Thursday, March 22, 2012

Four Journal Entries-

Secrets of the Stressed Out Brain by Heather Higgins                                     10:00-11:30 am  
This was an amazing workshop.  I learned a lot.  Ms. Higgins said that stress is a normal part of life that can either help us learn and grow or can cause us significant problems.  It all depends on how one deals with it.  Stress kills brain cells, compromises the immune system function, and activates the limbic (more emotional) brain.   Moderate anxiety produces optimal performance but if anxiety stays high performance will decline.  Very interesting information!

Jack’s Brain, Jill’s Brain by Heather Higgins                                                         2:30-4pm
This was another great workshop by Ms. Higgins.  She talked a lot about brain development and how male and female brains are different. These differences make for distinctly different learning styles for boys and girls.  As a teacher as well as a librarian, I think the information I learned here can help me in dealing with the children in my programs at the library.  An interesting fact; the average person’s brain isn’t fully developed until age 25.  No wonder people in their late teens and early twenties still do crazy things! 

Meeting Mental Health Reference Needs in Alaska by Julie Niederhauser         9:45-11:15 am 
I received some free resources at this session that are now on display in our library.  One in six adults lives with mental illness.  The three most common mental illnesses are anxiety, substance abuse, and depression.  Alaska has a very high suicide rate.  Sadly, many are young people in the villages who take their own lives.  There are websites available to aid families, young people, and community leaders in preventing and dealing with these tragedies.  

Summer Reading Program 2012 by Sue Sherif and panel                               4-5:30 pm     
We learned about the upcoming Summer Reading Program called “Dream Big-Read.”  The librarians had great ideas with everything from making owl shaped cupcakes to hosting stuffed animal sleepovers!  I got a lot of tips and ideas from this session that I plan to use at our library this summer.  I met some really nice, helpful librarians here.  This was probably the most useful program of the whole conference for me.

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