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2017 Learn Local! Yakima Programs & Keynote Speaker

Keynote: 8:30am - 9:15am

Keynote Speaker, Elissa Ball

Elissa Ball


Elissa Ball is a writer, Tarot reader, humorist, and performance poet originally from Yakima, WA. She writes a weekly astrology column called Space Witch for The Seattle Weekly. Her first book of poetry, The Punks Are Writing Love Songs, was published by Blue Begonia Press in 2012.




9:30am - 10:45am

Title: Finding Their Own Voices: A Fresh Approach to Teaching about Plagiarism

The roots of plagiarism are more complex than challenges with attribution and citations. In fact, we could say that student weaknesses in attribution and citation are simply symptoms of larger issues: students don't know what to say and don't understand the collaborative nature of research. In this session, participants will examine a fresh approach to teaching about plagiarism through discussions and activities on developing credibility as a writer and research as collaboration. These discussions and activities can then be used with students.

Speaker(s): Molly Berger, English Language Arts Specialist, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Title: Core Voices: Infusing Indigenous Perspectives into Library Collections

In 2015, the Washington State Legislature passed SB5433 requiring the Since Time Immemorial Tribal Sovereignty curriculum be taught in every public K-12 classroom. This new mandate provides both collection development challenges and opportunities all types of libraries. As part of the Brooks Library’s plan to meet this challenge, Ginny Blackson applied for and received the 2016 Smithsonian Libraries’ Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Award. The award provided the opportunity to conduct research at the National Museum of the American Indian and Vine Deloria Jr. Library.

This presentation will focus on the results of that research.  Attendees will learn about tools to build outstanding collections that include indigenous perspectives. The session will explore ways to identify and evaluate Native American and Alaska Native resources. Additional, the presentation will discuss Ms. Blackson’s experience as a Smithsonian Fellow and information on Smithsonian Fellowships available to librarians.

Speaker(s): Ginny Norris Blackson, Collection Development Librarian, James E Brooks Library, Central Washington University

Title: Reentry Success: How Washington Libraries Can Contribute

In 2015 nearly 8,000 people were released from prison. They faced numerous barriers only some people can even imagine. Libraries already provide services that will assist the men and women reentering society. Internet access, a positive parenting environment and compassionate welcoming staff all contribute to a successful reentry. Find out how staff in public and community college libraries can help remove barriers to a successful reentry and assist in creating a safer community.

Anna Nash, Institutional Librarian, Washington State Library; Adrienne Breznau, Public Services Supervisor, Kitsap Regional Library

11:15am - 12:30pm

Title: There is More Than One State Library... Meet ALL the Olympia Libraries!

Most librarians are aware of the Washington State Library--but do you know what it does and how it can help you and your patrons? And did you know there are multiple other state-funded libraries in Olympia that have a wealth of information and resources to support you and your patrons? The DOT library has detailed information about the history of roads, interstates and bridges--what they used to be called, how they were funded; when they were built, and what early photographs looked like. The State Law Library has a mission of outreach and helping the citizens of Washington with issues of social justice. Come hear about the "other" libraries in Olympia and help us spread the word about these valuable state resources.

 Crystal Lentz, Deputy State Librarian, Washington State Library; Rob Mead, Washington State Law Library; Lisa Engvall, Librarian, Dept of Labor & Industries; Stephanie Earls, Librarian, Geology Library, Department of Natural Resources; Andrew Poultridge, Librarian, Washington State Dept. of Transportation

Title: Open Data Belongs to the People

Open Data is the radical notion that government data belongs to the people, and if it's not private it should be published freely and without restrictions. Washington and California are collaborating on a grant-supported curriculum to bring open data home to community libraries. Attendees at this session will see one of the curriculum modules in action, explore the others, talk with some of the authors in the library and civic tech community, and help improve the curriculum itself. Learning objectives from the draft curriculum include: Understand what open data is and how to use it; Explain where open data can be found; Assess whether the data you found will answer the question you're asking; Identify different types of data visualization and how they can inform or mislead; Comparing and combining data to tell a story or answer a question; Using feedback to improve the open data offered by your state or city.

Speaker(s): Will Saunders, Open Data Guy, WA State Office of the Chief Information Officer; Debbie Faires, Director of Online Learning, San Jose State University

Title: Educate, Captivate, Connect. College Libraries in the 21st Century

Have you considered your local college library as a public resource? Need a quiet place to read, research or study? Come find out what other services your college library can provide you as a community member.

Speaker(s): Eva Cunningham, Faculty Reference Librarian, Yakima Valley College

2:00pm - 3:15pm

Title: Real People, Real Stories, Free Resources: Holocaust Teaching Trunks and the Speakers Bureau

Real People: Hear first-hand about the story of a courageous woman who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Real Stories: Holocaust Teaching Trunks provide hands-on learning with primary sources like artifacts, videos, books and activities. And they are free. Holocaust Teaching Trunks will help you to meet common core standards and your educational goals, while providing reputable materials for your library.

Give your students the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust through discovery, story, and critical thinking. Challenge them to be upstanders. In this session, participants will hear stories from the descendant of an eye-witness to the Holocaust, explore the contents of a trunk, and discuss guidelines for teaching the Holocaust effectively.

Speaker(s): Ilana Cone Kennedy, Director of Education, Holocaust Center for Humanity; Marie-Anne Harkness, Legacy Speaker

Title: She Works Hard For the Money: Grants and Community Collaboration to Diversify Funding

Grants can be a big boost for libraries, allowing us to offer fun programs or series, get travelling exhibits, or be awarded big dollars for expanding library services.  Library staff who have written several successful grants will talk about the many grant opportunities out there, what to include in a grant application, how to create measurable outcomes, and the importance of community partners in enriching the grant experience. Get the unique perspective of a city employee who works with community block development grants; specifically created to impact underserved library communities and increase visibility. Finally, leave with your own action list!

Speaker(s): Vanessa Strange, Librarian, Spokane County Library District; Ellen Peters, Community Engagement Manager, Spokane Public Library; Rae-Lynn Barden, Administrative Services Coordinator, Spokane Public Library

Title: Lawyers in the Library: Entry Points to Legal Assistance

In recognizing the needs of patrons who are either low income or intimidated in dealing with the legal system, the Yakima Central Library teamed up with the Northwest Justice Project to provide free service and entry points to legal assistance.

Speaker(s): Matt Kendall, Librarian, Yakima Valley Library; Elisabeth Tutsch, Staff Attorney, Northwest Justice Project

Title: Creating Brave Spaces to Address Diversity Issues

Many of us have a vested interest in addressing diversity issues within our communities, our places of work, and our profession. Recent studies have demonstrated that the ‘diversity day’ trainings of the past may not be an effective tool. From the 2013 book “The Art of Effective Facilitation” comes an approach where ‘safe spaces’ are exchanged for ‘brave spaces’ as a better way of conducting dialogues focused on diversity. This workshop will foster a brave space for a collaborative dialog where we can learn from one another what our issues are regarding diversity for our libraries in Washington.

Speaker(s): Samantha Hines, Associate Dean of Instructional Resources, Peninsula College

3:45pm - 5:00pm

Title: The Path to U.S. Citizenship Can Start at Libraries

Public libraries play a critical role in helping immigrants find the information and support they need to begin their path towards U.S. citizenship. During this session, a representative from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will provide an overview of the naturalization process, the eligibility requirements, and the resources available to help individuals prepare for citizenship.  Librarians will gain foundational knowledge about naturalization and will learn how to refer people to trusted sources of information.

Speaker(s): Keith Brown, Field Office Director, Yakima Field Office, USCIS

Title: School Library Advocacy Updates

School librarians know that the need and opportunities for advocacy are always changing. This session will bring together updates from our Olympia lobbyist Carolyn Logue, national ESSA advocacy updates from AASL, usable results of the OSPI WSSLIT2 study, and strategies of local school district library advocacy efforts.

Speaker(s): Craig Seasholes, Teacher-Librarian, Seattle Public Schools; Carolyn Logue, Lobbyist, Washington Library Association; Suzanne Carney, Teacher-Librarian, Selah Public School

Title: Washington's Library Services and Technology Act: The Next Five Years

The Washington State Library is currently developing the next Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Five-Year Plan for 2018 - 2022. Input is needed from the library community in order to make this plan relevant to the needs of Washington libraries. This session provides attendees both the opportunity to hear about the requirements of the plan and to discuss how LSTA funding can serve the needs of various types of libraries throughout Washington.

Speaker(s): Crystal Lentz, Deputy State Librarian, Washington State Library; Elizabeth Iaukea, Project Manager, Washington State Library