Glorious day! Registration has opened up for the UA Library’s Living the Future conference. The theme this year is Transforming Libraries through Collaboration, which I think is very timely and appropriate. Successful collaborations play an essential role in libraries these days, and the sessions for this conference all focus around how collaborations are helping move libraries forward. I’m a member of the planning committee & am coordinating the programming for this event, along with some fantastic and dedicated other members of the library staff and SIRLS. I have never been involved in the planning of a national conference before so it’s pretty exciting, as stressful as it all is.
We have some wonderful speakers lined up, including keynote speaker Peter Senge who we’re very excited to have join us. Also Arizona State Librarian Gladys Ann Wells, Emory University’s Richard Luce, and Brigham Young University’s Ernie Nielsen. Some more are pending, but you can see all the speakers we have so far here.
It’s certainly not over yet for the programming group, though. We’re diligently working to confirm our final speakers and get them registered. After ALA Midwinter we’re going to start working on invitations for the poster session, and placing speakers in the appropriate slots. We’re also working with Blended Librarian co-founder John Shank on what will be a web-based virtual session, which is something we’ve never done before. But I was involved somewhat in the virtual session at the Symposium last year (we had a student presenting from Oman!), and using Adobe Connect (formerly Macromedia Breeze) to faciliate this. I’ve used that software enough that I would feel comfortable using it for this purpose, but there’s also Elluminate which might be what we end up going with since it seems to cause less problems. (See article here).
With registration opening it does feel like an important milestone has been passed. Conference planning can be one of the most hectic & stressful experiences and it requires a whole lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Collaborating with the planning group, which consists of staff members across the library & faculty from SIRLS, is great fun; and learning all about the process of putting together a program has been very rewarding so far. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing over the next few months as we continue putting this event together. And we will certainly be celebrating once this is all over, and once it’s a huge success 🙂