The 27th Annual Conference on Libraries and the Future titled "Fix the Future: Access, Innovation, and Opportunities" was well attended on a beautiful fall day. The attendees challenged some of the speakers with insightful questions that raised issues such as privacy to some of the speakers. This promoted a lively discussion.
One of the highlights of the program was Syntychia Kendrick-Samuel presenting "Library Programs and Services that Empower and Engage Teens". She led the presentation by telling a story about the impact her sixth grade teacher had on her life andhow librarians can have the same impact on children?s lives. She spoke about the challenges teens faceand how library programming can address and provide assistance to teens in addressing these challenges. Syntychia emphasized the importance of giving the teens the ability to steer their groups and empowering them to innovate. She illustrated this through the programs she started including Junior Friends and the Empowerment Academy. She also highlighted how she developed community partnerships working with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Hofstra University and others.
The other presentations included David Beard, Former Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Digital Editor of the National Journal, who posed the question, ?What role, if any,should libraries play in preserving local news?? David challenged librarians to takea stronger role in preserving local news even if librarians were to take an active role in writing the news. Wesley Rebisz of Lesso Home spoke Thursday night about his companies project to create community spaces in malls and how libraries might mimic this approach. The other speaker was Betsy Rivera from Girls Who Code who spoke about how libraries could get involved with Girls Who Code programs.