Express Session Trio #4

Thursday, October 19, 11:05 am - 12:05 pm

Room: 104/105

Program Details

Title: A Spoonful of Stories: Library Programs in Medical Settings

Presenter: Rebecca Opalka, Phoenix Public Library, Librarian II

Program Description

I will be describing our "Spoonful of Stories" program and what we do at Banner Thunderbird hospital.

Learning outcomes:

  • How to get started (making contacts, getting in)
  • Building programs, including descriptions and examples of what our programs look like
  • Next Steps (expanding programs and going into other medical settings)

Presenter Bio

Rebecca Opalka has been with Phoenix Public Library for 5 years and is currently the Assistant Branch Manager at Cholla Library, where she is in charge of outreach and Children's Programming. She currently oversees "Spoonful of Stories," which includes 8 librarians who run a variety of programs in medical settings.



Program Details

Title: Law4AZ: Connecting people to legal information through their public libraries


Martha McConnell, State of Arizona Research Library, Law Librarian

Gretchen Hornberger, Coconino County Law Library, Law Librarian

Program Description

Law4AZ trains public library staff to help library users find legal information. The presentation will explain the access to justice gap and describe how librarians can participate in the Law4AZ training program.

Bullet points:

  • Explain the justice gap and Arizona's access to justice deserts.
  • Describe how Law4AZ can help librarians narrow the justice gap.
  • Provide information on Law4AZ training.

Presenter Bios

Martha McConnell is the law librarian at the State of Arizona Research Library. She earned her J.D. at Arizona State University and has worked in various positions in Arizona state government. She participated in developing the Law4AZ curriculum and has served as a co-facilitator with learning groups in the Law4AZ program.

Gretchen Hornberger has been the Coconino County Law Librarian in Flagstaff, Arizona, for 23 years. She delivers legal information services across the second-largest county in the U.S. Gretchen has an M.A. in Linguistics from Indiana University and an M.A. in Library Science from the University of Arizona and a passion for increasing access to justice.



Program Details

Title: Human Rights and Banned Books Week: Engaging with Amnesty International


Ed McKennon, Library Faculty, Glendale Community College

Michelle Ashley Gohr, Prescott Valley Public Library Youth Services Librarian

Program Description

Two members of the Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) Working Group for Banned Books Week (BBW) will discuss their experiences as lead library volunteers on the AIUSA planning team as well as strategies for adding international cases to BBW programming in both academic and public library settings. Libraries may diversify the conversation around BBW through the addition of Amnesty International’s annual BBW action while grounding related programming upon international human rights principles. Attendees can meet with AIUSA librarian volunteers to discuss strategies and tangible practices for engaging students and the community at their local libraries.

Learning Outcomes:

Attendees will

(1) learn how Amnesty International Banned Books Week focus cases are selected;

(2) learn and discuss strategies to enhance traditional Banned Books Week programming through the addition of international human rights cases, particularly those included in the Amnesty International annual campaign;

(3) consider how the human rights principles that undergird AIUSA Banned Books Week programming interrelate with traditional ALA programs and suggest a continuum of censorship issues that - at the most extreme - result in the censoring of books and the execution of people.

Presenter Bios

Ed McKennon has served as an academic librarian for over 20 years. He has collaboratively organized Banned Books Week activities with Amnesty International student groups alongside library faculty and staff at Arizona State University beginning 2002 and Glendale Community College since 2008. Ed was a catalyst in re-starting the annual Amnesty International USA Banned Books campaign in 2018 and has served as a volunteer on the AIUSA Banned Books Week Working Group ever since. He has presented about the relationship between Banned Books Week library campaigns and international human rights action via poster sessions at ACRL and AIUSA Annual General Meetings and contributed to related IFLA blogs. Apart from his work related to Banned Books Week, Ed is library faculty at Glendale Community College where he previously focused on web development and e-resources management and currently leads collection development efforts. Additionally, he contributes to instruction, reference, and diversity, equity, and inclusion work at the library.  

Michelle Ashley Gohr (they/she) is a Youth Services librarian with a focus on pre-teens at Prescott Valley Public Library and formerly a First Year Experience Librarian with Arizona State University where they taught information literacy to first year students and provided research assistance to students and faculty in women and gender studies, social justice/human rights, and other subject areas. They have served as a volunteer librarian on the Amnesty International USA Banned Books Week Working Group since summer 2022. Their research primarily focuses on young adult literacy, censorship, and critical pedagogies.

Banned Books Week - AZLA 2023.pdf

Arizona Library Association

Building Strong Libraries Together

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Ste C5 #385
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

(928) 288-2011

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