Why I Attend Internet Librarian and You Should Too

It’s no secret that Internet Librarian is my favorite library conference. This year I had to work extra hard to justify my attendance at work, so I thought I’d share some of that with you. Now let’s just skip over the location, sure is amazing, and if you’re trying to choose between 2 similar conference the fact that one takes place in Monterey should sway you. But when you’re looking to convince your boss that you need to go “there are sea lions! and an aquarium!” wont cut it.

1. It’s just right. Not too big, not too small, just right. I often feel like Goldilocks at IL after attending a variety of conferences over the last year.  Some, like ALA, though with its own perks are just too big. Others are just too small. IL is just right.

  • It is big enough that there is a wide variety of topics, something for public, academic, school and special libraries and something for all levels of expertise and comfort.
  • It’s small enough that it is easy enough to get from one session to another, you’ll never miss a session because you couldn’t catch a bus or walk in time. There are plenty of restaurants and interesting things to occupy your down time within walking distance, no need to rent a car or take a cab.


2. Intimate – The size and location of the conference just makes it more intimate. Instead of rushing from session to session you’ll have time to ask one on one questions from the speakers afterwards or chat with the new friend you just made. You never know who you’ll meet!

3. Diversity – Expand your horizons with librarians from all types of libraries and mingle freely with librarians who serve all types of populations.  It is much easier to get out of your silo and learn about new idea others are trying and you can apply them to your library.

4. Learning – You’ll hear presentations full of suggestions and tips from young and old (to the profession not age) alike. It’s important to update your librarian skills and knowledge, the world is changing so quickly around us don’t get left behind.

5. Easy – There are plenty of learning experiences disguised as fun like the Gaming & Gadgets Petting Zoo on Sunday night and Rip Van Winkle’s Libraries in 2510 on Tuesday evening

6. Explore – sign up for one of the many dine-arounds based on a common topic and you’ll get a chance to explore your topic with like-minded professionals, a conversation you’d never get to have at home. This is a great chance to expand your personal learning network and create great contacts you can share information and brainstorm with over the next year.

7. Immersion – Sign up for one of the many pre-conference workshops* on Saturday and Sunday to get in-depth instruction.

8. Knowledge. – Knowledge is power, even if you don’t immediately implement every new thing you heard about (please don’t actually do this) you’ll have a better understanding of what others are doing so you can respond to suggestions and ideas at your library with authority.

9. Helping Hand – They have created a Why I must go to Monterey draft document you can download to help you start on your justification. They also offer a group discount if more than one person from your library attends. Hurry, Early Bird Registration ends September 30th.

10. The Vendors – in keeping in line with the rest of the conference the exhibit hall is just right, not too big not too small.  You’ll have plenty of time to ask those questions you’ve been thinking over. Even better you wont have to wear your practical librarian shoes to do it, put on some fabulous heels (sorry boys) and get to it!

My Schedule

Of course I’ll be there! I’m hosting pre-conference workshop and speaking on transliteracy, being a digital branch manager and failure.

Saturday October 23rd, pre-conference workshop with my Libraries and Transliteracy cohort Tom Ipri

Managing the Info Pipeline: Evaluating & Implementing New Tools

The social web has created new ways to branch out and connect with other people. This can be empowering, but the rapid change can also leave us feeling overwhelmed and lost in a field of information. How do some people find the time to swim in this rapid current with strong waves? In this interactive workshop, these social media pros provide solid suggestions and techniques for moving forward with small changes and building on what you already have and are doing. Whether you’re an old pro on the social web and are feeling entangled by all the new tools developing daily or are having trouble keeping up with information from the tools you already use, speakers have tips and strategies to keep up and explore new tools to help you grow as a library professional and to improve library services in your environment.

Monday October 25th

Digital Managers Sound Off! with David Lee KingMatt Hamilton, andSarah Houghton-Jan

Have you seen jobs listed lately? Digital initiatives librarian? Digital branch manager? Digital strategies manager? Ever wondered what these people do at a library, and why they’re needed? This session introduces you to a digital strategies manager job and a digital branch. Panelists discuss their unique roles in their libraries, what their day-to-day jobs look like, and the unique challenges they encounter along the way. And more importantly, they provide tips on how you can use this new role in your library and in your current job.

Libraries in a Transliterate, Technology Fluent World, splitting the time withColleen S. Harris

The skills needed to be an active participant in today’s society are rapidly evolving. More is needed than the ability to read and write; digital literacy, media literacy, information literacy, 21st-century literacy, and other new literacies are all included in transliteracy. Newman begins the session, looking at the importance of transliteracy, the roles libraries play in educating patrons. and what we can do to ensure our staff and patrons are transliterate. Harris discusses the skills library staff must have to adapt to rapidly changing technologies and innovative implementations and how library managers can help staff develop and maintain the technical skills libraries need by using skill evaluation, development planning, peer-to-peer training, and more.

Tuesday October 26th

Learning From Failure with Matt Hamilton and Chris Freeman

Failure: We all do it. Failure comes in many shapes and sizes. What can make or break you and your projects is how you respond to failure. No one likes it, but avoiding (or trying to) isn’t the answer either. Taking risks and being willing to fail is just as important as your reactions. This session talks about personal and project failure, reactions, and the lessons you can learn.

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