Into the Thick…

Ever start reading a novel and find yourself total overcome? Hence that is what occurred when I cracked open Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds.  Several times now the books I have chosen take place in locations where I am currently reading them, and yes – New York references seemed to grab me on top of the complexity of the action and characters.

I came back to the hostel with an urge to rest after the Tuesday St. Patty’s Day parade, and then crashed slept, woke, and begin drilling into the novel.  100 pages a day 5 days – that took of Tuesday night and I rested and prepared nervously for two workshops tomorrow at Columbia.  So let’s get into the thick of it immediately!

Tuesday! – Yes, very nervous, VERY.  Yet in a good way.  Here was the first day I had a chance to represent our school at Columbia and make sure the workshop gave something back to everyone attending.  What were the topics?  Great you asked!

But wait.  DEFINITELY worth mentioning.  Not because it is elaborate, NOT because it is crazy fancy, but BECAUSE the staff are CRAZY great, accommodating, warming, and friendly, HANDS DOWN, my favorite coffee shop every year, on the way to Columbia, Oren’s Daily Roast, on Broadway, EVERY YEAR since I have attended New York, whether from Mexico or from the states – yes THE BEST feeling and best Chai tea, best muffins, just everything, because it is their own style and own taste and awesome friendliness that IMG_0104comes out in waves – THE BEST.  I bought a replacement mug for the one that broke at my place and know as long as I came there every morn, no matter how nervous I was, things would be amazing.  Their commitment? – “To provide our customers with the finest specialty coffees in the world, perfectly roasted to order, at reasonable prices.”  They do, an are the reason why New York can feel like home so easily.

IMG_0096As I made my way to Columbia, I was greeted by the Annual Welcome to Columbia outside of Lerner Hall, excitedly was early, so waited outside for bit for the doors to open at 9:00 – enjoying the taste of Chair and an Oren’s blueberry muffin, then entered and grabbed my materials for the workshop, badges for Nina and her Dad arriving Friday (YEAH!), and thanked the awesome team at CSPA for getting this all together, Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Castillo – who always make sure thanks to their planning and their support team of student tech, IMG_0080things run smoothly amid breakdowns, if they occur, in technology. I made my way to Hamilton Hall, room 702, say about an hour early, lol.

The first workshop  – from 10:00 – 10:45 –  Trello Super Tool – I felt at ease with because we use Trello to help organize our lives.  Last year – which I have to say made me feel good though it should have made me feel bad – my workshop – badly attended, a sprinkling, the staff that presented, PACKED – and that is the way it really is supposed to be – but this time i was solo and I water it to be crowded.  No kidding – crowded in the room of Lerner.  It IS worth mentioning, the tech student who was assigned my workshops, EXCELLENT.  She was cool, relaxed, an expert in figuring out everything, and was easily a model of what excellence in publications are at Columbia, she was part of the reason all went off without a hitch.   Having 11 people immediately add their name was comforting and a total of around 35 coming in made me feel much better by the end!  Overall, I was excited for how many came up to me afterwords and stated this was a tool that would save them countless posts, what a good start to the workshop, and that this was very helpful for them – which was the whole reason for having people attend, not to brag, but to assist, help, and share knowledge, it seemed to work GREAT!  Also, the six magazines I brought for display, yeah, that lasted 5 minutes, GONE!

Luckily, the next workshop – was at 11:00 – back to back, but in the same room – YES!  YES!  That was great!  Again, I had roughly 27 attendees leave their emails, and attending was about 45 minimum, trying to count while also getting set up.  This workshop, Social Media That Gets You There, purposely started on a Google form, thanks to the idea of Tracy Bryan at ASF, and this allows us to show the results of a google survey

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 8.51.54 AM that attendees were filling out as they waited in the workshop – allowing them to realize, the medium I am using in the workshop is a medium they can use to improve their publications, AND – we went on to show the various social medias we use, turning them from single use into multiple use and how – ultimately improving our publication and networking as a staff together.  Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 8.51.29 AM

Using real life examples of how we use our social media with our publication accented just telling what media can be used for and this seemed to be an upbeat and effective workshop in that individuals were writing down tips and ways we have implemented social media not just in our publication, but how we use this as a library as well – which is a GREAT way of reshaping how people view librarians as a whole!

This was only half the day, and as my second workshop ended and I could finally play attendee, it was exciting to see that this second workshop ended in success, and I realized it was because the use of the tools I exhibited that we all used as a staff, 🙂

More to come on the second half of the CSPA Conference day!


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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