On October 16, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.” Our fourth annual online event has itself been reinvented in a new format, offering program tracks focused around community, instruction, and getting beyond the container to new content. EBSCO is a platinum sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Scott Wasinger, Vice President of Sales for eBooks and Audiobooks at EBSCO Publishing, in the third of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming the libraries of today and tomorrow.
LJ’s Design Institute (DI) in Cuyahoga County, OH, was itself an example of one of the major trends it planned to cover—flexibility. When Hurricane Sandy rendered New York–based LJ staff and many presenters incommunicado or unable to travel to the event on its originally scheduled date, architects and the event’s host, the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), worked with LJ to pull off a rescheduled get-together only a month later on December 14, 2012. Attendees rearranged their schedules to provide a full house despite the short notice and approaching holiday season.
In April, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries program hosted in Cape Town, South Africa, the aptly named Peer Learning Meeting (PLM). According to the Gates Foundation, the conference is held roughly every 18 months and is described as “a multiday event where Global Libraries (GL) grantees, staff, and partners meet to exchange ideas and experiences, share success stories and challenges, discuss practical solutions, and build relationships with their fellow professionals in the field.” This year, some 120 librarians from 32 countries gathered to share the challenges they face and the solutions they’ve found.
To aid in your use of the handy ALA Scheduler this year LJ ’s editors have selected a few of their favorite ALA program sessions from the sprawling array of options on offer. We hope these selections will give you the best shot at the newest and best ideas and innovations, the most useful information and best practices, and, of course, the most entertainment for the time and money you have invested. If all else fails there is always “that toddlin’ town” outside.
Why is this conference unlike all other conferences? Several of this year’s innovations are drawn from the current trends in professional gatherings that feature high-energy, interactive, bottom-up content rather than traditional presentations. Other 2013 changes to the conference include added support for body (yoga, massage) and brain (the new Buddy Program), plus technology-enabled instant gratification: attendees can vote for their favorite sessions in the ACRL People’s Choice Awards via mobile device.
With a promise to attendees of “inspiring content” and a message to potential exhibitors that they’ll get to chat with “the decision-makers you need to meet,” the American Library Association (ALA) has scheduled its Midwinter Meeting at the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) in Seattle, January 25–29, 2013. ALA says Midwinter has been “redesigned,” but the change seems more extensive, more like reinvented. The transformation is clearly needed to attract exhibitors and members whose fees will help ALA clear a deficit from the last fiscal year and avoid revenue shortfalls in FY13, both partly caused by declining conference revenues.
The Risk and Reward Conference (R2), focusing on creativity and innovation in libraries, was planned for September 2012 up in the mountains in Telluride, CO (where the local tourism board won the bid to host the conference). The initial placeholder webpage was mysterious, lacking a lot of details one usually finds on conference pages. As more details about R2 appeared in the spring, I was intrigued and decided to attend in spite of relatively high travel and boarding costs, using conference funds made available to me by the Provost’s office at San Jose State University. It was well worth it, and changed my entire perception of a conference experience.
As we snaked through the cobblestone streets of Tallinn’s old town, the onlookers’ confused stares and disbelieving smiles faded and returned as they waved, and then saw that, wait, yet more of us were coming up the hill, waving, ringing our bells, and smiling to cover up our focused determination to reach the end. I […]