Monday, June 12, 2017

Make (friends) at MakerFestival and O(ften) L(ove) A(ssociates) at OLA

MakerFestival is coming, MakerFestival is coming!

Actually, a lot of events are coming up, and I'm really happy to be involved with teams of people who organize things behind the scenes. Let me tell you about a few of them.

1) MakerEdTO

These are just a few of the members of this volunteer crew of educators from various school boards and private schools around the GTA. United by a passion for making in education, they use their spare time to organize a free conference for anyone involved in education to attend. This is the second year it's happened, and I'm delighted to report that after just a single week, tickets are completely sold out! (We had to issue tickets - space is limited and we didn't want to break any fire code regulations!) As you can see by the time stamps on the two group shots (we also had a meeting in between at Sandra's house but we didn't take photos), plans don't come together overnight! Thank you David, Tim, Teresa, Ray, Sharon, Shaun, Mark, Dan, Sandra, Arianna, and all the other names I'm missing.

2) MakerFestival

As I begin to end some volunteer commitments, I choose to start some new ones. This year, I joined the core team behind MakerFestival. It's amazing! I went last year (as well as in 2014) and loved it so much as a regular volunteer that I wanted to do more. I am overwhelmed by the size of the event (15 000 participants) and the size of the hearts of those who devote so much time to making it happen. This is a diverse group of people - and that's good for me. There's nothing wrong with being friends with teachers or librarians (as point #3 will show) but it's healthy to make new acquaintances with people in different fields. In the group we have physicists, event coordinators, and people in between jobs and with jobs that defy description. Nathan and I are the new Volunteer Coordinators (Nathan would say he works under me but my philosophy as part of "Minion Management" is that we are all volunteers!). I love the energy of these people and I am so excited about what we've got planned for the two day extravaganza on July 8-9, 2017 at the Toronto Reference Library. I can't give spoilers, but I wish I was free this upcoming Thursday when members of the core team will be experimenting with prototypes for a cool themed spectacle. I'm still learning the ropes but the people who have done this before are so welcoming, patient, and friendly. Special shout-outs to Jen, Aedan, Eric, Ceda, Simon, Tarik, Jounghwa, Josh, Andrew, Sophie, Mel, Varsha, and especially to Nathan - his enthusiasm is contagious and he is a devoted and dedicated organizer who keeps me going.

3) Ontario School Library Association 

June 10, 2017 OSLA Council photo

June 11, 2016 OSLA Council photo
What would make you give up a beautiful Saturday to spend most of the day in a windowless room working? The answer for me, since 2006, is the people that are part of the Ontario School Library Association Council.

Remember how I said it's important to get together with people different from you? Well, it's also important to meet with like-minded folk. All of us work in school libraries but for different boards and organizations. We enjoy each others' company so much that we spent time in between meetings (the Friday Together For Learning revision team meeting and the Saturday OSLA Council meeting) having dinner together. I salute, Melissa, Kelly, Kate, Jennifer, Darren, Alanna, Johanna, Lisa, Maureen, Joel, and the wonderful OLA staff like Shelagh and Michelle (and the magazine layout gurus like Annesha and Lauren) who make our work a joy to complete - and make it look prettier and professional too! Some of us are moving on - I can't say who because this person doesn't have permission from administration to reveal their departure from their school and board for fantastic new educational adventures - and I'll miss working with this person. I get another teacher-librarian socialization opportunity this coming Thursday with the TDSB TL "Canapes and Conversations" event, which will be delightful.

I've heard it said that it can be challenging to make friends when you are an adult. My solution to this dilemma is simple - volunteer! You'll meet marvelous people and do good things at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. Simply and completely, you rock! I will be doing my own making that July weekend at a knitter's retreat, but will be thinking of you. I agree - volunteering opens your world up!