And the First Ever Power Up Conference is a Wrap!


Yep, that's how I feel about it! What a debut for a national conference addressing youth library leadership and management issues! From it's humble "Let's do this" in the summer of 2015 to its hatch last week, it was a magical process and result. As consultant to the conference I had an inside view and high hopes.

The aim was to have a national conference to support those both in - and aspiring to - library management/leadership. It was to have a conference with content given by and helpful to attendees and presenters from all sizes of libraries; a conference that would take us beyond "Library 101" sessions to content that stretched out all who came; and a conference that would appeal not just to in-state folks but to library staff across the country.

Thanks to our amazing UW-Madison SLIS CE conference leader Meredith Lowe for guiding and coordinating this conference every step of the way. She was the might behind the well-planned and executed event. And mighty as well - powering through despite being sick at the conference itself.

Thanks to our main speakers, Gretchen Caserotti and Deborah Taylor, who set the tone and inspired us throughout the conference. Thanks also go to the many speakers from all library sizes, from all age/experience groups and from teen and children's backgrounds who created sessions that rocked our socks off: Elizabeth McChesney, Bryan Wunar, Amy Commers, Lora Siebert, Leah Langby, Alea Perez, Katie Kiekhafer, Jenni Francham, Sharon Grover, K.T. Horning, Allison Tran, Jennifer Weeks, Amy Koester, Alicia Woodland, Krista Riggs, Shawn Brommer, Kevin King, Renee Wallace, Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, Brooke Newberry, Lara Lakari, Erin Shaw, Lori Romero, Kristen Bodine, Mel Depper, Claudia Haines and Darrell Robertson. 

Thanks to the CCBC who hosted a delightful reception on Thursday evening so attendees could explore the legendary CCBC book examination center, chat and enjoy nibbles.

Thanks to UW-Madison SLIS who, in celebration of the Wisconsin Idea, offered ten full registration scholarships to WI library staff.

Thanks to the Pyle Center for a great venue - delightful food (ice cream at afternoon break!), top-notch AV and tech support, and space to make hallway networking connections a snap. The location on campus and near State St made social gatherings easy peasy.

Most importantly, thanks to all who attended. The energy was electric, the sharing sublime and it was a great opportunity to get to know new folks and say hi to old friends!

Don't be sad if you missed this first conference. You can get a taste of the conference on Twitter at #PowerUp17.  Abby the Librarian posted a list of books mentioned by speakers (truly "reading wildly!"). There will also be handouts and slidedecks shared on the main conference page in the next month or so,  so check back. 

The hope is that the conference will be offered again in the future (it would be a biennial event). So think spring 2019 and keep an eye out for a proposal call in early 2018.  


  1. This was an amazing conference! Thanks for your part in it, Marge, AND for spreading the word about it. It was a GREAT two days of learning and connecting.

  2. Glad to hear there are plans to make this a continuing event. This was one of the best conferences I've attended in my career so far!

  3. Wow! Glad to hear! I loved it too but I was sooooo biased!!