The Difference is You Conference 2024

Registration – click here  
Registration closes August 9 & payment due August 23

  • Date: Friday, September 20, 2024, 9:00 AM to 3:45 PM, Eastern
  • Location:  Indiana State Library, 140 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • LEUs – each presentation is worth 1 LEU / 5 LEUs maximum for the conference
  • Difference is You Award Winner:  will be announced before the Keynote

Pro tips for attending conference:
  • Make sure you dress in layers (some rooms are warm & others cooler)
  • Bring these items if needed – a water bottle, notebook, tote bag
  • Make sure to bring your parking voucher in with you so it can be validated at the registration desk
  • Click here for a map to the parking areas

Difference is You Conference Schedule (times subject to change)

Registration – 9 to 9:30 am

  • Great Hall desk

Welcome – 9:30 to 9:45 am

  • Jacob Speer, Indiana State Librarian and Announce DIY Award Winner

Keynote – 9:45 to 10:45 am

  • Artificial Intelligence in Libraries | Presented by Amanda Papandreou & Cassandra Jones-VanMieghem
    Description: Discussion from two staff members of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Cassandra Jones-VanMieghem and Amanda Papandreou, on how Artificial Intelligence is currently being used in their library, how it can be used in library technology, and how to use AI responsibly.

Session 1 – 11:00  am to 12:00 pm

  • Building relationships with local officials and organizations | Presented by Vanessa Martin and Julie Wendorf
    Description:  Join the Co-Chairs of the ILF Advocacy Committee as they discuss how to build relationships with your local officials and organizations to advocate for your library.  Advocacy is not just about elected officials, but making connections in your community so that others see the important services that your library provides.
  • Communicating Across Generations | Presented by Amanda Stevenson-Holmes
    Description:  Generational perspectives can impact our personal and professional relationships. People who are raised in different generations often have formative experiences that are so dramatically different from one another’s that they may have trouble understanding other points of view. This can lead to conflict and communication issues. In this workshop, you’ll learn the science of generational differences, assess your own generational worldview, and learn proven strategies to communicate and lead across generational divides.
  • Teen Mental Health – Taking action and sharing resources | Presented by Jason Murray
    Description:  This session will provide education to library staff that are seeking to be able to engage with a teen that is in crisis, hear out their crisis, become knowledgeable and provide resources to assist a teen in crisis.  This session will include interactive lecture, education about resources, and will include audience participation while working through scenarios.

Lunch – 12:15 to 1:15 pm

ISL Tour – Available between 12:15 to 1:15

  • Meet at the Great Hall Desk

Session 2 – 1:30 to 2:30 pm

  • Welcoming People with Disabilities to the Library | Jessica Minor
    Description:  This session will explore strategies to fostering inclusivity within society and how the library can be part of a welcoming space for all people with disabilities. This session will also address models of disability, language nuances, and behavioral shifts, empowering allies with the tools to actively contribute to a more equitable and inclusive future, specifically within library spaces.
  • Services from the Indiana State Library | Presented by Paula Newcom
    Description:  Make sure you are getting the most out of your Indiana State Library by learning more about all the services the ISL offers.  From Book Club Kits for kids to reference services for librarians, there’s something for everyone.
  • Teaching Technology to Your Community | Presented by Beth Gaff
    Description:  Expanding Technology to your community, Creating a Channel, One on One Help with Technology, Mobile Technology Labs, Programs for Technology, Virtual Classes/Programs.

Session 3 – 2:45 to 3:45 pm

  • Immigrants in Indiana: Data, Needs, and Resources | Presented by Bekah Joslin
    Description:  This presentation will dive into immigration data, the needs of the community, and provide staff with tangible resources for supporting the immigrant population.
  • Emotional Intelligence | Presented by Amanda Stevenson-Holmes
    Description:  Having a high IQ is nice, but it doesn’t guarantee your success as a leader. In fact, studies have shown that emotional intelligence (or EQ) matters more. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and respond appropriately to emotions – your own and those of the people around you. People high in EQ know how to navigate a variety of situations with different kinds of people by monitoring themselves and others to ensure clear and positive communication. The good news is that while IQ is relatively set in adulthood, EQ can be improved throughout your lifetime!
  • State Data Center and grant data | Presented by Katie Springer
    Description:  This session is meant to support people looking for data for grant proposals, but our data sources and search methods can apply to any data search. Increase confidence in your own search techniques and find authoritative sources for your grants, reports, and reference questions.  Our focus is on census/population data, but all data is fair game! Brought to you by the Indiana State Data Center and LDO.

 Presenter Bios

  • Amanda Papandreou – Ruth Lilly Medical Library / Makerspace Assistant.  Amanda Papandreou has been working with emerging technology for Indiana University since 2017 and has been with the Ruth Lilly Medical Library since 2021. She has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University’s Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with a focus in 3D Graphics and Animation. Outside of work she enjoys crafting jewelry and painting.
  • Amanda Stevenson-HolmesLeadership Johnson County, Program Facilitator. With over 25 years of marketing communications experience, Amanda earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Franklin College and a master’s of business administration degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. She “pays it forward” sharing her knowledge and real-life scenarios with others. Amanda currently serves as Lecturer and Department Chair of Strategic Communication with Butler University and previously with Harrison College as a Business Faculty member. She’s a graduate of Leadership Johnson County’s Signature Class of 2019. Amanda and her husband Matt live in Greenwood.
  • Bekah JoslinImmigrant Welcome Center, Manager of Training and Resources. Bekah Joslin is a community advocate with a drive for justice and equity. With an educational background in community development, she is passionate about contributing her knowledge and skills to her community in hopes to advocate and care for those within it. As Manager of Training and Resources, Bekah is responsible for developing and presenting trainings and workshops for community partners, and in doing so, can share her heart for advocacy and drive for justice with those who are interested in learning how to better care for the immigrants in their community.
  • Beth GaffPeabody Public Library. Beth Gaff – Systems Manager, Technology and Robotics Instructor, Peabody Public Library. Beth Gaff has worked at the Peabody Public Library for 19 years. Currently she has an associate in library science, a marketing communications degree, an IT specialist certification and is currently taking classes for a bachelor’s in education. She started out as a circulation clerk, and has moved to various positions within the library and even outside the library, being the NICCL (Northern Indiana Computer Consortium for Libraries) chair. She loves to be educated and expand on her duties within the library field.
  • Cassandra Jones-VanMieghem – Makerspace Manager / Indiana University School of Medicine  Cassandra Jones-VanMieghem is the Makerspace Manager at the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Ruth Lilly Medical Library. She has worked in emerging technology, particularly 3D printing, since 2016 and received her degree in Media Arts and Science from the now Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering in 2018. Her primary professional interests include supporting student learning with anatomical study aids utilizing 3D printing and Virtual Reality, and patient education with a focus on reproductive health.
  • Jason Murray Indiana Department of Education, Prevention Specialist.  Since 2017, Jason has been doing suicide prevention work across the state and joined the Indiana Department of Education in 2019, where he provides mental health education; suicide prevention training; awareness around vaping, substance misuse, and dating relationship violence.
  • Jessica MinoraccessABILITY Indiana – Director of Community Engagement. Jessica Minor (she/her) is the Director of Community Engagement at accessABILITY where she oversees all outreach and community engagement strategies, assists in developing and implementing disability education trainings, and supports program implementation. An Indiana-native, she loves working with the broader Indianapolis community and building long-lasting relationships, informing others as to why inclusion matters. Prior to working at accessABILITY, Jessica spent nearly a decade working in disability policy and health policy for marginalized communities in Washington, DC. Her specialties also include advocacy, training, and relationship building. Jessica is passionate about the intersection of disability and other marginalized communities. She also has a Master’s in Public Policy from University of Maryland.
  • Julie Wendorf ILF Advocacy Committee, Co-chair & Director, Crown Point Community Library.  Julie Wendorf has been the director of the Crown Point Community Library since 2018. She is a member of the ILF Board, board representative on the IPLA Board, the co-chair of the ILF Advocacy Committee, and current ILF Vice President. She is active in community service organizations including Rotary International and Lions Club. She has a passion for library collaboration projects with other community organizations and doing library outreach.
  • Katie Springer Director, Indiana State Data Center, Indiana State Library. Katie Springer directs the Indiana State Data Center Program at the State Library, a federal-state cooperative between the Census Bureau and the State of Indiana. She is a Reference Librarian who loves spending time on the desk, helping the world with resources one patron at a time. Her special interests include Government Information, public data, geography, ancient history, modern art, literature and non-literary texts about food, and travel.
  • Paula Newcom DIY Co-Chair & Northeast Regional Coordinator, Indiana State Library. Paula Newcom is the Northeast Regional Coordinator for the Indiana State Library.  Her experience in libraries for the past thirty-four years ranges from very small libraries to large county-wide systems. She has varied experience as Head of Youth Services (Crown Point Community Library); Reference Librarian and Webmaster (Marion Public Library in Grant County, Indiana); Audiovisual Services (Akron-Summit County Public Library in Ohio).  She is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in English and Film Studies.  She obtained her Masters in Library Science from Indiana University.
  • Vanessa MartinILF Advocacy Committee, Co-chair & Director, Greensburg Decatur County Public Library.  Vanessa Martin has been the director at the Greensburg Decatur County Public Library since 2016. She is also the current co-chair of the ILF Advocacy Committee. She has 18 years of experience working in Indiana public libraries. She has also been active in the governance of Evergreen Indiana, serving on different committees. She has held many job titles, but simply put, she is passionate about libraries and helping others.