Vote For My Staff’s Amazing Conversation Starters at ALA San Francisco.

11001569_10153175109823707_6698739412170076201_oI’m going to take a minute and brag and recklessly hype these conversation starters from my staff and not feel bad about it. In my library my staff are doing amazing things and I would love to have them share with the rest of the library community.  For example, they consistently have huge turnouts to our library programs because of their marketing.  They are also working really hard to get more women involved in the maker movement with the Make-HER program, creating a platform for the library to be an independent publisher of eBooks, and making our staff training activities fun.

What is a conversation starter?
Conversation Starters are lectures, panels or discussions and will take place at ALA in San Francisco on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The wide range of emerging topics, trends and innovations in the 36 Conversation Starters are what make them so powerful.  But they are made even bigger because they are the presentations that you choose through your votes.

Click on the links below to go to the voting site for these presentations.

Holy Moly, 100 Adults Came?!? WTF?
Are you tired of spending hours preparing for a program when only 10 people show up? So were we. Sunnyvale librarians discovered the secret of attracting large crowds by using marketing tools and choosing timely topics. With personal interests as sources of inspiration, we created innovative programs on such topics as starting a vegetable garden,  adults-only crafting, showcasing electric vehicles, using the 3D printer, and more. Learn steps for success, participate in a brainstorming session, and walk away with a practical toolkit to help you take your adult programs to the next level.

Spice Up Your Staff Training – Ninja Style
Got new resources? Staff? Need a reboot? Create a team challenge that brings everyone up to speed.  Through seven online challenges, Sunnyvale Public Library managers and staff worked together to become Tech Ninjas.  Managers upped the ante by pledging performance art upon completion of each task. Unlock the Discover & Go level and sing “Take a Load Off, Annie” with a manager on guitar. Conquer Encore and watch “Green Eggs and Ham” come to life.  Learn eBook basics and see a manager go blonde.   Fun, free, and customizable — learn how to Ninja-fy your library!

From Maker to Make-HER: Leveling the STEM Playing Field for Girls
How do techie girls make their way in what’s been termed a “bro-grammer” culture?  Despite advances in other fields, women still are vastly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math professions (STEM).  Explore how public libraries can support girls and engage mothers as mentors through project-based STEM learning.  Get inspired by Make-HER instructors, discover what’s hot in the Maker Movement, and explore the practicalities of Library as Make-HER Space.  Finally, unleash your inner maker and learn-by-doing as #LadyMakers lead participants through a mini Make-HER project.

eBook Maker: Libraries as Independent Publishers
The Sunnyvale Public Library currently offers 3D printing services as well as a series of adult crafting programs, and just this year will publish an eBook anthology featuring local writers. The idea for the Bay Area Library ePublishers (BALE) project developed as a response to these “maker” programs, seeking to provide support and an artistic space for local writers. This panel discussion will feature librarians from Sunnyvale Public Library that took part in the project as they share their experiences of creating their own eBook, while providing a blueprint for libraries and librarians interested in pursuing publishing programs and platforms.

And a few for me…
Ok… A little bragging and recklessly hyping about the ones that I’m involved in too. EveryLibrary submitted a conversation starter to share what we’ve learned on the campaign trail and to help libraries learn about what they can start doing today to win elections years from now. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to ensure your library remains well funded for years to come.  I’m also presenting an interactive conversation starter on Professional Networking and Schmoozing based on my recent article in Library Journal. If you want to learn how to engage your peers and colleagues or build rapport with members of your community, you’re going to need to learn to schmooze!

SuperPAC Advocacy Hacks for your Library
Ever wonder why the nation’s largest SuperPACs are so successful at political advocacy? These organizations are well funded, well supported, and are able to convince thousands of Americans to take action to further their agenda.  But what if libraries could use the tools, tips, and tricks used by these organizations to support libraries? In this session, the folks from EveryLibrary (the nation’s first and only PAC for libraries) will share what they’ve learned from national PACs and through their political action activities in support of libraries.

Schmoozing for Beginners
Professional networking and schmoozing are two of the most important skills a librarian can have. They are not taught in MLIS programs, and being proficient at both was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn. In order to get the projects done in my community that I was passionate about, move my library forward, and garner political support, I realized that I needed to take advantage of the many professional and political social opportunities going on around me. This presentation shares many of the tips and tricks that I’ve learned that have been successful for me.

The big list of things everyone should do at #ala2013

Once again, we have the obligatory blog post about what you need to do at this year’s ALA Annual Conference. If you want more information you can check out the official ALATT party list from Lauren Bradley and my partner Jp Porcaro already put together his list of things to do at ALA so check that out too.

You should also just come and party with me and JP all over this town. We’re gonna have a really great time like we always do. We’re also doing tons of interviews with awesome librarians (again, like we always do) so come out and hang out with us!

I’m excited about this year because we have the return of some great programs and events that started last year and we have some longer running programs and events that just keep getting better! So, if you’re wondering what you should absolutely go do at the conference, here they are!

    Thursday (Night)

ALA Think Tank Thursday Night Meetup
8pm-?
Citizen Bar 364 W Erie St
For all you early birds who Made It Happen and want to start out the conference with the party, this is your opportunity to come and party with the folks of the ALA Think Tank. Basically, it’s our bi-annual face-to-face meeting at the conference where we can have some drinks without having to post them to the FB page.

    Friday

EveryLibrary Board Meeting
9am-11am
8 S. Michigan, Suite 2010
This is the bi-annual public meeting of the first and only national political action committee for libraries. One of the biggest and most important things to happen to effect library funding and campaigning on behalf of libraries. Come hear what we’re working on across the country for libraries at the ballot box.

Emerging Leaders Poster Session
3-4pm
McCormick Place Convention Center S405
Come and see the outstanding projects that the future leaders of our profession have been working on all year. You’re sure to see something great!

ALA Dance Party
10pm-?
311 W Chicago Ave
There’s something else going on at this time, but this is the big party that happens every year! But as JP says- “the lifeguard librarian hooked us up with an hour of complimentary vodka at this one sooooo you decide which dance party to attend”

    Saturday

Daylight hours: Interviews.
From JP’s list of things to do – “please find me at any point at this conference and get a business card. i’ll be scheduling times for people to come up to where i’m staying and do a video interview with me and/or sweeney. we’re doing a sorta documentary on making-it-happen in/around libraries. we wanna interview only the young folks. we probably aren’t even gonna ASK anyone without a tumblr since they old, lol.”

Ignite ALA
Every afternoon Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 11:30-12 JP and I are hosting the Ignite sessions at ALA. These are great five minute presentations that will inspire and engage you.

ALATT For Council Shwarma Meeting
1-2:30
Oasis Cafe 21 N Wabash Ave Ste 11
Join us to celebrate or commiserate the election of Caucus members Erica Findley, Mel Gooch, Martin Garnar, and Coral Sheldon-Hess to Council, Kate Kosturski to two other ALA offices, and commiserate over everything else.

Stand out and Be outstanding Convo Starter
4-4:45
McCormick Place Convention Center S102d
This is the highest voted session of the conversation starters!

What does it mean to lead and be recognized as a leader in the library profession? And what exactly is a rockstar librarian, anyway?

This session will spark an exchange of ideas about what it means to stand out- and be outstanding- in the library field. A panel of motivated librarians who have participated in California’s Eureka! Leadership Program and/or the ALA Emerging Leaders Program will share their innovative paths to leadership, including strategies for being a leader in any position, taking risks, and balancing personal and professional priorities.

8th Annual ALA Tweetup
7:30-9:30
Elephant & Castle 185 N. Wabash Ave, Chicago
These tweetups have been going on 8 years? Man… I remember my first tweetup. This is your chance to meet your twitter friends IRL.

Tumblr Meetup (set phasers to internet)
I don’t have the details on this one but its 7-9pm somewhere in Chicago. Its where the cool kids are or so I’m told.

ALA2013 After Hours – Local 22 – EveryLibrary and Librarian Wardrobe Party
9pm-2am
Blue Frog’s Local 22, 22 E Hubbard
Bigger and better than a no-show celebrity rap party bar fight, ALATT After Hours is THE place to meet, greet, and strut your stuff at #ala2013. Hosted by Librarian Wardrobe and EveryLibrary on Saturday June 29th from 9pm – 2am at the Blue Frog’s “Local 22” at 22 E. Hubbard St. Chicago, IL 60611. Bring some cash and help fund political action for libraries. Bring your sass and show off your best dressed for fun and prizes.

    Sunday

ALA Council
8:30-11
Come and visit me at ALA Council. I’ll be real bored and want to talk to someone. But, if you come, I’ll probably ask you to run for council too. I won’t be there until 10 this day because of the meeting listed below

ALA LibraryLab Meeting
8:30-10:00
Join the ALA LibraryLab Member Interest Group business meeting to learn how you can get involved in any of our projects. Find out more about us at http://connect.ala.org/librarylab.

Ignite Sessions
Every afternoon Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 11:30-12 JP and I are hosting the Ignite sessions at ALA. These are great five minute presentations that will inspire and engage you.

LITA Happy Hour
5:30-8
Fado Irish Pub, 100 West Grand Avenue
Please join the LITA Membership Development Committee and members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks

GLBTRT Social
6-8pm
Ann Sather 909 W Belmont Ave
Come mix with the membership of the GLBT Round Table. $5.00 recommended donation accepted at the door.

BiblioFollies
8-10
The Backroom 1007 N Rush St,
This is the event that made the California Library Conference worth attending. The burlesque dancers are amazing and… Not to give it away… One girl does this thing with a book scanner… You gotta come!

    Monday

ALA Council
8:30-11
Come and visit me at ALA Council. I’ll be real bored and want to talk to someone. But, if you come, I’ll probably ask you to run for council too.

Daylight hours: Interviews.
From JP’s list of things to do – “please find me at any point at this conference and get a business card. i’ll be scheduling times for people to come up to where i’m staying and do a video interview with me and/or sweeney. we’re doing a sorta documentary on making-it-happen in/around libraries. we wanna interview only the young folks. we probably aren’t even gonna ASK anyone without a tumblr since they old, lol.”

Ignite Sessions
Every afternoon Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 11:30-12 JP and I are hosting the Ignite sessions at ALA. These are great five minute presentations that will inspire and engage you.

ALA Battledecks
5:30-7
McCormick Place Convention Center N229
Who will reign supreme in the 4th Battledecks competition at ALA annual? This year we will feature two rounds by having the first ever tournament of champions precede the regular battle. Who will become the Grand Pooba of Battledecks by winning the tournament of champions? Who will come out on top during the battle and win fame and glory? This is truly going to be a highlight of your conference experience as these courageous individuals compete for the honor of being crowned the next champs of the deck.

Que(e)ry: Leather Bound in Chicago
9pm-?
Subterranean 2011 W. North Ave
The NYC-based Que(e)ry is Chicago-bound for the American Library Association Annual Conference, and the library is open late for this dance party for queer librarians and those who love them, co-hosted by Chances Dances. Que(e)ry will feature DJs from Chances Dances, along with queer go-go dancers and a Librarian Realness Contest, with a live performance by Chicago-based queer rapper Big Dipper. Proceeds will benefit the Leather Archives and Museum and the Critical Fierceness Grant.

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Have authors in your library for #MaykerMondays!

Hey librarians! Do you want some authors to come take part in your MaykerMonday events? We have a partnership with Togather to get authors interested in maker spaces into your libraries. Take a look at the details below and contact the amazing Dana Skirut for more details and questions.

About:
Togather is a free marketing tool that enables librarians to engage local communities with more great in-person experiences. Library events are an important way to connect and build relationships with new audiences, but turnout is hard to predict. Too often the programming doesn’t find demand, and valuable resources go to waste. Togather helps change this dynamic by making it easier to collaborate with local interest groups to plan more well-attended events. With Togather, libraries can leverage their strengths in research and curation to create enriching events that drive buzz about their services and bring in more patrons.

How Togather can help:

  • Access to authors: Togather has over 500+ authors on board, with some makers listed below. Have an author that you’re interested in, but not sure how to get in touch? They’ll do their best to make the connection!
  • Ideas for events: Not sure of the format for your event? Depending on your space, they can brainstorm some ideas for how to make the most of your class, talk or workshop — whether it’s in-person or the author is joining via Skype.
  • Custom event pages: Togather allows you to create a custom event page with plenty of sharing features to make it easier to promote your event. They’ll help set it up, and also provide a home for your library showing all upcoming Togather events.
  • All-or-nothing model: Not sure if people will want to attend? Set up a Togather event with an author and define a minimum attendance goal (e.g. 15 participants). Ask people to RSVP in advance to show their support. If there isn’t enough demand by a certain date, you won’t have to host an event for just two participants.
  • Raise funds: If your local Friends of the Library organization is involved, Togather can help you raise funds by making it easy to sell affordable tickets to your event.

Authors:
Here are just a few of their “maker” authors who are already interested in connecting with libraries around the country:

  • Kelly Rand, author of Handmade to Sell, which is full of useful business advice for those looking to make the leap into full time crafting, or wanting to expand into other areas of the indie marketplace.
  • Jeni Britton Bauer, author of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, an essential resource for making delicious and uniquely flavored ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets in your own kitchen.
  • Denise Grollmus, author of The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book, which explores decades of traditional knitting patterns
  • Lori Sandler, author of the Divvies Bakery Cookbook, which features recipes for vegan treats that are sensitive to those suffering from major food allergies.

Contact:
If your library is interested in participating in MAY-ker Mondays with Togather’s help, please feel free to contact them directly to set up your event: dana@togather.com

Introducing Library #MAYkerMondays.

3D Printer
Recently a lot of libraries have been developing ideas and spaces around the maker movement and the maker culture. We have seen a giant leap in libraries as spaces for makers to make and for the Do It Yourself (DIY) community to come together and learn. Of course, libraries have always provided the knowledge for these kinds of things through our print and digital collections, but now we are seeing an emergence of libraries giving dedicated space, programming, and occasionally the tools to help our communities make it happen.

One of the big complaints that I’ve heard from librarians is that they don’t know anything about maker spaces or communities or programming. I have to say that this is almost entirely untrue. I am not at all involved in the maker movement or the community and I only just recently realized how many maker programs my library does. For example, how many of us do programs with our kids and teens making duct tape wallets? What about jewelry? How about almost any kind of craft project? These are all maker projects although we don’t think of them that way.

While maker programs like these are not about computers and technology, there are a lot of programs that you can do that are. Some examples of those things are Jason Griffey’s Library Box, renting or buying a 3D Printer, utilizing Arduino, and something as simple as taking electronic devices apart. There are tons of cheap and easy things that libraries can do to take part in the electronic/tech part of the maker movement.

In order to help us come up with some great resources for library maker programs, I created this google doc called the Maker Cookbook that you can contribute too if you have some maker ideas of your own or need something to help you come up with new ideas.

Another problem is that we need to come together around the Maker Movement and give it a good try. In order to move that conversation along and get people motivated and into the maker movement, we presented an idea at the ALA Midwinter Conference. This idea stemmed from the Library Lab (library Boing Boing) group and became #MAYkerMonday. We’d love to have more people participate! Read the details below and click this link to the FB page to let people know that your library will participate.

#MAYkerMonday will be held nationwide in libraries throughout May on every Monday. The idea is to encourage librarians to host a program for the maker community on every Monday in May. This is will be a way for libraries to show that they are participating in the maker movement and for librarians to try out some maker activities that they may not have tried before. It’s also a great way to introduce your staff to the make movement if they seem skeptical. By doing these programs, hosting a maker meetup, or maybe staff training around maker spaces for your staff each Monday in May and by using the hashtag #MAYkerMonday libraries can promote the idea that they are community spaces for creativity and learning. Sign up and join in the fun!

As part of this, we would also love for our blogging, Tumblr, Twitter, and other posting communities to use the #MAYkerMonday hashtag to promote the maker movement in libraries on every Monday in May.

This should be easy because for most libraries there are only three open Mondays in May. The fourth and the last #MAYkerMonday will be a great opportunity for librarians to use their day off to do their own maker project and join in the fun!

My Blog Post of Awesome Things for #alamw13

Its not long before we’re all at ALA Midwinter and Making it Happen and Partying Hard. As usual, I have a long list of meetings to attend all day, every day. I won’t bore you with all the details of my entire schedule, but I will give you some highlights of things that you should know about , that are open to everyone, and that you might want to add to yours. You should know that many of these links are to Facebook Events because that’s the only place they exist but you can find many of them on ALA Conference Scheduler (which is awesome for putting together your conference schedule)

Think Tank Thursday Night
For all you folks who Made it Happen and came to ALAMW13 on Thursday night, this event is for you. This is the ALA Think Tank meetup and social event to start out the conference right. Come out to Linda’s Tavern at 7pm and have a drink and meet other folks from the ALA Think Tank live and in person and some of the Seattle Natives at this neighborhood dive bar.

LITA Happy Hour
LITA is always one of the best networking opportunities at ALA. It’s happening at the Elephant and Castle from 5:30-7:30. The librarians involved in LITA are doing some of the most exciting and innovative work in library technology. You probably read their blogs or follow them on twitter or you might have read their books! Come out and meet all these fines folks in person.

Emerging Leaders Social
This is a great opportunity to join Emerging Leaders past and present at the Emerging Leaders Meetup at the Elephant and Castle from 8-10pm right after the LITA. This is an excellent opportunity to network with other ELers who are emerging, have emerged, or will emerge eventually. If you haven’t been an emerging leader and you’re interested in learning more about this program, or if you want to just come and have some drinks with some excellent librarians, you are also welcome to join us.

Tumblr Meetup
What is Tumblr? Do you Tumbl? No, I don’t get on it much neither and I don’t actually know a whole lot about it. I do know that a lot of awesome people are on Tumblr and I want to meet them all. If you want to meet all the Tumblarians IRL then you should come to this event.

LBB Meeting
If you are a fan of BoingBoing.net you should come to a meeting that showcases the ALA and Librarianship’s involvement in this great blog. You can meet fellow Happy-Mutants, get involved in building up this group of librarians, and hear about great things in libraries around the world who are doing wonderful things and popular culture-related issues (such as net neutrality, steampunk, etc.), as well as makerspaces and digital learning labs. We guarantee you’ll hear about at least one great project another library is implementing that will inspire you. This meeting happens early on Saturday at 8:30am so get ready!

Ignite
This year at Midwinter, the ALA Think Tank is excited to announce the first ever Ignite ALA! It will be held in the Networking Uncommons from 12-1 on Saturday. If you’re not familiar with Ignite, Ignite is a geek event that is being held in over 100 cities worldwide. At the events Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes. Many of these presentations are recorded live and broadcast or archived to be shared around the world. This will be ALA’s first ever attempt to Ignite our passions for our profession!!

NMRT Social
If you are a new member to the ALA or this is one of your first conferences, I know it can be overwhelming. The New Member Round Table is here to help you out. This social event at the Dragon Fish Café from 5:30-7:30 will help you find out more about the organization and meet some great people.


Tweet-up

This year’s tweetup will happen directly in-between the NMRT Social at 5:30 and the EveryLibrary/librarianwardrobe.com After-hours party at 10pm at the Baltic Room. Come and hang out with other Twitter folks and have a drink and maybe dance a little.

ALAMW Afterhours
This is one of the most entertaining nights of the conference when everyone comes together and has a good time. You have a great opportunity to meet a lot of fun people who are just out to have a good time. This event is brought to you by EveryLibrary and Library Wardobe at 10pm at Linda’s Tavern.

Young Turks UNITE!
Young Turks Unite! is an anti-reception for the critical thinkers, the up-and-comers, and the true movers and shakers (LJ ratings do not apply) of the library world at the Diller Room at 9pm on Sunday. If you have a fire in your heart and want to shake up the universe of what we call librarianship, you are invited to join a group of like-minded, passionate professionals for an evening of conversation, provocation, and perhaps even revolution.


Maker Monday

Maker Monday is an exciting day filled with all kinds of events and activities to help you get informed and involved in the latest from the makerspace movement in librarianship. It also provides a chance for successful programs to share their stories and for librarians to meet fellow makers.

Every Library Board Meeting
As a Board Member of EveryLibrary, I highly encourage you all to attend our first Board Meeting. If you’re not familiar with EveryLibrary, “it is the first and only national organization dedicated exclusively to political action at a local level to create, renew, and protect public funding for libraries of all types. We provide tactical and operational support to local voter awareness campaigns, seed and sustaining monies to local ballot committees and PACs, as well as conduct direct voter advocacy in support of library taxing, bonding, and referendum.” Basically, its the very first library PAC!


ALA Council

I do have to plug ALA Council too. Even if you’re not officially on Council, you should remember that ALA is a member driven organization. If you want to see who’s driving, you should come to council and watch how it works. You can see memorial resolutions, dues increases, and a variety of other issues being discussed. I promise that only half of the councilors will try to talk you into running for council.

ALA Council Forum
I know that Aaron Dobbs would say that everyone should go to this so I’ll say it too. The Council Forum is the behind the scenes and nitty-gritty of ALA Council. This is where a lot of the real debate and the real compromise happens. If you really want to see what makes ALA Council run, you should check this out. It would be absolutely amazing to not just have ALA councilors here so that they hear some voices of reason! Come in a speak your mind.

That’s my list of stuff that I’m inviting you to join me at. What are you doing?

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Ignite Sessions at #ALAMW13

Ignite ALAThis year at Midwinter, the ALA Think Tank is excited to announce the first ever Ignite ALA! If you’re not familiar with Ignite, Ignite is a geek event that is being held in over 100 cities worldwide. At the events Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes. Many of these presentations are recorded live and broadcast or archived to be shared around the world. This will be ALA’s first ever attempt to Ignite our passions for our profession!!

We are looking for around 8-10 presenters on any number of topics. These topics can be library related, or just something that you are passionate about. Maybe you have a presentation that you already gave, one that you are working on, or something that wasn’t accepted for a full ALA Session? This is your shot to debut the most radical or passionate idea you have and Ignite your passion in the rest of our profession!

If you think you have what it takes, all you need to do is leave a comment below with your name and topic. Then, put together your deck of 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds and start practicing. The Ignite session will be held in the Networking Uncommons on Saturday at Noon at ALA Midwinter.

For more information about Ignite in general, take a look at their website for more details and to see who else has signed up, take a look at our Facebook event page or the Networking Uncommons page for ALAMW13

Presenters and Topics (so far)

JP Porcaro – Something Awesome TBA
Angie Manfredi – YA Fiction
Beth Hereford Patin – Libraries: Information’s First Responder
Kate Kosturski – ALA CraftCon
Patrick Sweeney – The Story Sailboat
Tom Bruno – How To Change All The Things: A #MakeItHappen 2012 Retrospective
K.G Schnieder- Radical Optimsim
Amy Buckland- Doing Things that Scare You

If you’re looking for a good explanation of the why and how of giving an Ignite talk, then take a look at this presentation by O’Reilly author Scott Berkun. He does a great job of summarizing what can be achieved in five minutes with twenty slides. Here’s a short video to share:

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The Biggest Thing to Happen to Library Advocacy EVAR!!

Chrastka is a baller
Unless you’ve been under a rock the last month or so, you’ve heard about EveryLibrary. This is probably one of the most exciting developments in library advocacy since Andy Woodworth got the Old Spice guy to talk about libraries.

EveryLibrary is a PAC (Political Action Committee) that functions to support library initiatives at the ballot box. In case you don’t know what a PAC is or the larger Super PAC, you can watch Stephen Colbert brilliantly explain it on the Colbert Report and the Daily Show. If that’s not your thing, here is a video that explains them.


THIS WILL NEVER WORK WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT

Basically, what this means for us librarians is that we can now have the power of presidential election kind of money and resources behind our ballot initiatives for our libraries. Can you imagine what would happen if we raised millions of dollars for our campaigns like the Presidential Super PACs do for theirs? We would most likely never have to worry about another underfunded library again.

You might ask yourself though… Why doesn’t ALA do this? Or doesn’t ALA already do this kind of lobbying? Well, the short answer is no, they can’t and because I’m not smart enough to explain it all myself, I copied the information from the EveryLibrary website below to explain it.

EveryLibrary grew out of the need for a politically active organization dedicated exclusively to supporting local library initiatives at the ballot box. Many library associations – both at the national and state level – are organized as 501(c)3 educational associations. Current law and regulations prohibit these associations from engaging in direct voter advocacy or funding political campaigns. As a 501(c)4 organization, EveryLibrary can act where these associations cannot. The opportunity to fundraise and directly support library ballot initiatives will be unique in the library world.

In each election cycle, tens of millions of dollars are at stake for libraries. From bonding for new or remodeled building projects to changing milliages, levys, or tax rates that impact staffing, collections, programs, and services, libraries are on the ballot. EveryLibrary needs just 50K to Make It Happen, they need our help!

EveryLibrary will help libraries:

  • Assist libraries in both the pre-filing and campaign stages of an initiative.
  • Provide strategic consulting services, voter segmentation advice, and assistance in developing ballot language.
  • Conduct feasibility studies and assist in setting up a local committee or PAC.
  • Develop a fundraising strategy for your local committee or PAC.
  • Train volunteers in voter education and get-out-the-vote techniques.


  • During the run of a campaign, EveryLibrary can:

  • Continue technical and capacity-building consultancy.
  • Provide direct financial support to the local committee or PAC in seed-stage or sustaining levels of support.
  • Conduct direct voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts.


  • So what can you do to help out?
    There are a lot of things, but really, EveryLibrary needs to raise 50k to start the PAC and start helping libraries by November. This is the most important thing you can do right now. Give $5.00 if you can. Give more if you can do that! Share the links with your friends if you can’t give money. Ask your friends and family to give or maybe host a fundraiser. Remember that politicians who oppose libraries are raising MILLIONS of dollars. EveryLibrary is just asking for 50K. We have the power to make this happen.


    You can hear the Founder of the Library PAC, John Chrastka, talk about EveryLibrary with Steve Thomas on his podcast via the link below.

    John Chrastka Talking about EveryLibrary

    How to be Awesome at Going to Library Conferences

    I’m sitting here at the New Jersey Library Conference (fist pumping) and I was thinking about how much my conference experiences have improved the last couple of years. I also saw a bunch of recent tweets about newbies going to ALA. So, I thought I would share my own experiences about what makes an awesome conference experience. This is going to be ALA heavy since it’s coming up, but everything here can be adapted to your local conferences as well. So, here they are in no particular order-

    Get involved
    This is probably the most important. ALA is all about involvement. The greater part of the organization is run by volunteers. There are a bunch of ways to get involved in it but if it’s your first time to ALA I would recommend going to the ALA Scheduler and taking a look at what isScheduled for New Members at the conference. They can give a bunch of good information about what kinds of things you can do to be involved. There are a bunch of committees, roundtables, interest groups, etc… that are looking for interns or people to just help them out with whatever they might need. The best thing you can ever do is ask “How can I help.”

    Bonus Tip– I also recommend running for ALA Council for the bitching rights but that happens in Midwinter. For Annual you can sit in a Council meeting and see what happens there. I’ll be there so don’t be afraid to come up and say hi!

    Meet Everyone
    My favorite thing to do at ALA is meet people. The people that we work with in the profession are absolutely amazing! There are so many great people doing such fantastic things that I love to talk to as many people as I can about whatever they’re passionate about at the moment. I actually learn far more from these conversations than I do at a lot of the programs and I also have a large network of friends and mentors that I can rely on for whatever questions I might have or inspiration that I might need. The biggest problem is remembering everyone’s name (hi Veronica!) but that’s something that I’m working on.

    Be social
    Just as a step beyond meeting everyone, it’s very important that you practice your social skills at ALA. This was the hardest thing for me to learn because I was a pretty intense introvert for most of my life but it’s something I’ve worked to get over while at conferences especially. Remember, this is the largest gathering of people in your profession in the world and you should be taking advantage. This isn’t the time to hide in your hotel room, eat or drink alone, or otherwise have any kind of anti-social tic whatsoever. So don’t be shy. If you’re eating lunch, ask strangers to join you, if you’re in an elevator talk to the people around you, if you go to a program talk to be people sitting next to you, and if you hear about a meetup or tweetup or dance party then you should go! You can find out about many of these opportunities on Twitter or on the conference scheduler.

    Find a group
    This is probably the hardest part and the one thing that made ALA better for me. When you’re out and about and being social you should try to get in with a group of people that you think you might like. At my first awesome ALA experience I was running around with some great folks from Reforma (I’m not even a member). After that I started meeting more and more people and now I have a really cool groups of folks that started by renting a house together for conferences instead of a hotel by myself.

    Get Free Stuff
    Find a totebag, put stuff in it. You can use the hashtag #alafree if you want to let other people know about it. Besides totebags and more books than you can carry there is always a ton of free food and drinks all over the conference. There is no reason to go hungry or spend money on food or drinks. Once again, you can find out a lot about where and when this happens on Twitter and the Scheduler.

    Dress Casualish

    You will walk. You will walk A WHOLE LOT. Be prepared for that. I see a lot of folks wearing some pretty nice clothes that look like they would be a pain to wear. Wear something comfortable and especially wear comfortable shoes. If you want to get an idea about what to wear to ALA then you should check out the Librarian Wardrobe Tumblr and see what other folks wear to conferences. Bobbi also wrote a great blog post with some tips for packing this stuff too.

    Party hard
    There are so many parties and opportunities to celebrate our profession and get away from all the doom and gloom and end of time prophecies that we keep hearing. You should take advantage of them. We get to work in the best damn job in the world so this is a great opportunity to celebrate that fact. Be positive, enthusiastic, fun, excited, passionate, and everything else that comes with a good party mentality.

    Make It Happen
    You are responsible for your ALA experience. If you think that the conference needs a dance party then make one happen, if you think it needs an unconference then make one happen, if you think it needs a QR code hunt then make one happen. There are so many opportunities to make something happen that you want to see at ALA that it’s ridiculous. So I’m telling you, don’t complain about there not being something that you want there (I won’t listen), you can make that something happen if you really want it.

    Governor Brown’s Proposed Budget for FY 12/13 has no money for public libraries

    Governor Brown’s Proposed Budget for FY 12/13 has no money for public libraries. We’re asking the State Legislature to restore $15.2 million in funding.

    You can help:

  • Register today to receive legislative alerts here
  • Mail or fax letters NOW to the members of the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Education Finance and other key legislators listed here
    A sample letter can be found here
  • Go with other library advocates to visit your state legislators in their district offices during the months of March and April. You will receive another message soon with a link to the CLA member who is CLA’s legislative contact for each legislator responsible for making appointments. You can contact that person to learn the time and place of the appointment. Talking points for those meetings are on the CLA website here
  • Be sure to add what the impact on your community is of losing all state funds for libraries and the double whammy of losing federal funds because of lacking the required matching funds.

    Act today – You can make a Difference and Save State Funding for Public Libraries!

    LibraryLab – Library Boing Boing is up and Running!

    ALA Happy Mutants Rejoice! Library Boing Boing is here with its inaugural post! This is something that I’m very excited about, but haven’t had a chance to be as involved in as I originally would have liked (sorry Jenny and Jason). Basically, the amazing and wonderful Jenny Levine from ALA put together an opportunity to post to the great website boingboing.net using the name Librarylab. The content will be based around libraries and exposing all of the amazing things that libraries do for people on a non-library based forum (which you know I support).

    Proposed Mission:
    To bring librarians and Boing Boing readers (aka, Happy Mutants) together to generate support for and raise interest in libraries via projects at local libraries.

    Proposed Goals:
    • Help find and propose content about libraries that could be posted to Boing Boing.

    • Provide active ways for Happy Mutants to support and get involved with their local libraries (eg, toolkits, best practices, ideas for local projects).

    • Create dynamic programming at library conferences that Library Boing Boingers can then take outside of the library community to promote libraries (eg, SxSW, local community events, etc.).

    • Work together to help Happy Mutants advance our shared interests (eg, copyright reform, net neutrality, game culture, digital divide issues, open government, etc.).

    • Coordinate an international community of librarians working with their own Happy Mutant groups.

    It’s being organized though the ALA Connect medium and you can join the backchannel discussion there. Jason Griffey and Jenny did an amazing job getting the folks together who did all of the background work and laid the foundation. But now, it’s time to get content and that’s where you come in! We’d love to hear what kinds of things your excited about in libraries that you think the world should know about. Have a great maker story from the library? A new library technology or innovation that you think the Happy Mutants would love to hear about? A thought on how folks can connect to the library in a new ways that people should know about? Tell us about something you think should be up on Boing Boing and see it up on the blog!