Unala is now a morning only event… and you can still come

All my posts these days seem to be about the unconference at ALA. I am hoping to remedy that, tomorrow.

For possibly several reasons, the unconference at ALA has low registration numbers, compared to last year. Perhaps the largest reason is that Friday, and honestly every day at Annual, is packed with many, many great things with which you can fill your schedule. Setting aside an entire day for an event can be hard for many people. I also think that the unconference was not as high profile this year, not being an officially sponsored President’s Program. Whatever the reason, registration remained low and Sean and I decided to have a half day event instead.

We did not want to cancel the unconference altogether, we like the idea and the concept too much (I wrote a book about it for the love of chaos). We decided that with the handful of people coming, 21 plus volunteers at this juncture, we would shift the format and reduce the time. The unconference will now be held Friday, June 25, 2010 from 9am-Noon in 207A at the Washington Convention Center.

It is my hope that a morning only unconference will also draw in a few more people. If you hesitated to sign up for an all day event, please come join us for this new half day extravaganza.

We have a new format as well. Unless a participant comes up with something better (you never know at an unconference), the day will consist of the large group brainstorming trending topics in libraries, choosing the top 5 topics, dispersing into smaller groups, and then creating on the fly Pecha Kucha presentations. It will be a time to meet new people, learn new things, and share ways to make libraries and our profession better.

–Jane, everyone wants to change the world

Come unala With Us

Something that has the potential to be the most exciting and fun thing happening at ALA Annual this year still has a lot of spaces for people to attend. And it is a free event. And if you come, you will have a large say in what happens, what we talk about, and how what is shared in a few short hours could change the world.

Don’t you want to change the world?

Come to the Unconference at ALA Annual. Sean came up with the theme for the day: the theme is the number 9, the homophone for long lasting in Chinese. Long lasting friendships and long lasting impacts upon the library community.

Last year was fun, but this year could be better. We are mixing it up with flash debates, Pecha Kecha presentations, and a fishbowl at the end of the day. We are also in the conference center so there should be no wifi issues.

If you are looking at your schedule for Annual and thinking it needs some zip, some inspiration, or some fun, sign up to find all three Friday, June 25, 2010 from 9am-4:30pm.

By the way, if you have to duck out for lunch plans or have to miss part of the day, sign up anyway and indicate that you will be gone for part of the day.

–Jane, only you know the best way to save the world, come tell others about it

unala10 Registration Opens May 24th!

Another (Un)Official announcement!

ALA Unconference 2010 or unala10 will be Friday, June 25, 2010 from 9am-4:30pm in room 207A at the Washington Convention Center.

Registration for the ALA Unconference will open on May 24, 2010 at 10am EST/ 9am CST.Registration will be limited to 100 people this year. Once there are 100 people on the list, there will be a waiting list. Last year we were able to get everyone in on the waiting list, so do not be too discouraged if you end up on the secondary list.

The schedule this year will include 9×9 Greetings, Pecha Kucha presentations, Flash Debates, a Fishbowl, and group discussion times whose facilitation style will be decided by the group engaging in them.

You do not want to miss this day of creativity, sharing, and planning to change the world.

Sean, my partner in chaos for this event, will be the Man Behind the Curtain during registration. If you have questions or problems, he is the man with the power. I will be drinking beer in Amsterdam.

–Jane, proost to unconferences everywhere

unala10 (Un)Official Call for Volunteers

Can there be official announcements for an unevent? Perhaps.

Mark your calenders, oh you lovers of chaos and fun. ALA Unconference 2010 or unala10 will be Friday, June 25, 2010 from 9am-4:30pm in room 207A at the Washington Convention Center.

This year, I am planning the unconference with the amazing Sean Robinson. Last year, ALA was just getting their feet wet with the unconference idea. This year, Sean and I decided to kick it up a notch and give the crowd more power. Between our two brains, we have cooked up an exciting day of unconference fun. For a sneak peek, check out the preliminary schedule already on the wiki.

Announcements about registration dates will be coming in mid-May. Registration will happen shortly thereafter. Keep your eyes and social media feeds open. We will announce it in enough places that you will be unlikely to miss it.

Now to the true purpose of this post. Sean and I would like to have some volunteers for the unconference. These lovely, fabulous people would help us wrangle the crowd during the course of the day. You know how those crowds can get all chaotic and unruly. Volunteers will not have to compete for an official spot on registration day as they will have a special spot reserved. We would like our wranglers to be SLIS students. I know some of you seasoned librarians are a little broken hearted. I still love you.

If you are a current or soon to be graduating SLIS student, please email me at mboule at gmail dot com, DM me on Twitter, or send me a smoke signal. I only need three people so type fast.

–Jane, (un)changing the world

Coffee Makes Jane a Better Jane

Some days, I think the only things that remind me that I am, deep down, a nice person are a good cup of coffee and God. I came to the conclusion yesterday, and admitted it to the world on Twitter, that though I do not want to be, I am a morning person. I know; it is extremely disappointing to me as well. I just can not get much done after 1 pm. Perhaps it is a sign of my advanced age.

In sending out some emails for book related things, I am reminded, yet again, how truly remarkable librarians are as a profession. We love to help each other and we are excited for each other. It is so different from other professions sometimes. I suppose, since we are a service industry, I should cease to be surprised by this. I am glad that I can still recognize blessings when I see them. I love librarians, in a big group hug, squeeze you tight sort of way. I am really looking forward to Annual in June.

The book is coming along. All the chapters are written, but some have some gaping holes and notes like CITATION NEEDED. There are elves for those kind of notes, right? Chapter revision and cleanup are not fun projects and I really am not looking forward to it. Mostly, I think, because I will read something and think, “Who wrote this crap? Oh, yeah…”

There should be news about the ALA Unconference 2010 coming soon. Sean Robinson and I have been planning a day filled with some really cool and fun things. Keep your eyes peeled for that, ladies and gents.

Enough rambling. Back to work, everyone.

–Jane, one more cup of coffee before the pot is empty

OPALescence, fun for all

The lack of posting here is due to a bout of bronchitis the Wee Bairn contracted. He has been keeping my hands full of late. Full of his phlegmy sadness. Thankfully, he is on the mend and my time is again my own, off and on.

On Friday, I am moderating an Unconference session at OPALescence:An Online Library Conference for Everyone. From the OPALescence home page:

Has your travel budget dried up? Still want that conference experience of fresh ideas, lively conversations, and networking with colleagues? Participate in OPALescence, a free online conference for everyone. We’re planning a series of interesting and informative presentations and discussions spread over two days.

OPALescence 2009 is two online conferences in one:
A “traditional” conference with scheduled speakers.
An unconference with facilitators where you can discuss whatever topic interests you.

OPAL has gathered some great speakers which will discuss things like cloud computing, technology training, virtual libraries, and reader’s advisory. There are 375 people registered to “attend” from 13 different countries. When was the last time you were able to interact on this level for free?

I am glad to be a part of another unconference. I believe this kind of sharing and learning is the future of professional education. There is still time to join the fun if you want to come hand out with other smart, chatty librarians.

–Jane, definitely chatty

I Still Have Flair

This has been a very different and interesting conference for me due to Mr. R and the Wee Bairn being with me in Chicago. I am very happy to have them here. In fact, I am certain that I would have been miserable without them.

Having them here has meant that I act more my age. You know, coming in before 2 am and getting some sleep before starting again the next day.

It has been gratifying to know that people did in fact miss me and that others remembered me fondly as someone who is smart, competent, and can get things done. I have also learned that I have not lost my knack for opening my mouth when it is prudent to keep it shut. I just do not often mince words when having discussions about things which I am passionate.

At a dinner last night, I do not think I earned a lot of fans when I announced that ALA is in the habit of navel gazing and that our divisions and committees should be offering more learning online for free. Some things never change. After the dinner, I headed to the Billy Goat to to laugh with other librarians with big mouths.

Today, I am going to the CLENE Showcase and then to some LITA stuff before taking my boys to the Blog Salon. I have been thinking about the Unconference and working on a post. It is hard to write much when my time not at conference is spent with my boys.

Must get ready for the rest of the day.

–Jane, expects everyone at the Blog Salon to tell me that I have the cutest. baby. ever.

Taking the ALA out of ALA

After two years of dreaming and wondering if ALA could pull it off, the ALA Unconference is tomorrow! Meredith and I worked hard on this project and it is something that we hope goes well and can be repeated in the future.

So much about the process of planning the Unconference has been wonderful. What has pleased me the most with this process is that we have topics that vary and are still timely. Not everything is technology related, which is awesome. I want the Unconference to be a place where honest discussions can happen. I have similar hopes for the Unconference as I did for the first Social Software Showcase in 2007.

If you are sad that you will not be able to make the Unconference, do not despair. We have, of course, provided a way for you to live vicariously on the Internet. We are using CoverItLive via ALA Connect as a backchannel. There will also be some information from various presenters on the schedule page. The official hashtag is #unala2009.

I feel like a kid before Christmas. I am very excited about tomorrow.

–Jane, will have trouble sleeping

Getting Ready for Annual

In an effort to get ready for ALA, I turned on the Twitter widget that creates a post from my daily Tweets. Sadly, it went a bit haywire. I will try to fix it today, but there may be another strange post tomorrow.

The rumors are true. I am bringing Mr. Rochester and Baby Rochester aka Wee Bairn with me to Chicago. They will definitely make appearances at LITA Happy Hour, the OCLC Blog Salon, and maybe the Unconference. They may appear elsewhere, but I know there is only so much adorable you can stand, so I must regulate the consumption.

Because my boys are coming, I have less things on my schedule than in the past. It should be an interesting change. I am making time to go to my favorite things and see my favorite people. I expect to stalk some of you until I find you in the flesh.

–Jane, must go pack now

Unconference Openings

Last night, we sent out the survey for the topics to be presented at the ALA Unconference and this morning there was a flurry of email in my inbox from people who can no longer make the Unconference. As a result, we have a very small waiting list.

As of now, there is only one person on the waiting list.

So. If you were sad, sad and cried, cried because you could not see ever getting from the waiting list to the actual fun list and thus did not sign up. Do not despair. Go sign up now. Chances are good you may still get a slot.

I know it is late notice, but I figured someone may want to join the fun. And it will be fun. And exciting. And we will rock the ALA.

–Jane, if this is your first time at an unconference, you have to talk