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

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

The People Speak and You Can Too

There are currently 63 people signed up to attend the Unconference at ALA Annual. The topics range from Web 3.0 to teaching teens about sex. Amazing! That fact that there are so many different kinds of librarians signing up with so many different ideas tells me that there are a lot of people out there who want to be heard.

Be gone talking heads! The people have something to say! I am incredibly excited about this opportunity. If you want to join us, there are still a few slots left. We will have a waiting list after the initial 75 are named.

–Jane, loves giving power to the little guy

An Unconference for the People

It is time to be the presentation topic you want to be.

Do you have a topic you want to discuss with others but can find no outlet? Have a new idea or project you want to share?

At ALA Annual 2009, I (along with my frequent partner in crime Meredith Farkas) am helping to plan and run an Unconference as part of Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives. 75 people will be able to participate in an all day event where they can be presenter, discussion leader, and participant. The attendees will choose the topics for discussion and presentation. It is going to be a fun and new way to interact at ALA.

Be the change you want to see and come play with us Friday, July 10th from 9-5. All you have to do is add your name to the list. I promise that you will have fun and learn something exciting in the process.

This is a unique opportunity to not only be part of something new at ALA but it is also a way to connect with your fellow librarians while discussing the topics of the day chosen by you and not the talking heads.

–Jane, looking forward to seeing who wants to play and what they want to talk about

Jane says goodbye to ALA TechSource

Today, I wrote my last post for ALA TechSource. I felt that I had to leave given my sporadic posting and it is so hard to sit down and write these days. Time to write is not the only problem. It is hard to write about tech trends when you never have time to read about the trends.

ALA TechSource has been incredibly good to me and good for me. It is, hands down, the best gig I have ever had. Thanks for a great run. You guys are the best.

–Jane, grateful

BIGWIG Becomes a Transparentocracy

(I said Friday for big news, but I suppose I am unable to read calendars. This is the big announcement. Enjoy.)

People fear and worry about the unknown.

The PTB, Powers That Be, in most organizations perpetuate fear by having closed meetings, by distributing meeting minutes that have no substance, hiding or disguising the way decisions are made, and not explaining any of the above to the people whom these decisions invariably effect the most. These practices create worry, fear, and gossip mongering because the lower levels of the organizations are kept, unintentionally or deliberately, in the dark. Who does this system protect? Certainly not the people on the bottom.

I believe that information is power and it is time we give it back to the people.

In an effort of experimentation, truth, and transparency, the leadership of BIGWIG will henceforth be practicing Radical Transparency. We want to model how radical transparency can change the work of an ALA group. We want to show that transparency breeds loyalty and productivity. It does not produce chaos. We discussed this at ALA Midwinter with the group and everyone was in favor of moving forward.

How will this work?

BIGWIG has registered its own domain called Your BIGWIG. There you will find different areas for discussion, work, and projects. We will strive to publicly discuss all projects, from the bottom up. The first item up for discussion and work is the Social Software Showcase planned for Annual. Well, it is not so much planned yet. We want the people to plan their own program.

We are not creating a democracy. We are creating a transparentocracy. The chairs of BIGWIG will still have final decision powers and will be true leaders of the group, but everyone will know what is going on, what is coming down the pipes, and how every decision is made. People will know because decisions will be made on the web for all the world to see or they can search the archives later).

Transparency is the future. It may be the medicine that ALA needs to regain and restore faith to their members. BIGWIG, the tiny IG unlike any other, wants to show ALA that it can be done. If you want to play, come on over, and sign-up for the fun.

–Jane, always happy to be the bearer of good things