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I pulled out my new 2019 calendar and all of a sudden the next KLAS Users' Conference is THIS YEAR and not NEXT. But, there's no reason to panic because the Program and Logistics Committees have been actively meeting on a monthly basis since last fall and have made some great progress in planning for your attendance. Do you know who those people are and what kind of work they do? First, let's introduce you to the people who are bringing you this year's "Waves of Change."

Picture of Beach with text reading "2019 KLAS Users' Conference June 3-6, 2019, West Palm Beach, FL".


Who are they?

Below are the persons serving on the Planning Committees for the 2019 KLAS User's Conference.

2019 KLAS Users' Conference Program Committee:

  • Chandra Thornton, KLAS Users' Group Vice President, Program Committee Chair, 2019 KLAS User's Conference Host, Palm Beach County Library System Talking Books Library
  • Erin Pawlus, KLAS Users' Group Secretary, Arizona Braille and Talking Book Library
  • Sue Walker, KLAS UC 2018 Host, Idaho Commission for Libraries Talking Book Service
  • Vanessa Meadows, KLAS UC 2017 Host, Georgia Library for Accessible Statewide Services
  • Cyndi Hammonds, California Department of Education
  • Amy Ravenholt, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library
  • Katy Patrick, Keystone Systems
  • Andrea Callicutt, Keystone Systems

2019 KLAS Users' Conference Logistics Committee:

  • Craig Hayward, KLAS Users' Group President, Logistics Committee Chair, North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • Sarah Smedley, 2019 KLAS User's Conference Host, Palm Beach County Library System Talking Books Library
  • Nancy Reese, KLAS UC 2018 Host, Idaho Commission for Libraries Talking Book Service
  • Andrew Shockley, KLAS UC 2015 Host, Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • Debbie Martin, Brevard County Talking Books Library
  • John Mugford, New Mexico Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • Andrea Callicutt, Keystone Systems

What do they do?

The Planning Committees usually meet on a monthly or bi-monthly basis depending on what work is currently needing to be done. The Logistics Committee focuses on planning the conference's transportation, catering, registration, welcome reception, and networking excursion. The Program Committee plans the conference content by identifying topics of interest, seeking out presenters, and creating a schedule all while trying to appeal to the varied job functions, skill sets, and learning styles of our attendees. Both pay close attention to the commentary and ideas that arise from previous year's feedback forms and follow-up surveys as they plan. They also look for new ideas that could benefit our attendees and bounce them off one another. 

When an organization offers to host a conference we do ask if a member / members of their staff can serve on each committee the year before, the of, and the year after they host. We also encourage other persons to serve on the committees who have an interest in contributing to the planning of the conference's content or the details of attendees' experiences while there.

At this time, much of the preliminary logistics planning has been completed and that committee is now focusing on more detailed decisions, such as our reception entertainment and which menus to choose for provided meals. At the same time, our Program Committee has now done a thorough review and discussion of session feedback, sent out a call for proposals, created an initial overview schedule, and will soon be contacting additional possible presenters and finalizing session topics with the goal of publishing the next draft of the conference schedule before January 31.

If you have any questions about how these committees operate or they work they do, please feel free to contact anyone serving on them. Or, if you are interested in serving on a committee in the future, contact one of your KLAS Users' Group Officers or the current committee chair.