretty excited about our new app that connects a student to a tutor right from their iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. It was great to see our clients excited too.  My favorite mobile moment was when Carolyn from Jacksonville Public Library came over to show us she had it on her phone and had tested it out.
  • Face Time: We all  spend a lot of  time on the phone and email with clients and it was a pleasure to put faces to names including long-time clients from Orange County, Sarasota County, and of course John Callahan III, President of FLA and Director of Palm Beach County Public Library.
  • Serving Adults: About two years ago, introduced the Adult Education and Career Center and we heard loud and clear from clients that this service is benefitting the adults in their communities.  Many adult patrons are going back to school and looking for jobs and need the real-time, personal support of a tutor or career tutor.
  • for U.S. Military Families: Several libraries in FL have large military populations and they were thrilled to learn that is already available to many of these families as well as students attending Department of Defense schools.  The program is free to eligible military families thanks to funding from the Department of Defense.

Thanks to the Florida Library Association for a great show.  We hope to see more clients and new faces at ALA Annual in New Orleans.  Come see us at booth #859!

–  Bob Bonocore, Account Manager


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