Tutor.com <3’s PLA 2012

What better place to kick off <3 Tutor.com than in the city of brotherly love! That’s just what we did last week while in Philadelphia, PA for the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference. It was a marathon of great conversations with librarians, handing out cell phone socks and catching up with clients. And while the busy conference created countless great memories including a scrumptious tapas feast at Continental Midtown, there were some  highlights we couldn’t stop talking about back in the New York office.

pla 2012Kicking off <3 Tutor.com

We mentioned it above, and if you didn’t get a chance to stop by our booth at PLA, let’s take a minute to share the “love”.  At conferences we are thrilled when clients stop by and tell us how the students in their community “just love Tutor.com!”  Students tell us too. Over 60,000 times! That’s right. Students have left over 60,000 comments after a tutoring session that included the word “love” or the text symbol “<3”. So at PLA 2012 we kicked off our <3 Tutor.com campaign, complete with bookmarks, cell-phone socks, badge ribbons, t-shirts, banners, balloons and a cocktail reception celebrating our own <3 for libraries! Not to mention a delicious new drink that the Field House created just for our library clients called the <3 warmer.

Budget Friendly Panels

Tutor.com had the opportunity to host two excellent panels this year. The first, Creative Funding: How to Afford the Services Your Community Wants, was moderated by Tutor.com CEO George Cigale and focused on different ways three libraries provided successful programs while dealing with either moderate budget constraints or massive cutbacks. There were thought-provoking ideas all around, from partnering with local businesses to help fund programs as Cathy Deane explained Mount Prospect Public Library did, to working closely with your political representatives as Jinny Baeckler from Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library suggested.

The second panel, Engaging with Teens on a Shoestring Budget, drew a large crowd and provided excellent insight for how to utilize different platforms to generate excitement in teens while at the library. One of the coolest ideas was from Stephen Grubb of Broward County Library where they are going to paint QR codes on the sidewalk! Michele Gorman from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and LeeAnn Anna from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh shared how to get on teens’ level.  Their advice – don’t try to talk like a teen. Rounding out the presenters, Judy Boyce from West Baton Rouge Parish Library shared how her library kicked off their successful Live Homework Help program for teens through Tutor.com.

Find all of the handouts for the PLA 2012 panels here.

Enjoying all PLA & Philly had to Offer

We were never short of things to do in Philly.  Famous Philly Cheese Steaks hit the spot at the fantastic Reading Terminal Market right next door to the convention center where we also ran into two friends from Beauregard Parish Library. Yet, the PLA exhibit hall seemed even busier than the city itself. Talking with librarians from across the country, we were excited to share our new availability on the Boopise app , discuss our mobile solutions through our HTML5 classroom compatibility and direct clients to all the updated, ready-to-print materials on the Client Resource Center.

While we’re sad to say good bye to Philly we’re already thinking about good times ahead at PLA 2014 in Indianapolis!

Did you miss us at PLA 2012? Be sure to stop by and say hi at ALA Annual in June; visit us at booth #1280.

Check out our photo album of all the fun we had in Philadelphia on Flickr!

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