I attended the Emerging Leaders World Cafe in the afternoon. I had never been to a World Cafe before (apparently also called Conversation Cafe), but apparently it’s an established way of engaging a large community in dialog. The technique is to ask a series of nested questions in small groups, where the groups change and the questions build on each other.
The topic of our World Cafe was about the future of ALA. More specifically, the goal was “to generate ideas for how ala can best help the new generation of librarians meet their professional needs and how the new generation can help ala in its efforts to do so.”
I thought it was pretty interesting, and did give a lot of opportunities for reflection. I also found, though, that I had a better understanding of ALA than I realized. Several times people had suggestions for ALA where I would say “oh, ALA is already doing that,” or “yes, ALA collects that information, but it’s not on the website.” This makes me think that perhaps the very first step would be to look at how ALA is marketing their information and communicating with members. And it makes me think about how when members are inundated with emails and publications already, how can you get additional messages across?
COMET Consulting & Coaching led this session.