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.

library advocacy 2

How to Never, Not Ever, be A Rockstar Librarian

There has been a lot of discussion about being a rockstar librarian and what that means in the blogosphere. Mostly, I’ve read that its something to dread and to avoid. In that case, I wanted to give you this list of things to avoid if you don’t want to be considered a rockstar librarian by anyone.

Are you a librarian?
First of all, you need to realize that being a librarian is the best job in the world. Good for you. You’re helping people, you’re building communities, you’re doing things to help people get through rough times and prosperous times. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. And anyway, just being a librarian won’t get you rockstar status, but it will get you halfway there so this is the first thing you need to avoid. If you quit your job right now, you can just stop reading this blog because you’ve already won the battle.

What gender are you?
One of the biggest indicators of your rockstar status (according many of the blogs/comments I’ve read) is your gender. You should check this first. If you have some kind of gender assignment and you are a librarian, you are probably a rockstar. You should also check to see if you don’t, if its ambiguous, if it’s in the process of changing, or you have any kind of gender identity or nonidentity. Basically, if you’ve ever thought about your gender or anyone else’s in any way, shape, or form, you might be a rockstar librarian. So be sure to never, ever, have any genderish thoughts.

What Race are you?
After your gender you need to check your race. Where do your parents come from? Do they come from some landmass on the face of the planet earth? If that is the case, then you need to be sure you hide that as deep as possible. People will judge you on your race and your gender (and possibly on your sexual preference or religion or socio-economic status or political beliefs or color and style of your t-shirt or your tattoo). Basically, if you’re human then you could get in trouble. So let’s just scratch these last two and save some time and just say that you should just pretend to be some kind of animal. Maybe a dog or a hippo or something. Just never pretend to be a cat. Cats are a dead give-away. Never try to be a cat.

Do you do things?
When you go to work, do you actually perform any work? Do you do storytimes, or outreach, or programs, or services, or basically any of the things that you are paid to do while you are at work? Well, you might be a rockstar librarian. Sorry. You could always try working for the DMV.

Are you excited about what you do?
This is where people just begin to get themselves into real trouble. Some librarians get all passionate and excited about what they’re doing. That’s ridiculous. You absolutely can’t do that if you don’t want to be a rockstar librarian. What you need to do is sit quietly in your cubicle and be angry about what other people are doing. Unless you get good at being angry. In which case you could become a rockstar librarian for your passionate hatred and anger. For example, The Annoyed Librarian. Maybe, if you don’t want to be a rockstar librarian, you should just sit in your cubicle and think about Unicorns or squirrels in the most non-librarianish way possible. Just don’t think about cats. Once again, cats are always a dead give-away. Never think about cats.

Do you talk about what you do?
Here’s where it really breaks down. After being a librarian, your gender(ish), your racish, and doing the things you’re paid to do, you might want to consider not talking about what you’re doing if you want to avoid being considered a rockstar. Please, whatever you do… If, for some wild reason, you do something that you’re excited about and passionate about for the love of god… Don’t share it! I really mean it. Don’t share anything with anyone. In fact, if you go out into your community don’t tell anyone that you’re a librarian or that you work at the library. That’s how rumors get started.

Also, don’t answer the phone or questions at the reference desk.

Get off Social Media
Completely disconnect. I mean everything. Don’t answer email, get off twitter, facebook, youtube, and even myspace and G+. If you talk to someone somewhere about libraries, someone might get wild the impression that you care and then they’ll start talking to you. Or even worse… about you. Getting talked about is even worse than talking about what you’re excited about in your profession. You can’t control what people are saying about you. They might be saying you like your job or something. That can only lead you astray.

Don’t go to conferences
I mean ok, this is a dead give-away. If you’ve ever gone to a conference of any kind that has any kind of remote or obscure connection to libraries, you’re messing up. But here’s the kicker, librarianship encompasses so many aspects of modern life that just about any conference will have some kind connection to your job. Its best to just sit at home and watch TV on your off time. Although, even here you have to be careful not to watch Doctor Who or Game of Thrones. Only librarians watch Doctor Who or Game of Thrones (at least according to my twitter feed).

Don’t google anything.
If someone asks you a question, use Bing. Nobody uses Bing. Nobody will believe you’re a rockstar or even a librarian if you use Bing.

Do you do things outside of work?
Here’s the problem… Librarians have hobbies. All kinds of hobbies. If you have a hobby or craft or activity that you do outside of work, you run the risk of wanting to talk about it. If you talk about something like that, you run the risk of having friends who might talk about you and maybe even mention that you’re a librarian and we already discussed where that would lead. Even worse! If, for example, you’re passionate about something like beading you might decide to run a beading program for teens. This will be the death of you. Never have a hobby or, as previously mentioned, do anything at work or outside of work and try to avoid being human.

Ok, clearly this is satire. Basically, everyone just chill out and enjoy your job and relax with the labeling of everyone around you. Do your job, love your job. Its the best and most important fucking job in the world.

library advocacy 1

Teaching My City to Build Us a Bookbike

So this is my latest project and I’m really excited about it. Excited enough to blog! Which is something I haven’t done very often the last couple of months. But, anyway… We are going to be building a book bike for my library and I’m far more excited about our process for building it, than the actual bike itself. Let me tell you all the details.

1) Genesis
I’ve seen a bunch of book bikes in other library systems and they seemed like a really amazing idea. I was especially excited because in the community of one of the branches that I manage it would work out perfectly. You see, our bookmobile is too big to get down some of our streets, our community is only 3-4 square miles large, and its really really flat. There are also about a dozen charter schools in the area and small places that only need something for an hour or so and not long enough to necessitate an entire visit from the book mobile. There are also a bunch of small fairs and festivals and parades that happen in the area that the bookmobile is unavailable for. The bookBike would be perfect.

2) 99 Problems but a Boobike Ain’t one

I had been trying to find someone to build us one for a while but ran into some problems. I called quite a few custom bike builders and never heard back and from others I got some outrageous prices. There are a bunch of custom, kind of fun digital things I want to incorporate into the bike like Jason Griffey’s Library Box, wifi, usb ports, solar panels to power it all, and a bunch of other ideas. Because of all of that, and the complexity of the project, I kinda just put it on hold for a while.

3) Solutions are Always Good
A couple of months ago, I went on a tour of Techshop San Jose organized by Paul Sims and Ann Awakuni and then I organized a tour for just my library system. At our tour I met the manager of the shop and one of my staff started talking to him about a bunch of different projects (secret projects that I’ll tell you about later). We started talking about the BookBike idea. The manager said something to the effect of building it there. That discussion led to an idea of having our community come and build the bike! Two of my staff members were so enthused about this whole thing that they went and took some metal working and welding classes and are now the real leaders behind this project.

4) The Moderately Well Thought-Out Plan
We thought, what if we taught the community members to build the bookbike? Tech Shop has all of the tools, another organization unofficially (I’ll tell you who when its official) has said they’d be interested in donating materials, and we’d just need to pay for short memberships and classes from Tech Shop to cover their expenses. By doing this, the community members would learn to weld, solder, work with lasers, and learn a bunch of other skills and tools and we’d get a bookbike for free! It was a win, win, win!

5)The Execution of a Fail and a Win
Here’s where there is a slight fail and a slight win. About two months ago we put together some flyers, about two weeks ago we sent out a bunch of press releases, it was on our website, on our social media, we used the #maykermonday program as a kickoff point, we talked to a bunch of people, and just about everything else we could think of.

Well, only one person showed up. But it turns out that he was an architecture major, recent grad, and his thesis project was designing a library! He seems to be really excited about the project and we have three staff of mine, plus two of techshop, and he wants to get a couple of his buddies involved. In the end, I think this will be a really great project for our library and we’ve already thought of some other ways we can make some future ones even bigger and better! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Library advocacy 5

Shamelessly Self-Promote Yourself #30awesome

Sometimes I feel like librarianship is one of the weirder professions. Not for all the reasons that you’re probably thinking of, but because of the part of our professional culture that has a kind of disdain for success. Its not hard to point instances of this out. If you look (and you don’t have to look too far) there are a bunch of blog posts that basically just hate on how successful other people are. There are a bunch of people in ALATT who hate on people’s project’s when they get too successful (“OMG, if I have too see this video of ___ library one more time,” etc…). Or, you can just look at people’s reaction to Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers award, or the way people comment when you promote your awesome stuff. My big fear is that this is causing professionals to keep from promoting their awesome stuff for fear of appearing too successful and getting that hater backlash.

This is why I love this #30awesome project. You all are doing rad things and you need to talk about them… Shamelessly. This is the best fucking profession in the world, tell people about it.

Let me just mention my experiences real quick… I ran a contest called the Great Librarian Write-Out where the winner would get $800 for writing about libraries and librarianship in a non-library and in-print forum. I only had 4 legitimate entries after a year. I’ve only had 6 in total after two years. Also, Librarians have a direct line to one of the world’s largest online blogs (boingboing.net) where we can write articles about the amazing stuff that libraries and librarians are doing. The great stuff that you are doing!! We’ve had 23 articles when we should have had a hundred. What is up with this? Am I wrong? Do we not fear shamelessly promoting ourselves and I’m totally mistaken?

Even if I’m completely wrong about the culture of our profession, you are all doing awesome things and you need to promote it far more than you do already. Because the deal is, that by promoting yourselves and your work as a librarian to the world (and to the profession) you are actually helping librarianship as a whole. This is largely due to the fact that according the PEW Internet Research Center and OCLC the number one most effective technique for building library support is creating a relationship with your community as a librarian. Even if you disagree with that, you still help the profession with you self-promotion because we will all learn about the awesome things you’re doing and get better at our jobs.

So, while I completely support this #30awesome project, I really hope that it is the the spark of a fire of the shameless promotion of librarians, libraries, and everything that we do. Now, go out and tell people that you’re awesome and why.

Library advocacy 3

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

33 and Sorting It Out

So, I’m about to turn 33 and I decided that for this birthday, I wanted to start making some changes as a kind of present to myself. Some of them are big, some are pretty small. Why did I pick this year to make this decision? You know, I have no idea. Jesus died at 33? But really I don’t know. This post is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but I still don’t have it completely sorted out yet. And that’s ok, I plan on blogging my journey to figure it out as I figure it out.

First things first… Some goals
In case you read it before I had a bunch of goals that I set out to do about 3 years ago. Turns out, I didn’t do very many of them. I did some big ones, but kinda dropped off from doing some of the things that I just want to do.

Spanish
I really need to learn Spanish. I was studying really well for about a year, then I stopped. I’m going to study at least one hour every day from now on. I have plenty of books and workbooks and people to speak Spanish to so I just need to MIH.

Guitar
I’m going to practice my guitar again. This is another thing that I just kinda stopped doing. I would love to play guitar a lot better. Not really because I have any significant musical aspirations outside of wanting to do a musical storytime with my guitar. So, I will also practice guitar everyday. I don’t know for how long though because this will be the most difficult to make some time for. But Every. Single. Day.

Political Astuteness
As a board member of EveryLibrary, and as a librarian, and as an American citizen, I need to get my political game together. This is something I realized recently when I hung out with John Chrastka last weekend and listened to him talk at the CPLA workshop. He is real smart on the politics and I need to get there too.

Sail More
Basically, that’s all. Whether it’s for the Story Sailboat, for my own fun, in races, or whatever… I just need to sail more for my own health and wellbeing.

Reading More
I also need to read a lot more. I plan on reading every night before I go to bed. There are just so many books that I want to read that I get overwhelmed and stop reading. Luckily I have some good advice on what to read next.

Dropping Things
Just as important as setting goals to achieve is learning which things I need to drop. I have a bunch of habits and traits that I want to stop doing, but also some bigger things.

Coffee
I LOVE coffee, but I really started drinking too much of it. This wouldn’t be so bad except for all the things I put in my coffee. So I’m switching to unsweetened strong tea. A good strong dark tea is something I got into in Hong Kong and for some reason lost sight of when I came home. I already started this one and I love it.

Television and Movies
I spend too much time watching television shows and movies on my boat. If I cut these two things out, I’ll have much time for everything else. Maybe not completely, but a whole lot less.

Skipping out a little on the social medias.
I’d like to start by saying that I absolutely love talking to everyone on social media. But really, its become a bit too much for me to handle. Between Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and *G+, its really just become more of an anxious tick than an enjoyable experience. So, because I use Facebook the heaviest and more twitchy, and also because it’s easiest to do, I’m going to drop my Facebook account but only for a couple of weeks in an attempt to try to reign that in. This is basically just so that I have one less thing to worry about. Anyway, I’ll still be checking the other things so we can talk there, but I probably won’t be there as much. Facebook has just kinda become… Too much for right now.

Anyway, that’s where I am now. If you don’t see me on Facebook or on the other social media for a while, it’s cool, I’m coming back! But I’m coming back better.

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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What to do at the California Library Association Conference!

The California Library Association conference is coming up in just a few days and this year it looks like there’s going to be some great stuff happening there. If you’re not from California or you don’t know about the conference, it’s going to happen on November 3-4 in San Jose at the convention center. I’ve been planning my time at the conference and I wanted to share with you some of the awesome things that I found that were happening there. I would almost always say that you should be following the twitter hashtag for more conference details, but it looks like they don’t have one and the CLA Twitter Account isn’t using one either. Rick Thomchick did have one tweet about CLA and used the Hashtag #cla2012 but I just found out that the actual conference hashtag is #calibconf please feel free to join in the conference back chatter there with us!

Friday Night Preconference Social
A lot of people are coming into town the night before the conference and probably trying to figure out what to do with their Friday night. Why not come out and socialize and network with some local library folks? So, I’m putting together this meetup for Friday night at the Tanq bar which is conveniently located in the official conference Marriot Hotel. All local library staff who aren’t attending the conference can come have a drink and network with those of you who are coming out! It’ll be a great time and a good opportunity to make connections and plan your conference experience with some good people. To see who’s coming or for more details you can check out the FB Event Page.

Battledecks
Battledecks is a fun competition between presenters at a conference. The first time I saw it was at Internet Librarian where it went to ALA and then I brought it to CLA about two years ago. I’m excited to see the tradition carried on and I’m also excited because I don’t have to organize it! Basically, what happens is that presenters go on stage to make a presentation out of a deck of powerpoint slides that they’ve never seen before. The slides are often fun or funny and it usually makes for an entertaining presentation regardless of the skill of the presenter. You can check out the Facebook Event Page for more info or you can just know that the battle begins Saturday at 8 in the Marriot Salons 1 and 2.

Biblio Follies: Books Booze and Burlesque
Paul Sims put together a great night of librarians just for fun and networking at the Blank Club on Saturday Night at 9pm. There is also a Facebook Event Page for for information. So, if you’re in town for CLA or just want to party it up with some awesome librarians and catch performances by Bunny Pistol & Barbary Coast Cabaret with DJ Tanoa “Samoa Boy”, then you should come out and have some fun with all of us. It’s a great way to get together and celebrate our profession.

BTW… This is also a fundraiser for EveryLibrary the brand new Library PAC so come out and support libraries at the ballot box while having a good time!

SLISconnect/ALASC Happy Hour
While the one big school in California is San Jose SLIS, there are many librarians who went to other schools or librarians who are currently enrolled in other programs. So, really… If you’re a student, were a student, or one time met a library student you can come and meet up with students and alumni at the SLISConnect/ALASC happy hour and make some new friends! Once again, you can check the Facebook page for more info otherwise the event will be at the Tanq Bar at San Jose Marriott 301 S. Market St. from 4:30-6pm.

My Presentations
Of course, I’m always one to self promote! So I have two things going on at CLA this year. The first is a poster session for the Story Sailboat that you should come check out. If you’re not familiar with our project, Joey and I are running a Library and Literacy advocacy project in the Bay Area by sailboat that was funded by crowdsourcing on IndieGoGo. You can come check out all the details in the Exhibit Hall. The second thing I’m doing is a presentation with Andrew Carlos and Brooke Carey Ahrens called Expand Your Mind that will show off 30 different emerging technologies that you can implement in your library cheaply and easily! It’s a kind of Speed Dating for Technology so come and find a tech to fall in love with.