12 Tips to Get the Most Out of Attending a Conference

Conferences | Networking | Professional Development

by Kyle Ewing | People Operations | October 1, 2017

 

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It’s that time of year again! On October 4, more than 18,000 people will convene in Orlando for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. As the world’s largest gathering of women in tech, GHC can be an action-packed and incredibly rewarding experience. Over three days, there are hundreds of sessions, ranging from keynote addresses, to panels and presentations by industry leaders. Add in the largest career fair I’ve ever seen and conference-related social events, and it can be hard to know where to focus your time. But with the right approach, you can learn new skills, hear about trends in your field, and make lasting connections — both professionally and personally. Whether you’re a student off to your first big conference or a seasoned pro, here are some tips that fellow Googlers and I use to navigate events like GHC:

1. Make a plan.

Have a goal for what you would like to get out of the conference. Are you there to learn and gain knowledge? Want to make new networking connections? Is there a colleague or potential mentor who you want to support? Go through the agenda and devise a plan tailored to your goal. (Conference apps are great for this.) And have a backup plan in case that session you were dying to go to is jam-packed.

2. Divide and conquer.

If you’re attending with co-workers, try splitting up and then sharing notes. Regroup during meals or at the end of the day to share key learnings and takeaways. Read more…

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The Dying Art of Disagreement | Op-Ed

Freedom of Speech | Democracy | Public dialog

by Bret Stephens | September 24, 2017

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This is the text of a lecture delivered at the Lowy Institute Media Award dinner in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, Sept. 23. The award recognizes excellence in Australian foreign affairs journalism.

Let me begin with thanks to the Lowy Institute for bringing me all the way to Sydney and doing me the honor of hosting me here this evening.

I’m aware of the controversy that has gone with my selection as your speaker. I respect the wishes of the Colvin family and join in honoring Mark Colvin’s memory as a courageous foreign correspondent and an extraordinary writer and broadcaster. And I’d particularly like to thank Michael Fullilove for not rescinding the invitation.

This has become the depressing trend on American university campuses, where the roster of disinvited speakers and forced cancellations includes former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice, former Harvard University President Larry Summers, actor Alec Baldwin, human-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, DNA co-discoverer James Watson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, filmmaker Michael Moore, conservative Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will and liberal Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Anna Quindlen, to name just a few. Read more…

The Next Generation of Librarians

Internships | Mentoring | Public librarians | Library School

June 22, 2017

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A librarian mentor talks with interns in a speed-mentoring round at the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative kickoff in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tracey Salazar

“How do you find a library and a position that fit your skill set and put you in a place where you will be happy?”

“How do you overcome the difficulties and hardships that come along the way?”

“Why are conversations about race so difficult?”

These were only some of the insightful questions asked by the 50 teenagers participating in the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Internship Initiative (III). Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Public Library Association (PLA), the goal of III is to introduce high school juniors and seniors from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds to careers in librarianship.

Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”

Read more…

Emerging Trends in Libraries for 2016 Stephen Abram, MLS

2014 SLA@Pratt Skill Share – Librarians in the 21st Century

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The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron | American Libraries Magazine

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project

By Brita Zitin

The Scoop

Lee Rainie

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, knows how to win over a roomful of librarians, as he proved at the RUSA President’s Program, where he was the keynote speaker. He’s generous with both his flattery (“Every day spent with librarians is a good day”) and his cat photos (the feline census of his slideshow reached well into the double digits). But he also delivers—in abundance—what information professionals really want: reliable data that makes library work more meaningful.

The research pursued by Rainie and his colleagues at the Pew Internet and American Life Project covers library use on the national level and cannot substitute for insight into a particular community gathered through the kind of deep listening advocated by the Harwood Institute [http://www.ala.org/transforminglibraries/libraries-transforming-communities]. Still, Rainie has a talent for translating these broad strokes into practical tips. Drawing on Pew’s recent report “Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading,” he said, “If you want to figure out who loves you most, it’s parents of minor children, and within that, the moms. Romance the moms.” Read more…

via The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron | American Libraries Magazine.

Library Learning Goes Online – YouTube

American Libraries Live—online learning is changing the way schools work. From elementary to graduate school to continuing education, online tools are creating new horizons in distance learning and new tools to supplement in-person learning. But what does this mean for libraries?

Sarah Steiner, Social Work and Virtual Services Librarian at Georgia State University Library will lead our expert panel:

  • John Shank, Instructional Design Librarian and Associate Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching at Penn State University
  • Lauren Pressley, Head of Instruction at Wake Forest University Libraries