Monday, October 15, 2007

Synergists Speak Out @ ILA

The Synergists Speak Out panel presentation was just as Pat Norris promised; it was a “totally Synergy” experience. Members of each of the past six Synergy classes and a mentor informally responded to questions on topics such as the value of community outreach and balancing personal and professional responsibilities.

Panelists were: Diana Brawley Sussman (2002) Director, Southern Illinois Talking Book Center, Shawnee Library System; Pattie Piotrowski (2003) Assistant Dean for Public Services, Paul Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology; Jane Ehrenhart (2004) Supervisor, Reference & Technical Services, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library; Catherine J. Yanikowski (2005) Librarian, Bishop McNamara High School; Terry Cottrell (2006) Library Director, University of St. Francis; and Brenda McGlohon (2002 and Mentor 2006, 2007) Assistant Commissioner, Chicago Public Library.

After the panel discussion, program participants broke into small groups and discussed issues that matter to them and what they have done or can do to affect these issues. Reflecting the audience and Synergy participation as a whole, my small group had participants from all types of libraries and all levels of staff, from directors to line staff.

As with my Synergy experience, I came away with new thinking. Panelists reframed questions and presented fresh, alternative ways of looking at issues I have been considering for some time. I hope that the folks at the State Library and ILA will offer this panel again and I encourage former Synergists to attend. You're sure to walk away with a new idea, a new contact, a new perspective...just like your Synergy sessions!

- Melissa Henderson, Synergy 2006

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