22 July, 2009

After the teleconference...

So, last night there was an ALIA teleconference (with a new-grad flavour) to discuss the potential conference(s) to fill the void left by IFLA cutting and running, like a group of cheese eating surrender monkeys. Because without a librarian's United Nations what are we to do? We might just have act unilaterally.

As is always the case for me after a teleconference, I hung up feeling like not much had been achieved and that really no one had said anything that they couldn't have just emailed. But, hey that isn't what a teleconference is about. It is really about making people feel like they are involved and have been consulted (or so says the cynic in me).

Not that nothing has been achieved, the ALIA head office folk shared the beginnings of a plan. An umbrella conference venue, where special interest groups can all organise speakers while ALIA looks at the finances and sorts out the catering. I think this will work well, I hate pseudo empowerment and will happily accept a benevolent dictatorship if it means that those of us who feel inclined can get on with sorting out speakers and papers. Well, are you at the conference for the free satchel, the finger food, the housekeeping announcements and the drinking? OK, perhaps for the drinking, but also for the speakers. The good speakers, the ones who not only have something to say but who also have the ability to say it. Speakers who work in libraries, with technology, doing new programmes.

So, who are these special interest groups who are going to be recruiting interesting speakers? Well, firstly there is the new grads group and several of them put their hands up last night and will no doubt soon be flooding the message boards with calls for papers, calls for help and calls for ideas.

The second group is a bit of an unformed, non-existent group (which seems to be loosely connected to the Libraries Interact bloggers). That is the group which I have thrown my lot in with and we are looking at an unconference aspect to what Snail described as the Librarian's Big Day Out. So, have you un-conferenced before, do you feel like being involved?
Well, don't be shy jump on in and tell us what you can do.

Oh and the new-grads are looking at some form of active mentoring as part of the conference, so you may wish to consider being involved in that (I will be, isn't that new grad going to get a calm and well considered introduction to the profession).

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