Updated Jan. 22, 4:30 PST
I’m heading to the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference 2014. I’ve been to two ALA Annual Conferences, but never to the Midwinter edition. This conference is largely focused on committee work, and less on public presentations, but I have been combing the scheduler to find the most interesting (to me) action going on. Here’s my plan.
Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, courtesy Flickr user Lee Bennett
Thursday, January 23
I’ll get to Philly on Thursday afternoon, with time to check-in to the Holiday Inn and head directly to the ALATT’s “Council Meeting” at a local establishment called the Tattooed Mom. It’s open to everyone and many of the 2014 Emerging Leaders are planning to meet up there. You’ll find it on this handy map, along with all the other socials and conference hotels.
Friday, January 24
Why would I head to Philadelphia in the depth of winter, in the midst of a polar vortex? I’m a part of the 2014 edition of ALA’s Emerging Leaders program. I’m in “Team C.” Our task is to deliver a plan to ALCTS to amplify their social media outreach. Consequently, my first full day of the conference, Friday, will be taken up with Emerging Leaders activities: meeting from 8:15 to 4:00pm, followed by a Presidential Reception for this year’s class from 4-5:30pm, and a 7:00 social for EL participants and alums at the Field House. To top it off, Urban Librarians Unite is organizing a 9pm gathering in the same venue — perfect — I won’t have to head out into the cold.
Saturday, January 25
By Saturday, I get a little more Philadelphia freedom to pick my spots. My current plan (of course, all subject to change):
- 8:30-10am: NMRT Conference Orientation, PCC 307B. Getting the lay of the land from the New Member’s Round Table is always a good way to get a handle on a conference, meet a few people, and get ready for the days ahead.
- 10:30-11:30am: Open Forum on Revised Information Literacy Competency Standards, Loews Hotel Commonwealth A-D. As an instructional librarian, these standards are my bread-and-butter.
- 1:00-2:00: I will serve as a volunteer résumé reviewer in the NMRT’s Placement Center.
- 2:00-3:00: Ever seen a seven-headed monster? The ALATT is sponsoring Ignite Sessions in the Networking Uncommons. Seven presenters, five minutes each, with 20 fast-moving slides. I’m one of the seven. My topic? Community building from the ground-up. But don’t come for me: it’s the other six I want to see.
- 3:00-4:00pm: Making Learning & Research Fun: The World of Digital Badging, PCC 201C. There’s a joint effort of major federal agencies/organizations (Smithsonian, NPS, Library of Congress, etc.) to create a digital learning platform open to librarians and educators to use with our students. I’m going to learn a little more.
- 4:30-5:30pm: Challenges of Gender Issues in Technology Librarianship, PCC 201C. Andromeda Yelton is going to lead a panel discussion on the gender-related challenges faced by library technologists. Some of the recent controversy surrounding the ALA Code of Conduct is clear evidence that conversations like this need to exist, and I’m looking forward to it.
- 7:00-9:00pm: I might drop by the Newbie/Veteran Librarian Tweet-up, but I am sworn to the Tumblarian Party.
- 9:00pm-onward: The EveryLibrary | Mango Midwinter After-Hours Benefit and Party. Because of course. By the way: support EveryLibrary.
Sunday, January 26
- 10:30-11:30am: New Members Discussion Group, PCC 121A. It sounds like a good conversation about how early-career librarians can #makeithappen. I’m in.
- 1:00-2:30pm: OITP – Google Book Search: What impact will the GBS saga have on copyright reform?, PCC 114 Lecture Hall. Google’s Fred von Lohmann will give his perspective on copyright and the Google Book Search lawsuit, with responses from Amherst and Emory librarians.
- 3:00-4:00: Library Family Feud! They pit authors vs. librarians. By this point, I’m pretty sure I’ll need something silly. I attended this at ALA 2013 and it was fun.
- 4:30-5:30: Digital Humanities Discussion Group. A subject I find interesting but need to learn more about. Here’s where I’ll start.
Monday, January 27
- 10:30-11:30am: ALCTS Forum: How my library was energized by ALCTS publications, PCC 204A. Now that I’m part of the ALCTS social media squad, it’s time to build a propaganda treasure chest. Hearing how librarians are using ALCTS to accomplish their goals should help me learn how to promote ALCTS, yes?
- 11:45-12:30pm: ALA Masters Series – The library as a catalyst for innovation: Case studies of library entrepreneurship centers and programming, PCC 203B. Pima County Public Library’s Catalyst Café apparently has something going as an idea incubator. I am intrigued, so I’ll go see what they’re talking about, but I’m also reminded of Chris Bourg’s warning about the Neo-liberal Library. We’ll see.
After that, I’ll fly home in time to sleep in my own bed Monday night.
Let me know if I’m missing out on a Must-Do in the comments.
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