The session will begin with the presentation of the OLA Evergreen Award. The Evergreen Award reading program is comprised of the best titles in Canadian fiction and non-fiction for adults of any age. It is one of eight programs that form the OLA’s Forest of Reading, Canada’s largest recreational reading program of its kind. Over 250,000 Canadians participate each year in the Forest of Reading.
Ryan Dowd is this year’s Public Libraries Spotlight Speaker. He has spent most of his career as Executive Director of a large homeless shelter outside of Chicago, Illinois. Ryan also trains libraries, nonprofits, police departments, hospitals and other organizations how to work compassionately manage problematic behavior from troubled individuals. His book, The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness, was published by the American Library Association. Ryan is a licensed attorney and has a Master’s of Public Administration. Do you have patrons who bring in too many bags? Smell really bad? Panhandle in your library? Argue with you and other patrons? This interactive session is more than simple “sensitivity training.” You will learn why homeless individuals do what they do and the practical tools for resolving problems. There is a special focus on mentally ill and/or addicted patrons. After this session, you will have more confidence with homeless patrons.