Top 8 Reasons to go to an International Library Conference

10/02/2014 § 8 Comments

I recently traveled to Barcelona, Spain for BOBCATSSS, a library conference organized by European library science students. Upon returning I realized that many of my peers were unaware of the variety of international library conference opportunities that students can take advantage of. As LIS students, we are frequently encouraged to attend conferences, create posters, and present papers. So why not do so in another country? It may seem scary, but attending an international conference can be a great way to open yourself up to new things, make new connections, and meet new people!

Conferencing!

Conferencing!

Here are some observations, gleaned from my BOBCATSSS experiences, on why you should consider international conferencing: 

  1. Language doesn’t have to be an issue.
    If you’re like me you studied a foreign language in high school, maybe some in college, but you don’t necessarily feel comfortable going to an academic conference and presenting in another language. This is fine! Many international library conference are in English and others offer translation services for the larger sessions and programs. This is, of course, something to look into before submitting a proposal; but it is rarely a true barrier to your conference attendance. International conferences want people from a variety of countries to attend, so they find ways to bridge language gaps.
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[Hack ALA] What to Bring to ALA and What to Do

26/06/2013 § 2 Comments

Are you ready for ALA Annual? Check out last year’s post on preparing for the conference, “Hack ALA: Professional Preparations.”

ALA exhibit hall

Photo of ALA exhibit hall (Washington, DC, 2007) by Elizabeth Thomsen.

For some extra advice, I asked some of my friends who have gone to ALA what attendees should bring and what they should do while at the conference. Here are their suggestions:

What to Bring

  • Business cards. If you don’t have any yet, make some quick ones on a printer with card stock!
  • Bring clothes that you can layer. Not only is Chicago summer weather fickle, but you will have to deal with variable conference center and hotel air conditioning systems.
  • Granola bars or other portable snacks. You will be booked solid (if you are doing things right) and may forget a meal here or there.
  • An empty water bottle. Stay hydrated!
  • Professional looking pen. (“No bics, man,” says my friend.)
  • Camera (sound settings off if possible for less obtrusive picture-taking).
  • Chargers for your phone, camera, tablet, computer, and other gadgets.
  • Comfortable shoes.
  • Blister creme.

What to Do

  • Make sure to schedule time to network (at more formal events as well as more informally over meals and drinks). Meeting people is as important as attending sessions.
  • If you know that you need time for yourself, make sure to also schedule some downtime away from people, especially if you have roommates.
  • Be ready to pick up swag (free stuff! books! pens! bags! random thing!) at the exhibits.
  • If someone invites you to an event or meal, go! Make lots of friends.

Thanks to Roger, Sarah, Bryan, Julia, and Stephanie for these suggestions!

HLS and LibraryLab Meetup at ALA!

06/06/2013 § 1 Comment

Are you going to ALA later this month? We’re teaming up with LibraryLab to host a meetup on Sunday, June 30th from 8:00-10:00 at the Green Door.  The meetup is a fun and informal way to hang out with us, network, and make some new friends while having a cocktail! You can add it to your ALA calendar by going to this link.

Also, if you’re in the DC area, remember we’re hosting meetups in June!

HackLibSchool Conversation Starter

06/06/2012 § 3 Comments

I am pleased to say that HackLibSchool will be holding two events at this years ALA Annual conference. Awhile back, I wrote about trying to bring HLS and the issues we care about to the conference level. Well, I’m happy to say that our Conversation Starter was accepted! To be honest, this is the first year that they have done the Conversation Starter series, so I’m not sure what to expect. However, our session is intended to be a moderated discussion – not like a traditional panelists just talk at you presentation. We want your input on what topics you want to discuss.

Potential guiding questions:

  • What aspects of library school curriculum prepare you for the job?
  • What emerging technologies helped you hack your education?
  • From a student’s perspective, what advice would you give to a veteran? or a potential boss?
  • What would you tell yourself going into library school, knowing what you know now?
  • Should every student be required to take at least one online class? Why?

Please add more potential questions in the comments! We want to talk about things that are relevant to you! Also, we only have 45 minutes to talk so I would like to invite everyone to come meet and talk with the Hackers at the HackLibSchool/ Library Boing Boing meetup! It’s going to be fun, and hope to see you there!

How to Hack the Academic Conference

13/03/2012 § 8 Comments

Planning Quasi-Con

This post was collaboratively written by Quasi-Con planners and School of Information Master’s candidates Kelly Davenport, Peter Timmons, Ilana Barnes (ALA chapter president), Kim Miller (vice president), Katy Mahraj (treasurer), Ryan Clement (webmaster), and Mariah Cherem (social media coordinator).

The DIY Library Conference: A Quasi-Guide

It was an experiment.

When Ilana Barnes pitched the idea of a student-led library conference at the University of Michigan School of Information (SI) during her tenure as ALA Chapter president, she chose the following theme: “The Future of Libraries?!”

Ultimately, we didn’t need the question mark. More than 70 students, professionals, and alumni gathered in January for the first Quasi-Con, a hybrid unconference and professional conference. We’re here to tell you how we organized it, and why we think you should plan your own Quasi-Con, in three easy steps.

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