Interesting turn of events:
Interesting turn of events:
I have numerous friends in academia most of whom I have known since being an undergraduate. While we’ve split off into different area of research & concerns, we remain connected to the times we spent together drinking beers and musing about the lives we wanted to live. In most cases, we’ve achieved those dreams as once imagined which in itself is no small feat. In a recent social media exchange with one such friend, who is a sociologist for a research arm of a major university, he mentioned that he only submits his secondary articles to open access journals but still gets annoyed when they ask for revisions as if almost expecting their standards to be lower and less rigorous. I look forward to sitting down with him in the near future to have an expanded version of this conversation. I wish on a day-to-day basis I had more conversations like this one.
If these are the conversation you want to be having with your research faculty, I invite you to consider attending the following event in 2015: ARCS a Conference, where we hope to explore topics such as this one and many others.
ARCS is a new conference focused on the evolving and increasingly complex scholarly communication network. Working from the premise that understanding and improving knowledge communication in the digital age must be a cross-disciplinary and cross-functional conversation, ARCS aims to involve a diverse set of participants and topics. ARCS will be held in Philadelphia, April 26 - 28, 2015. Follow us for updates at #arcscon and on tumblr at: arcscon.tumblr.com
This year, the biggest, most exciting thing to happen at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, IL didn’t really happen in the convention center, or the exhibit hall, a local restaurant, or at a hotel bar. In many ways the biggest thing to happen at #ALA2013 happened simultaneously in all these places but mostly happened online. It was the Library Box 2.0 Kickstarter Campaign started by Jason Griffey. The campaign spread rapidly through all the front and back channels of the ALA Conference. Twitter was one rampant tweet after another with the news when it first launched midday on Friday at the start of the conference by the morning of the second day, the initial funding goal had been met. Less than 24 hours, probably closer to a 12 hour timeframe. And still, there are probably attendees who had no idea this event occurred and what an overwhelming success it was.
This kickstarter was crowdsourcing at its very pinnacle of achievement and Jason Griffey deserves all the credit for timing this campaign impeccably. It was the one thing everyone was talking about where ever you were. In less than 12 hours the project met the initial funding goals and to-date, the project has been funded at over 500%. This is truly a phenomena. It has been featured as a “Great Project” by the folks at Kickstarter for the pace in which it met its goals and kept going.
Kudos to Jason, to the changing tide in the library & information profession, & to all the eager and excited library & information professionals who supported this event. #ALA2013 has arrived in the 21st Century and yeah, we’re all feeling fine.
Learn more about Library Box 2.0
I’ve been thinking about a statement made by Rachel Frick as the closing keynote speaker for ER&L 2013. She basically gave this statement as a challenge in her presentation: Courage of Our Connections. She says, around minute 43:15 that librarians need to think about how we attend conferences and contribute and not just be there. This was a very fresh thought in my head when I returned to my library to have a P&T discussion topic on should we, as library faculty & professional appointees, be listing conferences attended on our CV and talking about them in our narratives. It was a very thoughtful discussion and in the end the decision is left up to each library professional to choose to list relevant and engaging events attended.
I grew up in the age of punk rock & the D-I-Y culture starting in the late seventies up until now. Audience participation was/is part of what made/makes attending music events/SXSW/craft fairs & art coops from the age of 13—until now very relevant and worthwhile commitments to me. You were/are part of the action, part of the time spent together, part of the vision of the event as it was happening. It was never about just standing around and just being there. It was about meeting up with people, flailing around sometimes, helping to serve food/drinks, printing t-shirts, posters, stickers, and most of all supporting your friends and the people you felt a connection with through your mutual enjoyment of the event.
So what is active conference attendance for a librarian? What defines contribution when you are not able to get a presentation slot, roundtable discussion heard, poster session accepted? Here are five ways that can be used to gauge successful engagement at a professional event:
1. Speak up during Q&A sessions with praise, an attempt to further the presentation that has just been given, to ask follow-up questions, or to constructively challenge statements made during the presentation. In other words, join into the conversation as invited.
2. If participating in an open discussion such as a roundtable event or an unconference, participate and bring ideas to the table that are relevant to the event as it occurs. This is hard and requires more thinking on your feet and trying to make rapid, relevant connections sometimes. Being actively engaged in professional events is always slow starting but often good ideas spark great enthusiasm that can be built over the course of the event.
3. Tweet/share a facebook post and/or write blog posts about events you attend that interest you. Follow tweeting etiquette and do not write/tweet comments you would not say out loud or face-to-face to the presenter. Write about follow-up thoughts or ideas a presentation has spawned. Keep the conversation going.
4. Another way to keep the conversation going is to share with your colleagues not in attendance at the event either presentation slides and/or live streamed coverage of the event and what you liked most about the ideas/initiative presented.
5. Try to meet new people who you’ve never had any contact with before during the social events of the conference. Use a presentation that you’ve just seen together as a conversation starter. Follow your new connection on twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, friend them on Facebook or follow them through ResearchGate or Mendeley. See if they have a blog you may want to read and write thoughtful comments.
In the end, conference attendance can be and should be recognized as a notable endeavor and does further one’s ability to do a better job and become a better engaged professional. Don’t just be there: listen loudly, engage, & contribute.
In honor of Bobbi Newman’s project which I’ve heard is to be discontinued, I’m writing this post.
7:10 AM: Get up & start getting dressed but then my daughter wakes up so read her book & then get dressed as she runs between our bedroom and her bedroom. She likes to help me pick out my socks to wear. Then get her her dressed for the day & go downstairs to have breakfast together before we leave to take me to work.
8:45 AM: Dropped off at work by husband & daughter. I wind my way up to the half floor a la Being John Malkovich where my office is situated which is actually across the main campus block from the actual library. Since I was out sick the day before, I have phone messages & numerous emails to tackle first off.
9:00 AM: Logged into two email accounts and listening to voice messages & making notes of calls to return while trashing all DVD sales emails & filing all emails read in the car that need to be kept for referral.
9:10 AM: Start returning calls & replying to emails. One email from a subject selector asks for a trial so I send a message to the consortia list to see if any other consortia library is interested in trailing the same database. Then reply to the subject librarian that this is the action taken in regards to the trial.
9:20 AM: Send email back in reply to one phone call about how to handle gift material that originally came into special collections but would now need to be handled for the general collection.
9:30 AM: Respond to the consortia list about ebook packages that our campus is interested in.
9:45 AM: Try returning a call to ArchiveIt with a contact who I’ve playing phone tag with and when I get voicemail again, I send a follow-up email apologizing for not being available when the call came in and hoping to catch up soon.
9:50 AM: Get email alert about a webinar at 10 AM and decide that I can skip it to continue catching up on things. At the same time, get a phone call from an ebook vendor about setting up a local DDA Program.
9:55 AM: Get follow up email from the subject librarian saying that a professor does not want to wait for a consortia trial but wants one sooner than later. Write email back explaining that the only way to afford the database is with the consortia discount and the likelihood of anything happening prior to ALA MW is slim. Around same time get notification that there is at least one other institution interested in the same database so forward this message onto the subject librarian to indicate that the consortia deal may occur sooner as opposed to later.
10:10 AM: Read quickly through three Chronicle of Higher Education blogs, the campus newsletter, clear out some more email, & delete a few more things that are not pressing.
10:25 AM: Get a message from another subject librarian about a gift ebook ( a first!) and wanting to accept it. I email the donor to get the instructions of obtaining the file for the ebook.
10:40 AM: Start researching a couple of Suggestions for Purchase from faculty & patrons. Notify one faculty that we will order the title requested and send the request over to the Acquisitions Librarian. Decide there are enough consortia copies for the other patron to satisfactorily obtain the title request and send instructions on how to request it to the patron.
10:50 AM: Bathroom & water break
11:00-11:45 AM: Receive & respond to multiple emails that concern upcoming meetings, ALA MW events some of which I forward to a recent LIS grad to attend as part of her first ALA meeting, respond to one message regarding the upcoming ER&L conference, and finally login to my twitter account.
11:50 AM: Have quick in person meeting with the Acquisitions Librarian to touch base on a couple of things before she heads out for a brown bag that I again decide to skip to keep my catch up mojo going.
12:10 PM: Heat up lunch & eat it at my desk while I figure to which presentation template to use for a presentation mock up I’ll be discussing at ALA MW.
12:20 PM: Print off a few agendas for ALA MW committee meetings.
12:30 PM:=1:45 PM Start work in earnest on my presentation, finding the images takes the most time. Take a personal phone call from ALA MW roommate on coordinating arrival plans & learn she will be facing trying to fly out during an ice storm on the Southern East Coast.
1:50 PM: Grab some more water & swing by the Acquisitions Librarian’s desk to walk over to the library for a meeting with a publisher vendor about their new ebook platform. We mill about in the lobby until he shows up. We then proceed to the 2nd floor for our meeting.
2:45 PM: End the meeting with the publisher which went really well & swing by the admin office to pick up my VGA adapter for the Nexus.
3:00 PM: Another bathroom break & more water.
3:05 PM-3:35 PM: Respond to email that piled up during publisher meeting. Send out a decision message to the subject librarians with a deadline of early February. Respond to another gift books message. Send message thanking staff for the VCA adapter. Get response from ArchiveIt and thank them for following up. Send message to administration about what’s happening with ArchiveIt. Read some tweets, reposting some and then write my own tweet.
3:40-5:30: Back to work on the presentation with a smattering of email interruptions including a lively exchange regarding one ebook provider starting a DDA program.
5:30-5:45 PM: Start organizing desk & shutting things down for the day. Swing by Cataloging Librarian’s desk to catch up on a meeting missed on Tuesday & check in on things.
5:50 PM: Catch bus home and get home about 6:45 PM to be greeted by my daughter in her PJ’s post bath time. We dance around the living room to music for about 30 minutes (my workout instead of the gym) and then decide to help with dinner. Daughter always finishes first. Put her to bed at 7:45 PM and then finish dinner with husband and watch some TV.
8:30 PM: Get email from colleague about an ALA Annual session that my committee is trying to get a speaker for and learn we’ve still got some work to do. She has turned down the offer to speak for realistic & understandable reasons but has suggested someone else who I’ll try to touch base with post ALA MW.
9:25 PM: Start writing this blog post which I finish about an hour later. Now to take a shower & get ready for tomorrow.