LITA Highlights at 2013 ALA Annual Conference

ALA Annual Conference 2013 logo


Conference Scheduler Now Available: View complete LITA schedule, including room assignments

Preconferences: registration required 

Thursday, June 27 , 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Library Makerspaces: The Field Trip SOLD OUT

Held at: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, South Hall (400 S State St)

  • Librarian panel: Sue Considine, Fayetteville Free Library; Yolande Wilburn, Chicago Public Library; Tod Colegrove, University of Nevada, Reno; Steve Teeri, Detroit Public Library; Erinn Batykefer, Library as Incubator Project
  • Maker panel: Kim Moldofsky, Maker Mom; Jackie Moore, LevelUP Makerspace; Katie Slivovsky, Chicago Children’s Museum; Dan Meyer, Fab Lab, Museum of Science & Industry (Chicago) 
Sponsored by: LibraryLab (ALA Member Interest Group)
Makerspaces and Maker Faires are taking the country and the world by storm. As libraries have long been places where people from many backgrounds and experiences can gather to learn, exchange ideas, and work collaboratively, library makerspaces are a natural fit.
LITA and LibraryLab are joining together to hold this pre-conference at the Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center. Their newly-open makerspace is made possible by an IMLS grant. 
Attendees will participate in a tour of the facility in addition to a combination of fun hands-on sessions that will offer participants opportunities to discover and learn about the maker movement. Discussion and brainstorming sessions with nationally recognized makers and early adopters of the makerspace in libraries movement will introduce participants to ideas, successes and failures, offering a rich dialogue about the art of the possible for all types of libraries. Takeaways will include a deeper understanding of the maker community, "making" and how it fits within the library's existing service model, and practical ideas and concrete solutions for those inspired to bring the movement to their home communities/libraries. 

Friday, June 28, 8:30am - 4:00pm

Introductory Python Workshop

Presenters: Carli Spina, Harvard Law School Library; Andromeda Yelton,; Shana McDanold, Georgetown University
Attendees at this pre-conference workshop will learn the basics of the Python programming language with ample opportunities for hands-on, project-based practice. Attendees will learn the syntax and key features of Python while working through practice exercises and completing a short project in Python. Experienced teaching staff will be on hand to provide support and feedback throughout the workshop.
This workshop will be geared towards individuals with limited or no programming experience and will aim to create a supportive and enjoyable environment for those who want to learn a new programming language. Please note: Attendees will be asked to set up a Python development environment on the computer they plan to bring to the pre-conference in advance. The teaching staff will offer support throughout this process, including virtual office hours.

Library Makerspaces: Participatory Play in the Library

Presenters: Meg Backus, 4th Floor, Chattanooga Public Library (TN); Matt Hamilton, Anythink, a Revolution of Rangeview Libraries (CO); Trent Miller, Madison Public Library (WI); Monica Harris, Kelly Knowles, Oak Park Public Library (IL)
Sponsored by: LibraryLab (ALA Member Interest Group)
Interested in getting started with participatory programming, makerspaces, and the DIY revolution? Learn about how other libraries are getting their patrons creating physical content and collaborating with the community, often on a shoestring budget. Join us and find out how to incorporate creation and collaboration in your library at any starting point. 
Participants will hear firsthand accounts from the library innovators who are working with their communities to create new opportunities for learning and making. They'll also get inspired and play along with us as they get real hands on experience creating robots, crafts, and works of art with local experts. Most importantly, those attending will get creatively connected and have fun doing it. 


  • Register online for the ALA Conference and add a LITA Preconfernce in the "Your Preconferences and Optional Events" section.
  • It is possible to register and attend a preconference only. Using the online form; in section "Registration Options," select "Division PreCon and Ticket Events Only" then select the appropriate preconference in the section "Event Explorer." When you check out, you will pay only for the workshop.
  • You may also add a workshop to your existing conference registration by calling ALA Registration at 1-800-974-3084 or accessing your registration online.
  • You may register online through June 21; onsite registration will also be accepted in Chicago.

LITA 101: Open House

Friday,  June 28, 3:00 pm -4:00 pm

LITA Open House is a great opportunity for current and prospective members to talk with Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) leaders and learn how to make connections and become more involved in LITA activities.

Sunday Afternoon with LITA, June 30

Top Technology Trends & LITA Awards Presentation

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Panelists: Char Booth, Sarah Houghton, Gary Price, Aimee Fifarek, Clifford Lynch Moderator: Lorcan Dempsey 

This program features our ongoing roundtable discussion about trends and advances in library technology by a panel of LITA technology experts. The panelists will describe changes and advances in  technology that they see having an impact on the library world, and suggest what libraries might do to  take advantage of these trends. Presentation of LITA Awards and Scholarships will take place prior to the Top Tech Trends program. 

More than a book-lined Internet Cafe: LITA President's Program 

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Speaker: Cory Doctorow

LITA President Zoe Stewart-Marshall welcomes digital rights activist, science fiction writer and Boing Boing co-editor, Cory Doctorow. This lively, thought-provoking talk will look at how libraries can and do stand on the front lines of the debate over the role of free information, and free information technology in ensuring the healthy maintenance of a free society. And yes, he will talk about DRM.

Cory Doctorow ( is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger -- the co-editor of Boing Boing ( and the author of young adult novels like PIRATE CINEMA and LITTLE BROTHER and novels for adults like RAPTURE OF THE NERDS and MAKERS. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in London.

LITA Happy Hour

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Fado Irish Pub, 100 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60654, (312) 836-0066

Please join the LITA Membership Development Committee and members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks; cash bar.