How-To Festival

Join the fun of our first-ever mini How-To Festival!

Want to know how create artisan bread? Protect your library’s Facebook page from hackers? Launch a Pirate Radio Station? How about Create Glitter Tattoos? Join us at our first ever PLA Conference “How-To Festival” to learn about these topics and many more, in short (20 minutes) hands-on sessions, on Wednesday, April 6, Thursday, April 7, and Friday, April 8, in the Exhibits Hall. PLA thanks Louisville Public Library’s Art Dietz and Kristina Messina for sharing their “How-To” expertise with us! Check out the schedule below:

Wednesday, April 6
4:00–6:30 PM

Start Time Presenters How To…
4:10 PM Henry Bankhead, Assistant Director, San Rafael (Calif.) Public Library How To Bake Artisan Bread inspired by Books from Your Public Library
Inspired by several popular baking books, Henry Bankhead will explain the method and practice of making no-knead sourdough artisan bread. Bankhead will explain how Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, the Tartine Bread Book(s) by Chad Robertson and Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish inspired him to learn about baking artisan bread at home on pizza stones and in Dutch ovens. Bankhead will demonstrate sourdough care and feeding, dough shaping and dough proofing. He will also share samples of finished loaf and sourdough starter with attendees.
4:35 PM Steve Thomas, Branch Manager, Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library How To Podcast
Podcasts are digital audio files delivered through the internet, like on-demand talk radio, usually downloaded or streamed through an app, such as iTunes, Stitcher, or Overcast. Listeners can have new episodes delivered to them by subscribing to a show’s feed. Though mainstream culture is just now catching on to podcasts thanks to shows like comedian Marc Maron’s WTF or Serial (from the same producers as public radio’s This American Life), library staffers have been ahead of the curve and have been producing podcasts for years. New library-focused shows continue to be created regularly. Steve Thomas created the Circulating Ideas podcast in 2011, where he facilitates conversations about the practice and future of libraries, and has interviewed over 100 librarians and library supporters in that time. In 2015, he launched a second podcast with law librarian Dolly Moehrle called Withdrawn. In this presentation, Steve will demonstrate the equipment, software and other tools he uses to produce his shows and how other libraries and librarians use podcasting as a tool to advance the profession and reach our communities in innovative ways.
5:00 PM Erica Jesonis, Chief Librarian for Information Management, Cecil County (Md.) Public Library How To Keep Your Library’s Facebook Page from Getting Hacked
What would you do if your library’s Facebook page got hacked and unwanted or even (gasp!) scandalous posts started to appear? Would you be forced to wait in agony for Facebook to hand back control? Don’t let it get that far! Learn easy and effective ways you can protect your organization and yourself so your account is less likely to get compromised in the first place. Erica Jesonis, Chief Librarian of Information Management from Cecil County Public Library, a statewide leader and presenter on social media, will share tips you can implement now to improve security for your organization and for yourself.
5:25 PM Kacper Jarecki, Manager, Queens (N.Y.) Public Library
Matthew Allison, Manager, Queens (N.Y.) Public Library
How To Make a Library Pirate Radio Station
We have started a “pirate radio” station at our library, and so can you! Play music, interview guests, do karaoke, and have library staff and customers take turns as DJs! It’s a lot of fun. Learn how to broadcast your station via antenna the old fashioned way, or make an internet station. Use simple equipment that you may already have and that won’t break the bank. Breathe new life into your CD collection! Change customer perceptions! Unleash your wild side! Make some noise 😉
5:50 PM Adam Brooks, Director of Libraries & Community Services, Hernando County (Fla.) Public Library System
Jessie Zairo, Educator, ByWater Solutions
How To Organize Your Library’s 5K
Learn how to organize a library fitness event, and how to focus on community partnerships and collaboration. Will also share basic strategies for marketing, advocacy, and sponsorships.
6:10 PM Kayci Barrett, Branch Manager, Pueblo (Colo.) City County Library District How To Breathe
Think you already know? Okay, you do, but do you know how to breathe deeply? Breathing deeply will help you relax, give better customer service, and improve relationships with your colleagues. In this how-to session you will be introduced to the ancient Chinese practice called Qi Gong. We will go through a series of gentle breathing and movement exercises that will leave you feeling invigorated, relaxed, and happy.

Thursday, April 7
9:45–10:30 AM & 3:15–4:00 PM

Start Time Presenters How To…
9:45 AM Laura Bevins, Youth Services Supervisor, New Orleans (La.) Public Library How To Glitter Tattoo
Looking for an easy skill that is quicker than face-painting at your summer reading program party or just to add some more pizzazz than a temporary tattoo? How To Glitter Tattoo will show you how to temporarily apply glitter to skin with a body safe adhesive. Glitter tattoos can be used with a stencil design or designs can be drawn free hand. Use any color combo that you want on your glitter tattoo and make your glitter tattoo whatever size you want it to be. Glitter tattoos can be a quick and simple one color shape to multiple colors with shading for a one of a kind work of art.vGlitter tattoos are versatile and appropriate for all ages. Use glitter tattoos to accessorize your real tattoos, add ‘Read More’ or ‘Bookworm’ as knuckle tats, or rock some glitter eyebrows. Cosmetic grade glitter should always be used to ensure the safety of the human canvas. Glitter tattoos can easily be removed with baby oil.
10:10 AM Megan Klein-Hewett, Adult Services Librarian, Omaha (Nebr.) Public Library
Micki Dietrich, Community Engagement Librarian, Omaha (Nebr.) Public Library
How To Improve Your Meetings with Five Simple Principles
Are your meetings terrible? Would you like to make them better? Join Omaha Public Library’s facilitation team members as they share tips and techniques to make your future meetings more successful and dynamic. The facilitators will present five simple principles that can be applied to any meeting to make it more purposeful and productive. Through tips on organizing a well-run meeting, writing a purposeful agenda, and adding interactive techniques, you will leave ready to refresh your meetings.
3:15 PM Catherine Damiani, Digital Services Librarian, East Providence (R.I.) Public Library How To Cook For One
One isn’t the loneliest number when you have your pots, pans, utensils, and range to keep you company! Amateur cook and single-living librarian Catherine Damiani will share tips and tricks for grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, and baking for one. Healthy and delicious recipes will be shared so that you too can become a cook for one.
3:40 PM Nancy Herrera, Librarian/Fitness Trainer, Fit @ Your Library, Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library How To Boost Your Energy Level & Body Image By Strengthening Your Core Muscles, Maintaining Balance and Improving Your Posture
Have you been wondering how to get rid of those bat wings under your arms that wave in the wind every time you say goodbye? Feeling anxiety and stress over tight and stiff muscles? Did you know that another great acronym for PLA is “Positive Lean Attitude”? Why bother strengthening those small core muscles? Because strong core muscles will improve your posture, develop a leaner look and slim your waist. Toned and strengthened muscles can also be a vehicle for relieving stress and reducing muscle stiffness…especially the shoulder, neck and back muscles. Techniques to prevent the risk of injury will also be introduced. We’re in our body 24/7…wherever you go, there it is! So why not nurture it? Join me in a 20-minute energetic demonstration to learn some simple exercises to combat the jiggles throughout our body. Let’s maintain our balance, show off our defined arms with confidence combined with leaner bodies and strong core muscles! Bring your enthusiasm and willingness to sweat a little!

Friday, April 8
9:45–10:30 AM & 3:15–4:00 PM

Start Time Presenters How To…
9:45 AM Leigh Ramey, Youth Services Supervisor, Aurora (Colo.) Public Library How To Sign with Babies
Babies already know how to sign naturally, like when they wave “bye bye,” but wouldn’t it be cool to learn signs to help them with mealtime, bath time, playtime and bedtime routines? Learn new signs so that you can communicate better with your baby at home, or teach other families at the library how signing can benefit them! Attendees will learn some basic signs, benefits to signing, tips on how to teach signs to babies and resources to help when planning programs.”
10:10 AM Lorena Gay-Griffin, Assistant Director for Regional Services and Outreach, Athens (Ga.) Regional Library System How To Felt and Sew From Upcycled Sweaters
My daughter and I own a small craft business called The Green Griffin. We buy wool sweaters from thrift stores, turn them into felt, and then cut and sew that felt into scarves, hats, dolls, blankets, potholders, pins, mittens, etc. We actually got our start from library books (Sweater Chop Shop by Crispina ffrench) and now sell in festivals and retail shops. The “how-to” session will describe what to look for in a sweater (showing a variety of good and bad samples), how to felt it, and provide an online packet of patterns to use to make your own projects in a library program. Many small projects can be sewn by hand. It’s a great maker-space or teen activity. It’s cheap. It celebrates recycling. It’s basically awesome in every way. I’ll be providing take-away kits to make a felt flower pin.
3:15 PM Donna Willingham, Branch Manager, Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library – Hough Branch How To Perform Like a Storyteller
Many of us are skilled in captivating a listener by reading words from the pages of storybooks. Whether through specific training or learning “hands on,” many of us have mastered the skill of using the right amount of vocal intonation to bring characters to life. But, have you ever wanted to close the book and tell a story from memory, showcasing your own boundless creativity which puts a unique spin on a story? Attend this “how to” presentation which will illustrate a few basic storytelling skills. Learn tips on how to “mesmerize” audiences by bringing a story to life through a combination vocal intonation, facial expression, and hand gestures.
3:40 PM Nick Haag, Ramblin’ Re-Imagineer, RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching)
Suzanne McGowan, Manager/Experience Expert, Anythink Libraries
How To Build a File Folder Junk Band
Love music and science? Do you have a couple hanging file folders around? Well then, you’re ready to create your own band! Come join RAFT Colorado and Anythink Libraries as we show you how to create your own three-piece junk band with nothing more than file folders and a few household items. These projects are great for any age or setting, and are a blast to make and play! The quick, affordable, and easy instruments you will create are: 1. File Folder Harmonicas: Is it a harmonica or a kazoo? Either way, this bluesy beauty will have you buzzing! 2. String-a-ma-things: The ultimate in obsolete engineering, the string-a-ma-thing combines a bottle, some file folder tops, and VHS tape to create a twangy one-stringed instrument! 3. File Folder Drums: After using file folder tops on harmonicas and string-a-ma-things, what will we do with the folders themselves?!? Fear not, the file folder drum is here! File folders make surprisingly effective drum skins, and this fun and simple classic rounds out the band. Sound fun? Then come rock out with RAFT and Anythink as we create “File Folder Junk Bands”!

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 26, 2016, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 25, 2016. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours.

The PLA 2016 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.


PLA has put in place features to ensure the conference is accessible to all.


Special print and electronic advertising opportunities are available to reach PLA members and attendees both before and during the conference.

Appropriate Conduct

All participants are expected to observe the rules and behaviors described in the Statement of Appropriate Conduct in all conference venues, including online venues, and conference social events.


There is no formal dress code at the PLA Conference. What’s most important is to dress for comfort.

Conference Logo

The custom logos of the PLA 2016 Conference are the property of PLA. Anyone wishing to use the logos in their communications and promotional materials must: 1) Seek permission from PLA; and 2) Submit communication/artwork incorporating the logo to PLA for final approval. The logo may not be modified and must be reproduced in its entirety (i.e., no outlines, cropping). To request the use of the logo, companies should contact Carly DiVito at Corcoran Expositions at 312-541-0567 or; all others should contact PLA at 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or


Contact Carly DiVito, Corcoran Expositions, 312-541-0567 or


No carrying of firearms allowed in the Colorado Convention Center unless you’re on-duty law enforcement or off-duty and on payroll of the show or SMG (convention center management).


The official conference hashtag is #PLA2016.


Contact Heather Cho, ALA Media Relations Specialist, 312-280-4020 or Please review our conference media policy.


ALA and PLA membership is managed by the ALA Membership & Customer Service (MACS) unit. To join, renew, rejoin, or add to your membership, fill out a secure form online; or print and fill out a membership form and fax or mail it in; or call 800-545-2433 and press 5. Direct your membership questions to MACS at or 800-545-2433 and press 5. MACS representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Central.

Mobile App

Attendees can access full event schedule, evaluate sessions, customize their own agenda, and compete in the Extraordinary Exhibits photo challenge game on the PLA 2016 mobile app. To request assistance with the mobile app, please e-mail

PLA Office

The PLA Office is located in A Mezzanine in the Colorado Convention Center. You can access the A Mezzanine from any of the lobbies using Elevator A, across from registration, and press the MZ button to get to the Mezzanine. You can also access A Mezzanine from Exhibit Hall A using Stairwell 30. The office phone numbers are 303-228-8450 and 303-228-8451. Onsite office hours are Monday, April 4–Friday, April 8, 8:00 AM–5:00 PM; Saturday, April 9, 8:00 AM–1:00 PM.

Registration & Housing

Onsite registration hours are Tuesday, April 5, 7:30 AM–5:00 PM; Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 AM–6:30 PM; Thursday, April 7, 7:30 AM–5:30 PM; Friday, April 8, 7:30 AM–4:00 PM; and Saturday, April 9, 8:00–10:00 AM. Conference registration and housing is managed by Experient. Call or e-mail your questions, 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada), 847-996-5829 (all other countries), or Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM Eastern. PLA Conference is a professional event. It is not open to the public.


Contact Corcoran Expositions, Mary Michalik at 312-265-9650,; or Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

Thank you PLA Conference Sponsors!


Most conference events—including all preconferences and concurrent program sessions—will take place in the Colorado Convention Center (CCC), 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202. Additional events will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202, and other venues as indicated.

Other Questions

Contact PLA, 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or; or find someone to help in the PLA Staff directory.