NAHSL 2016 Conference Summary: Behind the Scene

December 15, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Awards and Recognition, Professional Development | Leave a comment

Jessica Kilham is a Public Services Librarian at the Edward and Barbara Netter Library at Quinnipiac University.  She was also on the NAHSL 2016 Planning Committee. Jessica was a winner of our Professional Development award to attend the 2016 conference.  Below is her blog post sharing her experience of serving on the Planning Committee. Congratulations, Jessica!






Being a part of the planning committee was an incredible experience! I had the privilege to work with colleagues from around the state to plan a fantastic conference from beginning to end!  In this blog post I would like to highlight some of the perks of being on the planning committee.


  1. Networking: Being on the planning committee provided the opportunity to working with colleagues from around the state. I was familiar with some of the planning committee members from CAHSL but by being on the planning committee allowed us to work closely for a long time. There is a major time commitment to be on a planning committee—our group had regular meetings for 18 months leading up to the conference. There were also phone calls and emails in between the regular meetings! This inevitably leads to new personal and professional friendships!
  2. Learning about Librarianship: We are all librarians (primarily focused on the health sciences) but what we actually do is very different. Our committee had a solid mix of hospital and academic librarians, seasoned professionals and those just starting their career.  I was able to learn about many different aspects of librarianship by hearing from others on the committee. This mix of people brought together refreshing ideas about what the conference should look like and what we could do to make it unique and memorable—we were also able to showcase how creative we could be!
  3. Details, Details, Details: For me, the most enjoyable part of the conference was the behind the scenes work that was done by the planning committee—working through the details was exciting! Of course the big things like venue, program, and speakers get most attention but every detail needs to be considered. Things like how the chairs would be set-up in the ballroom to selecting the name badge lanyards to naming the sponsorship levels all needed attention.

So, next time NAHSL puts a call out to be on a conference planning committee, get involved! It is a huge commitment but the rewards of being on the committee make it worth it and it is a lot of fun!


Jessica Kilham, Public Services Librarian

Edward and Barbara Netter Library

Quinnipiac University.





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