Post Cards from Congress – Day 3

Michael Johnny, RIR – York

Connections. They are always central to effective KMb, but I noticed today especially how important connections are – to build, maintain and support. Let’s examine some highlights of my day:

– A friend and former colleague of mine from my years working in Aboriginal literacy showed up, and in addition to the personal and professional gossip and catch up, we talked business. Her work as a Publishing Manager for a provincial Aboriginal literacy organization has created a new opportunity to leverage York KMb capacity to support a business venture.

– Our booth is conveniently close to Mitacs. This proximity is helping build relationships with key staff, but more importantly, to explore and expand thinking around a proposed collaboration…stay tuned for details later this summer!

– New this year at the RIR booth is a daily project poster display. Utilizing projects across the RIR network, today’s poster focused on a collaborative project on improving math for young children. The project was between Laurier researchers, Ontario Early Years Centres and Libraries of Wellington County. The impact story resonated with a parent, coincidentally from that part of Ontario, and she will be seeking a connection with Laurier’s broker to follow up and learn more.

– Lastly, I took some time to meet with a faculty member at U Manitoba who was signing new copies of her recent book. We attended the same graduate program at Trent. There’s no deep message here; just that you should always make the time to maintain connections that matter.

Of course, the day brought its usual inquiries – 38 visits to the RIR booth, representing 15 unique institutions and, again, a few non-academic organizations. One simply never knows whether any of these 38 visits will result in something. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but a connection made provides an incredible opportunity. I would not have guessed a connection I made in 1994 would play so prominently in my current work in 2014!

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