LITA Highlights at 2018 ALA Annual Conference

2018 ALA Annual Conference - New Orleans LA - June 21-26

View all LITA events in the conference scheduler

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Join us for the LITA President’s Program with Kendra Albert: The Silences of (Big) Data

Sunday June 24, 2018, 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Location: MCC 260-262

Friday, June 28

LITA Preconferences

LITA/PLA AvramCamp 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018 - 9:00am - 4:00pm
Location: MCC 230
Event Code: LIT1
Ticket pricing: ALA Member: $25 - Other Member: $25 - Non-Member: $25

Women in technology face numerous challenges in their daily work. If you would like to join others in the field to discuss those challenges, AvramCamp is for you. This one-day joint LITA and PLA preconference will allow female-identifying individuals employed in various technological industries an opportunity to network with others in the field and to collectively examine common barriers faced. This day will follow the unconference model allowing attendees the power to choose topics most relevant to them. The day will start with looking at imposter syndrome, the feeling that you aren’t actually qualified for the work you are doing and will be discovered as a fraud. Participants will then have the opportunity to propose lightning rounds and session proposals on a variety of topics such as salary negotiation, creating inclusive job postings, and becoming leaders in the technology field.


We thank our sponsors for supporting travel scholarships and a networking reception to help build connections for participants who would not otherwise have access to these opportunities.

EBSCO logo OCLC Research logo

Managing Library Technology

Friday, June 22, 2018 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: MCC 229
Event Code: LIT2
Ticket pricing: ALA Member: $210 - Other Member: $210 - Non-Member: $250 - LITA Member: $180

Do you want to get a better handle on taming the technological beast in your library? The pre-conference is based on Carson Block's ALA-APA CPLA Class "Management of Technology" and features ideas and practices from his new book Managing Library Technology: A LITA Guide. This session and the accompanying book offers a solid approach to understanding and managing the things that remain constant in an ever-changing world. This pre-conference is designed in a workshop format and is highly interactive with many opportunities throughout the day to practice the concepts. All receive a copy of the book.

Python for Beginners: A Gentle and Fun Introduction

Friday, June 22, 2018 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: MCC 228
Event Code: LIT3
Ticket pricing: ALA Member: $170 - Other Member: $170 - Non-Member: $210 - LITA Member: $140

This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the Python programming language through a fun project you can show off. No coding experience required. With a provided starter kit of library data and sample code, you’ll learn to use regular expressions and some basic Python. By the end of the workshop, you’ll build your own customized Twitter bot that will send tweets out into the world! Python is a great “gateway” programming language suited to library work, like text analysis and metadata cleanup. You’ll gain an elementary understanding of Python and make a working bot in the process.

Interest Groups Discussions Sessions

Find days, times, and locations of LITA Interest Group discussions in the ALA Annual Scheduler.
Check out this page for fuller descriptions for some of the discussion sessions.

LITA Conference Buddy Program

Apply now for the LITA Conference Buddy Program for the 2018 ALA Annual Conference

LITA is excited to continue our program designed to make conference attendance more approachable, foster inclusion, and build connections. Inspired by the GLBTRT Buddy Program, we hope to foster stronger relationships among LITA members who attend conferences and also make attendance more enjoyable and rewarding for everyone who participates.

Find more information, including instructions for applying for the program, on the Conference Buddy page.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at

LITA Conference Kickoff - Canceled

Cancelled: Friday June 22, 2017, 3:00 - 4:00pm

In order to avoid conflicting with the Opening General Session featuring Michelle Obama this year's LITA Conference Kickoff has been canceled. Look on LITA resources such as the LITABlog for announcements of a recorded version of the Kickoff content.

Saturday, June 23rd

Executive Perspectives: A Conversation on the Future of the Library Technology Industry

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 10:30 - 11:30 am
Location: MCC 293

Marshall Breeding, author of the annual Library Systems Report published in American Libraries, will assemble and moderate a panel of CEO or other senior executives representing organizations that produce technology products or services for libraries. See his web page for the 2017 Executive Perspectives event.

Breeding will give a brief introduction and will then lead a lively discussion to probe at the technology and business trends. This year’s panel discussion will center on technologies which support the expanding role of libraries into their communities and parent institutions. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how their organizations are providing or developing technologies beyond the traditional resource management and discovery products. Panelists will be expected to candidly reflect the perspectives of their organizations, but not promote their products.

  • Berit Nelson, Chief Product Officer, SirsiDynix
  • Jane Burke, VP Strategic Initiatives, ProQuest
  • Beth Jefferson, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, BiblioCommons
  • Mary Sauer-Games, Vice President, Product Management and Product Marketing, OCLC
Berit Nelson head shotJane Burke head shotBeth Jefferson head shotMary Sauer-Games head shot

Gender and Sexuality in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: MCC 395-396

From the golden age of science fiction and epic fantasy to the multifaceted world of today, our views and concepts of gender and sexuality have shifted along with the times. A panel of acclaimed authors will discuss how the lens of science fiction and fantasy reflects the world that we see today as well as the world we want to become.

  • Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Nnedi Okorafor
  • Seanan McGuire
  • Jacqueline Carey

Born of Blood book coverBinti the Night Masquerade book coverBeneath the Sugar Sky book coverStarless book cover

To hear more Seanan McGuire check out this recent NPR Sunday Weekend Edition interview.

Sunday, June 24

Top Technology Trends

Sunday, June 24, 2018, 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Location: MCC 344

LITA's premier program on trends and advances in technology features our ongoing roundtable discussion by a panel of LITA technology experts and thought leaders. 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. Panelists and their suggested trends include:

  • Marshall Breeding: Session moderator, Independent Consultant, Library Technology Guides
  • Jason Bengtson: Assistant Director, Kansas State University Libraries
  • Laura Cole: Director, BiblioTech
  • Justin de la Cruz: Unit Head, E-Learning Technology, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library
  • Marydee Ojala: Editor-in-Chief, Online Searcher: Information Discovery, Technology, Strategies, Information Today, Inc.
  • Reina Williams: Reference Librarian and Education Coordinator, Library of Rush University Medical Center
Reina WIlliams head shot

More information is available at the Top Tech Trends site.

LITA President’s Program with Kendra Albert: The Silences of (Big) Data

Sunday, June 24, 2018, 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Location: MCC 260-262

kendra albert head shot

Speaker: Kendra Albert

As data becomes the substrate for human and algorithmic decision-making and funding, it speaks louder and louder. But what can we infer when there is no or limited data, that is, when the data is effectively silent? Like all records, the data that libraries collect about their patrons and services contain presence and absence, resistance and compliance, exclusion and overrepresentation. In this provocative talk, lawyer and critical legal scholar Kendra Albert will reflect upon how the rise of data collection in libraries can be informed by the silences of data.

Drawing upon the literature on archival silence, as well as their work understanding and critiquing data collection across contexts, Albert will explore a number of potential reasons for data silences, from law to collection bias to subject disobedience. Their talk will focus on how such silences translate from spaces of curated collection to those where collection and retention is, at least theoretically, automatic and complete.

Kendra Albert is a clinical instructional fellow at Harvard Law School, where they teach students and advise clients on legal matters related to copyright, privacy, and computer security. Their scholarship focuses on applying critical legal theory to modern day technology issues, understanding how power shapes and is shaped by technology systems. Previously, they were an associate at Zeitgeist Law PC, a boutique technology law firm in San Francisco, and a research associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Kendra received a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree in lighting design and history from Carnegie Mellon University.

Kendra’s scholarship and academic work touches on diverse issues, from online harassment to linkrot to video game preservation. Their work applying critical legal studies to online free speech debates, “Beyond Legal Talismans”, has been written up in the New York Times magazine, and their study (co-authored with Jonathan Zittrain and Lawrence Lessig) of link rot in Supreme Court opinions led to institutional change in the Supreme Court. With the Electronic Frontier Foundation, they successfully advocated for a change in the law that made it easier for museums and libraries to preserve copies of old video games.

In 2016, Kendra founded and ran the Trans Documentation Project, which gave out more than $95,000 to trans people for documentation changes. Kendra also serves as a crisis line operator and teaches ally skills workshops.

LITA Happy Hour

Sunday, June 24, 2018, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Fulton Alley
600 Fulton St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Join LITA members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and lively conversation. Cash bar.