Brash Librarian Hits FLA! Again!

Good day, friends!

Yup, it’s that time of year again! Last week, I hit the Florida Library Association (FLA) conference in Orlando, and yet again had a super-rockin’ good time. If you haven’t been reading my blog for too long, you can read about my first trip to FLA here. It was so nice to see familiar faces from last year – along with meeting some new ones! I stayed with my good friend and Brash Sidekick Katy for the conference – and she brought me baked goods! AHHH! Yummy!

Reunited with my Brash Sidekick, Katy! We look like Terminators. :p

Got my super-sweet badge. That’s right, I work for UF libraries. I DO WHAT I WANT.

Opening day started off really well – one of the first people Katy and I ran into was my Marketing and Storytelling professor, Dr. Koontz! The general assembly starting the conference was quite fun! Scholarships, awards and other fun stuff kicked off the day. After that, it was non-stop fun. Seminars, workshops, roundtable discussions, exhibits, all the goodies!

Dr. K in all her FSU attire. I’m not that big, she’s just that tiny. Check out her totally awesome boots!

Around lunchtime came the FSU student mixer, where I got to make new friends – and even got recognized! We started off the mixer with introducing ourselves – when I introduced myself and where I was from, a girl nearly leapt out of her chair and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! You’re the Brash Librarian!” and explained that we’d had a class together and she’d read my blog. If I wasn’t feeling awesome before, I sure was now. A special shout-out to my new friends Laura, Mary and Tim. Congratulations to Laura on receiving the FLA FSU Scholarship! And thanks to Mary for making my day. 🙂

A little hard to see, but I’m that really tall guy in the back. Oh wait, I’m almost the ONLY guy. One of the many perks of library school.

Following the mixer came an awesome tech presentation courtesy of the Orange County Library System (OCLS) based in Orlando. Some of their toys and gadgets were SO cool! Their children’s program has implemented Snap Circuits, a great new toy series that teaches children about electricity and lets them create their own devices. I got a photo or two of their snap kits:

Just snap it together and go! This example is an FM radio.

All the parts and accessories fit into these snazzy cases! I’d feel like Q handling this box. “Now pay attention, 007…”

Throughout the demonstrations, there was a little black box with blue lights making lots of whirring noises. Near the end, they revealed it to be their 3D printer! Using computer programs like Auto CAD, people can design objects and let the printer make the object. Using high heat and plastic polymer on a spool, it goes layer by layer to recreate the programmed item. For the demonstration, they printed a miniature Mayan temple. It took about 45 minutes to print, but it’s quite amazing. Take a look at that detail!

Mini temple, taken in my hand to show scale.

Look at each little step and the door way! Very precise!

Still not impressed? This chain was printed all at once. Yup, every link was printed interlocked at the same time. Simply awesome!

A 3D printer! Yes, that’s an airplane make from K’NEX next to it.

Just when I thought the presentation couldn’t get any better, Laura got up to go volunteer elsewhere without realizing her foot had fallen asleep. While she would describe it as a faceplant, I would call it more of a stumble. Of course, Laura recovered with grace in full lady-like fashion. Great recovery, Laura! If I’d done that, I would have hit the floor and taken a few little old ladies with me. Maybe even spill a coffee.

Later in the day, I hit the exhibition hall and got free goodies. Pins, comics, flash drives, pens, headphones, stickers, bookmarks and more. However, I learned my lesson that I need to go with Katy. She knows how to get ALL the secret stuff. My favorite place was the Ask A Librarian stand, where they had a cardboard superhero display. WIN! My newfound friend and Ask A Librarian buddy Jessica took my photo. How could my super nerdy, comic book-loving self pass this up?

My library needs me. Up, up, and AWAY!

Of course, I had to hit up my peeps over at the FSU library school desk.

Two my professors (Dr. Mon and Dr. Koontz) and Pam “womanning” the FSU booth in the exhibition hall. Who that lurker on the side is, I have no idea.

Later in the evening was the FSU Alum mixer, where I got to say hi to more professors and the Dean of our college; afterwards, I had the pleasure of having dinner with the Dean and a few select people to discuss how the college can better connect to their distance learners such as myself. That’s right, big wigs took the time for an intimate dinner to pick student brains so can help them feel more at home. I feel honored to go to a school that cares about their students that much.

The morning of the second day, I decided to watch the children’s performer showcase. Here, performers put on 5-10 minute demos of their acts to display their talents; library managers can hire them to perform for their summer library programs. Some highlights I took photos of:

A giant picture book that popped up and told different stories on each page! In this photo, Jack and Jill are going up the hill.

A musical duo that sings about space, dirt, animals, whatever your program calls for. Great singing voices!

This guy was my favorite! He did juggling, magic, spinning plates, all kinds of stuff! He was so entertaining, I nearly forgot to grab a photo. (Oh, and he’s got two more plates spinning out of frame. He’s GOOD.)

Mimes, puppeteers, your library can give you nearly anything for your summer programs.

This guy must be awesome at raves.

The day was filled with workshops on social media, marketing, librarianship, technology…There were plenty others, I’m only mentioning the ones I went to. There’s something for everyone!

New friends Blake and Laura set up shop and demonstrated the power and uses of Google Scholar. They were preaching to the choir, but I’ll never turn down a chance to play with an iPad.

And now for a completely unrelated shout-out! Before I left for the convention, my library friend Molly bought me a PEZ candy dispenser. I didn’t understand why until I realized that it was an Obi-wan Kenobi from Star Wars and IT. LOOKS. JUST. LIKE. ME. It’s almost spooky. Molly manages the Cedar Key Public Library, and I know their Friends of the Library (FOL) is putting on a celebration this week called “Our library is a treasure”…if their library is a treasure, then Molly is the crown jewel. A special thanks to Molly for my uncanny doppelganger candy dispenser!


That’s all I’ve got for this week. New logo ideas are coming along with some other good stuff in the pipeline. Stay tuned for next week’s post.

Stay cool, librarians!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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2 Responses to Brash Librarian Hits FLA! Again!

  1. Mikias says:

    Guess I shouldn’t have trppied the little old lady while walking into the library eh? Seriously, it’s funny how our interactions with others are seen, categorized, and evaluated by others. As an example, a person could be talking on the phone with a friend, say an off hand comment that is overheard by a patron walking by and they would make an assumption/judgment based off that one little snippet of information. I would think it’s important to remember that anytime anyone is dealing with a patron or even in the public view, they are representing their work place even when they’re having a bad day. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why they keep me locked up in the back room!

    • Very true, Mikias. Like in any job, you should be mindful of what you say around people as well as online; this is especially true if you hold a management position. You never know who is reading or listening and what their thoughts are. Some people might not get your humor, kind of like how I don’t find jokes about tripping little old ladies humorous at all.

      Speaking of which…If you’re in the back room, how are you tripping the little old lady at the front door?

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