So I’m not sure how many people know about this, but I hope that every librarian does. I’m talking about national library unconference day on May 22, 2012. This is your chance in you state, or region, or county, or library system, or just library, to hold your own unconference. What’s an unconference you ask? Well… I’ll let Allen McGinley and JP Porcaro explain it for me.
Personally, I love unconferences for a whole lot of reasons and there is talk of putting one together in my area (the San Francisco Bay Area) on the same day so I’m pretty stoked because some of the best experiences that I have had in librarianship have been at unconferences. For example, I met some amazing people, I gave my first professional “presentation,” I got the courage to talk to directors and high level administrators as equals, I learned about the programs and services being offered at other libraries, and I learned what kinds of ideas other professionals had about the state of librarianship and its future in the United States.
So this is our chance to have an excuse to #makeithappen in our locations. JP and Allen are basically calling for unconferences to happen all over the country on the same day. This will be a day of learning, sharing, and growing for anyone and everyone participating.
For even more information on the Unconference you can visit the 8bitlibrary website. If you’re a librarian and you’re not reading the 8bitlibrary blog, what are you doing on the internet?
It’s time for librarians to get out of the echo-chamber of librarianship and get some good words out to the people. So I’m proposing an award (my own personal money) of $250 for the best library-related article to be published in a non-library magazine or journal. Yes, that’s right… My own personal money!! That’s how important this is to me!
There are thousands of amazing writers in our profession who write their own blogs and write for our professional magazines and journals, but rarely (or never) do I see an article written for the public in a major national magazine about how libraries help society in some great way. I don’t think there has ever been a time when such articles should be appearing amidst the news of library closures, resource cutting, and layoffs. Its time that we got the word out about libraries to as many people as possible!!
It seems to me that there are hundreds of topics for articles that could be written that would be applicable to the content of a major magazine. Off of the top of my head I’m thinking
-Saving Businesses Money (or starting a business) with Library Resources
-How someone learned about their cultural identity at the library
-Pet Care information
But this is only scratching the surface of the possibilities. I could keep going but I think you get the idea. If you want to participate and win $250 for your article published in a non-library journal or magazine, here are the criteria;
-You must be in some way related to the library profession, a library vendor, a patron, a friend of a patron, or at least heard of the idea of libraries at one point in your life.
-It must be a pro-library article speaking positively about the benefits of libraries in some aspect of society and addressing the need for folks to get up and go to the library for some reason or another.
-The article must be printed between February 15 2011, and the first day of the ALA Midwinter Meeting on January 20th 2012
-It must be published in a non-library related magazine or journal with a national (United States) or international circulation. More points will be given to an article in a magazine with the largest circulation, and you will receive bonus points for a feature article.
-You must submit, your name, the title, and date of publication (for verification) by emailing us or commenting below.
The articles will be judged by the members of the Think Tank at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Dallas Texas in 2012. The winner will be announced January 24th 2012.
If you want to help us up the ante for prize money let us know by commenting below or sending us a message. Also, any money raised through our Café Press store will go towards added prizes and awards and other library advocacy projects as well so feel free to shop away! http://www.cafepress.com/libraryadvocate
Going to ALA ca be expensive and I know that there are many of you starving MLIS students out here who came to ALA on your own dime. There are many ways that you can save money at the conference by sharing hotels, taxis, and volunteering for passes into the conference, but did you know that you can also, get books and prizes and eat and drink for free?
The vendors at the conferences want you to come and check out their products and they usually try to entice you with free food, drinks, and other good stuff. The big problem is knowing where these events take place, so I am proposing a hashtag for all of us to share where we find the free stuff! So, whenever you find something free you can tweet about it and let some of these starving MLISers in on the goods using the hashtag #ALAfree.
If you are a vendor and want to let people in on the secret, don’t be shy about using the hashtag to entice these future customers to come and see your products and services with free good stuff.