KLA Conference 2019

    The Kansas Library Association (KLA) Conference Planning Committee is excited to announce the 2019 conference at the Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, Kansas on October 23, 24, 25. The 2019 KLAConference theme is Libraries Build Communities – Healthy, Wealthy and Wise, and focuses on how to innovate, inspire and connect the library community across Kansas. We are expecting this year’s conference to be one of the best yet, with programs that apply to all levels of library work; from front line staff to directors. But to make this a reality, we need your expertise and knowledge! What can you bring to the librarians in Kansas?

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    KLA preconferences will start off with Ryan Dowd, author of the Librarians Guide to Homelessness, Youth Librarian Bryce Kozla and Weave a Tale. More information will follow!


    This year's opening keynote speaker on Wednesday is Mark Puente.

    Photo of Mark PuenteMark A. Puente is the Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), a position he has held since March of 2009.  Puente directs all aspects of the Association of Research Libraries’ (ARL) diversity and leadership development programs. These programs seek to recruit people from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (people of color) into careers in research libraries and archives, and prepare and advance those constituencies into leadership roles. Mr. Puente serves as the staff liaison to the ARL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

    Puente develops and directs the ARL Leadership and Career Development Program (LCDP), the ARL/Society of American Archivists (SAA) Mosaic Program, and the ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence. In addition, we serves as faculty for the ARL Leadership Fellows Program, the Medical Library Association/Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries Leadership Fellows Program, and the Archives Leadership Institute (ALI). An active presenter, clinician, and facilitator, Puente has spoken and presented at meetings and conferences throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. 

    On Wednesday night there will be a VIP ticketed event  followed by an open to the public event at the Sheraton cosponsored by the Sunflower Foundation, Humanities Kansas and KLA featuring Sarah Smarsh, author of "Heartland: Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth." 

    The State Librarian, Eric Norris, will provide the Thursday luncheon address.

    Eric Norris is a native Kansan who received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, MA from Fort Hays State University, and MLS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Prior to joining the State Library in 2018, he served as the Adult Department Librarian and Director of the Hays Public Library.  He has also worked as a Director of Human Resources and a newspaper reporter.

    The closing keynote speaker is Lance Werner.

    Photo of Lance Werner. Lance has served as Executive Director for Kent District Library since 2011. He received a juris doctorate degree from Michigan State University’s College of Law and his master’s degree in Library Science from Wayne State University (WSU). In 2018 he was chosen as Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year, and in years past he was the recipient of the Joey Rodger Leadership Award from the Urban Libraries Council, Librarian of the Year Award from the Michigan Library Association (MLA), the WSU Distinguished Alumni award, and Library Journal’s Mover and Shaker Award. Lance is currently involved in the ALA Policy Corps, WSU’s Capital Campaign, MLA’s Legislative committee, and recently graduated from Michigan Political Leadership Course.

    On Friday, KASL will host author Ann Braden at their luncheon. Ann Braden writes books about kids struggling to find their voice amidst the realities of life. Ann’s debut middle grade novel The Benefits of Being an Octopus was listed as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2018, received a starred review from School Library Journal, and was described by Newbery award-winner Karen Hesse as “a compassionate look at poverty, hard choices, and defending one’s right to be treated humanely.” Ann founded GunSenseVT, a grassroots group focused on championing the common ground on the issue of guns in Vermont, which recently helped pass landmark gun violence prevention legislation. She also founded the Local Love Brigade, which now has chapters all over the country sending love postcards to those who are facing hate. Ann is a former middle school teacher, the co-host of the children’s book podcast, “Lifelines: Books that Bridge the Divide,” along with Pakistani American author Saadia Faruqi, and recently one of the co-organizers of #KidsNeedMentors. Ann lives in southern Vermont with her husband, two children, and two insatiable cats named Boomer and Justice.

    Make plans, find that funding and join in the learning and networking!