Hello to the New Mexico Library Association! Welcome to a new year with the absolute hope that we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this almost year-long train ride into the unknown - hopefully it's not the train coming back at us!
I am the Library Director at Sandia Preparatory School and we have been working diligently since August with a 25% hybrid model and things have been going very well! We are doing curb-side pickup for the library and popping into classrooms via Zoom to do library instruction and there have been no real issues. We are seeing students who are on the virtual side turning off their cameras more and more through - kind of like talking to a wall. With the roll out on Monday the 8th moving to 50% there will be more students on campus. We see this as a step in the right direction and will begin to get a little more traffic in the library because we miss them for sure.
NMLA's first ever completely virtual conference was a success! We had a great turnout - 203 attendees and 17 vendors! The vendors felt a little left out with this format so I will chat with folks to see how we can make that a little better next time. I think this is the case with most of the virtual meetings around the country.
New Mexico's Library Legislation day will be held on February 12 and will be virtual. Please check your listserv email for information on things as they are finalized.
I just attended the final ALA Midwinter conference. Not only was it the last time in its current configuration but it was held virtually for the first time. It was a wonderful mix of seeing folks I hadn't seen in a bit (believe it or not even virtually), listening to keynotes like Cicely Tyson - only 4 days before her death- Jill Biden, and the awards recognition. Next year we will see a different format for this meeting, "a learning, networking, and collaboration experience scheduled for January 21-24, 2022, in San Antonio, TX." The website is already up and the schedule is being formed! https://www.alaliblearnx.org/
On January 28, ALA announced that the association's annual conference scheduled for June 23-29 in Chicago will be virtual as well. Advance registration opens on March 1 at noon Central time and will close April 16. The conference website is https://2021.alaannual.org/ if you would like to check things out. The call for proposals is up on the page.
I am completely in awe that we are still in the throws of the COVID-19 issues and restrictions for almost a year. I know we have all been looking forward to a vaccine. Please make sure you are registered with the NM DOH at this website https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org/my-registration.html for when they come available.
With the pandemic overtaking so much of our lives this past year, we have all had to pivot like never before. We have had to face so many different obstacles, both local and national, coming at us all at once and adapting on the fly. You are all doing fabulous work keeping your libraries functioning and safe in this strange, new world we are in. I know you are all so very tired - keep up the fight - we got this and we are all in it together!!
J. Melanie Templet