Summit County children’s librarian receives grant from the Utah State Library Division
Kirsten Nilsson will use money to attend a spring conference
Kirsten Nilsson, Summit County Library children’s librarian, is excited to attend the upcoming American Library Association’s annual spring conference.
Nilsson will attend the event, which runs from June 23-29, thanks to a Utah Public Library Institute for Training (UPLIFT) Grant from the Utah State Library Division.
“I am really excited for this,” said Nilsson, who is serving as this year’s chairwoman of the Youth Services Roundtable for the Utah Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. “The conference has an equity, diversity and inclusion theme, which is great and appropriate for today.”
The conference, which has been held in New Orleans, Chicago and Las Vegas in the past, will be held virtually this year, Nilsson said.
“It’s still going to be a great event, because it features all kinds of authors,” she said. “It gives the 20,000 librarians who attend the conference a bunch of program ideas and insights on social issues, and it hosts book promotions for four days.”
Nilsson is looking forward to hearing the conference’s speakers, including Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist who won a 2020 Pulitzer Prize for her commentary on The 1619 Project, The New York Times Magazine’s exploration of the legacy of Black Americans, as well as former President Barack Obama.
In addition, Amanda Gorman, the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, is also scheduled to speak, Nilsson said.
“While the speakers will present virtually, the programming will be split between on-demand streams and livestreams,” she said.
Nilsson also plans to attend a variety of committee meetings that will discuss everything from how libraries can recover from COVID-19 to new programming ideas.
“There is so much great energy, because the conference is about all of us librarians geeking out about literacy and diversity,” she said with a laugh.
In addition to the virtual workshops, Nilsson will meet an array of publishers and authors during the conference.
“There will be a virtual exhibit hall that is filled with publishers and authors who are promoting new books,” she said.
Nilsson plans to take a lot of notes so she can relay the messages and lessons back to Utah librarians who weren’t able to attend the conference, she said.
Nilsson applied for the UPLIFT Grant in April.
“Last year was so unpredictable, and everyone’s budget was altered in one way or another,” she said. “I really wanted to attend the conference, so I thought I would save the library some money and apply for the grant.”
Nilsson is grateful the Utah State Library Division selected her to attend the conference.
“They do a lot of good for our local libraries,” she said.
As Nilsson prepares for the conference, she is also working with the Summit County Library branches set up this season’s summer reading program.
“There are so many great children’s books that have been published over the last year, and I’m excited to share them,” she said.
A new app, called Beanstack, makes it easier for children, teens and adults to document their summer reading hours, according to Nilsson.
“It’s an online reading tracker that people can download from an app store,” she said.
The app is also available online by visiting Summitcountyut.beanstack.org.
“When readers complete four of the six activities, read 1,000 minutes and clock in their hours, they will receive their choice of a T-shirt or a book bag,” Nilsson said. “They also will get a button if they read for 500 minutes.”
For information, visit thesummitcountylibrary.org
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