There are numerous conferences across the library field and all support staff development in several ways: through the program sessions, through networking, through the exhibits or trade show, and through making presentations.
Many conferences have formal programs, giving the speakers the opportunity to make a significant presentation on a key topic. Some conferences offer poster sessions, which are visual presentations, typically on an upright display board, of the presenter's description of an innovative library program, an analysis of a practical problem-solving effort, or a report of a research study. The presenter stays with the display board during a set time period to answer questions and discuss the content. Such presentations, plus information to be gleaned from careful visits to vendor exhibits, provide rich learning opportunities.
Locations and Dates of Upcoming Conferences
ALA Conferences (Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting)
- Current official information about ALA Annual can be followed on Twitter @ALAAnnual and ALA Midwinter can be followed @ALAMW.
- Additional unofficial social chatter can be found #ALAAC14 (for 2014 Annual Conference), and #ALAMW14 (for 2014 Midwinter Meeting)
Generally, conference sessions are submitted a year or more in advance. Poster submissions are usually due in January for that year's Annual Conference. If you are seeking to have questions answered about suggesting a topic for presentation, or doing a poster, contact the Conference Services Office or see the FAQ on how to suggest a program or speaker.
Resources from Prior Conferences
Past ALA Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings -- For program materials from selected presentations at conferences
American Libraries Direct -- highlights issues immediately following Annual Conferences
The Researching Librarian -- collected online proceedings from a number of library-related organizations
Social Media Resources -- locating programs with social networking tools
- delicious.com - a social bookmarking site
- Slideshare - uploaded presentations
- WordPress blogs (http://en.wordpress.com/tag/*****) Many librarian and library blogs are with WordPress. To search for a specific tag, subsititute ***** with the specific tag
- Flickr photos - pictures taken at events
- Topsy.com allows you to search hundreds of billions of Tweets and web pages gathered from millions of unique websites, blogs and social media services
Specific tags for previous ALA Conferences were ALA[year] (i.e., ALA2007) or Annual[year] (i.e., Annual2010). Sometimes the year was written as the full four digits, sometimes with only two digits.
Locating programs through ALA itself
Search the section of the ALA web site of the division, office, or round table that sponsored the specific event to see if handouts from any of their programs are already available on the web site - or will soon be available. If you don't see what you're looking for, contact the department directly with an e-mail message or phone call.