One of the things I’ve been really excited to see is the growth of so many socializing opportunities in the Bay Area for librarians. Most of these gathering are organized on Facebook or some other social media but occasionally they’re posted on Calix (California library listserv). These kinds of events help bring together our community of professionals and paraprofessionals and I hope will allow us to come together when we need support from our peers. I wrote about how important this was a couple of posts ago and it’s great to see it continue with so many other groups.
Because there are so many groups of librarians (what do you call a group of librarians?), this time I’m going to give you some links to the organizers of these events. Here they are in no particular order.
Information Amateurs Social Club
The information Amateurs Social Club is not to be confused with the Information Professionals Social Club although I do generally confuse them. From what I understand, they were both created at almost the exact same time without any coordination and it just happens to be a coincidence. This social club though, focuses on gatherings in the San Francisco area while some of the others focus on other areas of the bay.
Information Professionals Social Club
This group was started by an SJSU SLIS alumna and student because they wanted to promote interaction among Bay Area Information Professionals. They are really striving to encourage some more networking between information professionals, new graduates, and students. They organize a lot of informal meet-ups that are designed to stimulate conversation, share employment experiences and educational advice, and above all make new friends.
Bay Area Librarians
I’m excited that I started the BAL Page on Facebook and I got to watch it grow to over 400 professionals, para professionals, and students. We have more admins now and quite a few different people starting meetups. Although, Facebook changed some of the settings for Pages and in retrospect I wish I would have made this a group instead of a page. Because I live in the Peninsula area, this group’s meetups are usually near me along the Peninsula. Specifically, we have meetups every Thursday in Redwood City at the Peninsula Yacht Club for anyone who is interested in relaxing and having a cheap drink. if anyone wants to take a swing at making another meetup elsewhere from this page, let me know and I’ll make you an Admin.
SLIS Students and Alumni
This page just brings people together who went to San Jose SLIS and want to connect. Occasionally I have seen some organization of some meetups and networking events. Typically, from what I’ve seen, these events focus on getting students connected with professionals to help them build a bigger network and gain some opportunities for mentorship etc…
Silicon Valley Librarian Network
This group is all about bringing together people in the Silicon Valley who are in the librarian profession. It’s a new and pretty loose group right now but I’ve seen them share some good stuff. Basically, they just want to create some opportunities for more folks to have some drinks together. I strongly support this of course.
Librarians Getting Down with Their Bad Selves
I love the title of this group. This meetup group focuses on South Bay Librarians who want to… Well… Get down with their Bad Selves. I don’t think I need to explain too much more honestly. This one is also fairly new so I’m excited to see what comes out of it.
Bay Area SLIS People
The problem people had with the San Jose SLIS Students and Alumni page is that San Jose SLIS students are spread out all over the world. This means that when you try to organize something, it goes out to librarians who couldn’t possibly make it from the east coast for an hour or two meetup. In fact, I got marked as spam for inviting those folks to some of my meetups (Oops, sorry team). Anyway, if you want a group that focuses on us locally, check out this page.
While I love that we have so many folks dedicated to having people come together to network and socialize, I am a little worried at the same time. There are so many niche groups networking here that we might be working counter to what I get excited about when I think of meetups. That is, I like that we are all meeting from across groups and organizations and across our niches and specialties. I strongly believe that it is really important that we all come together as one profession and work meet each other and create a stronger alliance of professionals. I would love to see all of our groups coming together more often and a lot more crossover from all the groups to create something awesome in the San Francisco Bay Area.