Librarians hold Tulsa convention

From March 30 to April 1, public, academic and school librarians from all over the state will converge in downtown Tulsa at the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the Oklahoma Library Association’s 109th annual conference.

With a theme of “turn on the light,” participants will explore the myriad of ways in which libraries transform communities. A wide range of workshops, networking opportunities, author programs are planned to inspire and enlighten attendees.

James (Jamie) LaRue, the newly appointed director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, is the keynote speaker. He was previously the director of the Douglas County Library system in Colorado where he spearheaded the transformation of the library from one that was struggling to one that was vibrant and ground-breaking, particularly in the uncharted territory of ebook publishing.

LaRue will be sharing how to effectively engage communities by making them the center of everything the library does. As he noted in Library Journal, “Our communities and our culture need us. And we certainly need them.”

On March 30, musician, filmmaker and Oklahoma native Beau Jennings will perform and host a screening of his film Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers. The Verdigris project originated in Jennings’ reflecting on his growing up in Oklahoma and his childhood hero, Will Rogers.

Inspired by the field recordings Alan Lomax made for the Library of Congress in the 1930s, Jennings decided to travel to places Will Rogers had been during his life. The film, which will be open to the public, will begin at 8:30 p,m. in the Ballroom of the Hyatt. Tickets are available online for a $10 donation to OLA.

OLA is a professional membership organization that works to strengthen the quality of libraries, library services and librarianship in Oklahoma. Members of OLA work in public, school, academic and special libraries of all sizes.