On the Road to the MPLA/NDLA/SDLA Tri-Conference

SDLA2013September 25-27th brings us the annual conference of the North Dakota Library Association held jointly this year with the South Dakota Library Association and the Mountain Plains Library Association. I couldn’t be more excited.

Keynote Presentations and Featured Speakers: This year’s opening keynote will be delivered by author and radio/TV personality Rick Steves. Steves is the author of numerous travel guides and hosts programs on American Public Television and Public Radio. If that weren’t exciting enough, ALA President Maureen Sullivan will be delivering a keynote presentation on Thursday entitled “The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities.” Thursday will also feature a luncheon presentation from YA author Neal Shusterman. Finally, Friday brings us a luncheon session with Encyclopædia Britannica’s Editor-in-Chief, Dale Hoiberg.

Programming Highlights: The color-coordinated conference schedule is packed with quality sessions, including lots of STEM sessions full of public library programming ideas (that tie-in with next year’s Summer Reading Program theme), great library technology sessions. I wanted to provide a list of the crème de la crème of concurrent programs, but I honestly can not pick them. I sincerely wish I could be in two or three places at once, but no means I’ve conceived of for achieving this seems pleasant or safe. The good news is that MPLA will host an archive of the conference handouts, so check there in the future to find out more about what you missed.

Sioux Falls Attractions: There’s always quality live entertainment at the Mary W. Sommervold Hall, Belbas Theater, and the Schulte Black Box Theater. You could bask in the glory of magnificent art at any of the six galleries comprising the Visual Arts Centre. The area boasts a number of excellent museums, such as the Kirby Science Discovery Center, Augustana’s Center for Western Studies, the intriguingly vague Museum of Visual Materials, and the historic Siouxland Heritage Museums. Of course, you could also spend some leisure time shopping downtown.

Eateries and Coffee Shops: Here’s a rundown of the eateries unique to Sioux Falls. Personally, I’m most looking forward to Lalibela’s as there’s no place to get Ethiopian food in North Dakota. Sanaa’s gourmet Mediterranean restaurant also sounds amazing, with their made fresh menu and green approach to restauranteering. There are tons of intriguing cafes to frequent, but I’ve been told that Black Sheep is the best in town, so I’m definitely heading there.

I very much hope to see you there!

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