For immediate release | December 6, 2011

ALA Midwinter Meeting Unconference, the first ever Midwinter Library Camp, and “The conversation starts here . . .”

CHICAGO - Following successful Friday “Unconferences” at past ALA events, another one is being hosted on Friday, Jan. 20, at the ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting in the Dallas Convention Center. The Unconference is described as “a participant-guided experience that harnesses the unstructured conversations people usually have between conference sessions into the conference itself.”

Unconferences are about sharing the knowledge and passion librarians have for the profession and taking what is learned into the world to make a difference. The conveners stress that unconferences are organized by the crowd with the understanding that everyone has something to share, everyone has something to learn and everyone can change the world.

The Unconference will set the stage for the two afternoons of deep conversation hosted by ALA President Molly Raphael about the evolving needs of our communities and how we can transform libraries and librarianship accordingly (“Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities”). The Monday afternoon first-ever ALA Midwinter Library Camp then provides the opportunity to close the loop as attendees join fellow conference goers to talk about anything library or Midwinter Meeting-related. The focus will be on reflecting on what inspired participants at the 2012 Meeting, with participants sharing their experiences and/or leading informal discussions on topics they choose.

All Midwinter attendees are welcome at both the Unconference and the Midwinter Library Camp. It’s easy to add them to your personal schedule using the Midwinter Scheduler as you make your plans.

To indicate your interest in participating in the “Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities” sessions on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, please add them to your Scheduler. The unconference conversation continues when renowned Syracuse iSchool professor David Lankes leads small groups to address questions about transforming our communities and the profession. Facilitators from the graphic recording company, Sunni Brown, will help create visual images of the plenary conversations that conclude each afternoon. The Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, session focuses on “Understanding Your Communities,” while the Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, session explores “Transforming Librarianship.” Both run from 1- 3 p.m. at the Dallas Convention Center in Room DCC-A1. Participants will also receive a coupon for 5 percent off the price of David Lankes’ galvanizing “Atlas of New Librarianship” (ACRL/MIT Press, 2011) at the ALA Conference Store.

The ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting will be held Jan. 20–24 in Dallas. Register now so you don’t miss out on this chance to join the conversation as you enrich your career, your library, and your community.


Amy R McGuigan