By: Leah Tietje-Davis - Contributing columnist

I am excited to announce that I have been awarded a scholarship by the State Library of North Carolina to attend the 2018 Public Library Association Conference.

This conference will be in Philadelphia, in my home state, from March 20 to March 24. The conference is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals.

In collaboration with its parent organization, the American Library Association, it strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. With the theme Imagine the Possibilities, the emphasis on programs, sessions, discussions and updates is focused on the future and on tools to help libraries adapt, stay strong and improve services.

One of the many benefits of being a member of Public Library Association is the valuable resources available to maintain knowledge of current trends and practices in public libraries. This conference has the reputation for being a premiere educational event for public library professionals. The sessions are presented by experts and colleagues who provide information on challenges and solutions that are affecting public libraries today. Multiple programs running concurrently allow me to tailor an education experience that meets the specific needs of Robeson County Public Library and the community I serve. Now I just need to figure out how to be in four places at once.

Attending this conference will also allow me the opportunity to make connections and gain insights from people who understand the exact issues that public libraries face. These networking opportunities have an outstanding track record for bringing long-term professional benefits, including sharing ideas and best practices throughout the field.

I am most excited to meet other adult services librarians from my area and across the country, to make friendly connections and collaborative partnerships. These connections will allow me to compare notes on current trends, or seek guidance that will ultimately help me become a more effective librarian.

As a librarian, I am in a unique position to make a profound impact on the community I serve, an aspect of my position that I find especially rewarding. I am truly privileged to have the opportunity to educate, engage, and empower individuals in this community. I anticipate returning from this conference with fresh ideas and strategies that will benefit Robeson County Public Library, as well as contribute to my professional development and education, allowing me to better serve my community.

Leah Tietje-Davis

Contributing columnist

Leah Tietje-Davis is the Adult Services librarian for the Robeson County Public Library.

Leah Tietje-Davis is the Adult Services librarian for the Robeson County Public Library.