A full day was spent analyzing: Tough Conversations: The Future of the Library Profession when the Continuing Education Committee of WNYLRC posed the questions to the 95+ gathered attendees at the conference on April 24, 2015. Thought- provoking and without any sugarcoating, Stephen Abram (Lighthouse Consulting) and Dean Hendrix (University at Buffalo), mapped out for the gathered what could happen to the profession if changes within institutions and mindsets were not forthcoming. Hope Decker (Cohocton Public Library) provided a blueprint for how she went about making sure her patrons knew what they had as an asset in their public library and proved that pocketbooks could be opened and legislators could be enlightened. The afternoon ended with a spirited panel discussion as to the status of the profession a decade from now and, without a crystal ball, the group painted a picture both of hope and reality.
The day was not wholly spent philosophizing though, because it was held at the historic Tonawanda Castle, a former National Guard Armory which, now under private ownership, has undergone expensive and historically-correct re-habbing. Tours were given to the upper reaches of the turrets which provide the building with its castle appearance and visions of assembled troops being sent into harm’s way were ever present. A buffet lunch provided the networking opportunities that attendees always look forward to. A basket raffle rounded out the afternoon and several lucky recipients would be able to start their week-ends with the contents of some tempting offerings.
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