Why you should register for a conference ASAP

10/02/2012 § 31 Comments

Zombie Frommelt badgeHere we are in the second month of the semester and if you are new to your LIS program, you’re probably just trying to get your feet under you (as I was a year ago). Old hands are re-acclimating to the familiar not-enough-hours-in-the-day feeling and we are all looking at due dates, reading lists and task lists with dread.

For the first time or the 10th, you might be drowning in a sea of acronyms and the thought of adding ALA, MLA, SLA, or AMIA seems like it will shortcircuit your brain. Believe me, though, the effort of finding a good conference and then attending is going to save you tons of time, energy and even money in the long run.

It is worth it to add this to-do to your plate in a place of priority. Hack Library has published some great resources for hacking a conference, particularly the Grandaddy of them all ALA (herehere, here and here). Even if you can’t make it to Anaheim this summer, you ought start planning to attend at least one LIS Conference in the next year. Let me explain through my experience.

« Read the rest of this entry »

ALA Midwinter – Quick Preview

19/01/2012 § 7 Comments

In case you haven’t yet had the opportunity to be introduced to the idea of professional networking, here’s a quick intro: librarians near and far, from all varieties of the field, twice a year attend gigantic conferences hosted by our preeminent organization, the American Library Association. There are constant debates about the value of membership in this organization, and we highly encourage all readers to throughly investigate how and where they plan to invest their professional time. That said, I (Micah) think its important to be part of ALA for the very reason this blog exists, to support the idea of “Big Tent Librarianship” and build connections with peers and colleagues in different areas of work.

So, I’ll be attending ALA Midwinter in Dallas this weekend, along with my fellow HackLibSchool writers Teresa and Ashley. Here are a few tips/pointers/suggestions if you’re a student or recent grad heading to the conference:

1. Bring a water bottle

2. Carry your phone charger with you

3. Wear comfortable shoes (but fashionable, of course!)

4. Contact the ALA New Members Round Table (NRMT) – they’re here for you!

5. Get out, be personable and meet people!

6. Contact Micah (micahvandegrift [at] gmail) if you want to be added to the ALAMW GroupMe group chat/text thingie. Smart phone not required! Great way to stay in touch, find out where the good sessions are, organize a lunch or breakfast, and generally make new friends!

7. Use ALA Connect’s Conference Scheduler to get organized and plan out the sessions you’re attending. Seriously. Invaluable.

And to facilitate #5, we are happy to promote several social events that are a great way to connect with new colleagues.

(and selfishly, two events close to our hearts):

Hope to see some of you in Dallas! Don’t be shy, come up and say hello!

Bonus: Check out this series of posts from last year’s ALA Annual Conference to get a sense of how we hack conferences.

HackLibSchool at ALA Annual

23/06/2011 § 3 Comments

snapshot of ala11 Conference Scheduler Statistics (as of June 16, 2011)

ALA Conference Scheduler Stats from ALA Staff on Flickr

Hi Everyone – Just a quick short note here. We’re very excited to be a part of reshaping ALA, as you can probably tell from some of our recent posts. The first step is getting involved, which we will be kicking off this weekend at the annual conference. Annie, Lauren and Micah will be attending the conference (and wishing everyone else could make it too!), and feeling out the pulse of our profession – Annie as an MLIS student and Lauren and Micah as n00brarians. Aside from the great sessions and speakers, we are excited to get out and meet folks, friends, readers, peers and leaders in the field.

There are plans(?) to try to do some short posts from the conference, although we’ll see if/how that actually pans out. Micah will be wandering around collecting sound bites for the ever-popular Two Minute Insights that we sorta gave up on, but are hoping to revive. We have applied to iTunes for our podcast license, and for now you can listen to the past TMI’s below. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook page for new TMI’s from the conference.

Thank you again for reading and supporting us, and please, do come up and introduce yourself. We’re shy too.

Hope some of you will make it to the HackLibSchool Meetup at Avenue Pub, Sunday night at 8:30ish!

Unpacking the Conference: Planning, Execution, and Afterthoughts

22/06/2011 § 4 Comments

This post is a shared effort between HLS editor Julia Skinner and Katie DeVries Hassman, Sam Bouwers, and Gwen Persons, who were part of the conference planning team for Unpacking the “Library”: Exploring Works in Progress Across the Field of LIS. Other planners included Melody Dworak, Christine Mastalio, and Julie Zimmerman, who looked over parts of the post for us! To see more about the programs from that day, go to Julia’s post here.

Conference attendees

The audience waits for a conference session to start.

Part I: The Planning

Julia: Planning a conference is a lot of work. It’s fun and rewarding work, but if you’re going to hold a conference make sure to give yourself as much time for planning as you can! The idea for our conference came when we wanted to find another way to educate our fellow students and encourage them to grow professionally. Having a goal and a framework in place when we started planning was important, because it made our lives much easier when people asked ‘why are you hosting a conference?’ or ‘what do you hope people will get out of this?’ « Read the rest of this entry »

SLA 2011 + HackLibSchool

11/06/2011 § 1 Comment

Just a quick reminder for any of our readers who might be attending the Special Libraries Association conference in Philadelphia this coming week – Our friend and contributing writer Lauren Bradley has organized a get together for LIS students and n00brarians. See the details below and RSVP to the Facebook invite. Take pics and post them on our Facebook page!

Time: Monday, June 13 · 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Location Continental Midtown Restaurant

1801 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

LIS students, recent grads, and assorted friendlies: let’s take a moment away from the hotel ballroom scene at SLA2011 and raise a glass to colleagues from our programs and new friends from other schools. The fun is inclusive to everyone, because almost everyone at SLA went to an LIS program at some point, right?

Happy hour will be on the roofdeck bar from 5pm to 7pm. This event is being co-organized by the fine folks at Hack Library School and by SLA@Pratt, the student chapter of SLA at Pratt SILS. See you there!

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