The Unconference: A New Way to Share Information and Network with Colleagues

Hopefully an annual tradition will begin this year at the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference on October 11, 2012 in Peoria, Illinois. At 9:00am, the first ILA Library Marketing Unprogram will be held. A fast paced 90-minute adventure awaits all who want to chat about their marketing concerns, share tips and techniques and have an opportunity to network with other library marketers.

If you have not experienced an unconference, an unworkshop or unprogram before, you will experience a non-traditional information sharing opportunity where nothing is really set in stone. Participants will interact in 20-minute rounds of discussions that focus on topics selected by the entire group. Attendees generate the agenda, the sessions, and the discussion, so come with some ideas and questions that you are hoping to bounce off of others.

The origins of this type of idea sharing came from the founder of the Open Space method who realized that whenever he attended traditional conferences, the coffee and meal breaks were the most productive time he spent. These participants were talking about the things that were most important and most relevant to them.

At the end of the program, participants will share a few of the ideas and tips they hope to implement upon returning to their libraries.

Here is a brief clip of some participants from the American Library Association Mid-Winter Unconference in 2011 talking about their event.

I participated in the exciting Chicagoland Library Unconference earlier this year. Participants at this full day event discussed topics that were suggested and voted on online before the date of the Unconference. Check out their website and share and gain new ideas.

Here is another resource to get participants thinking before attending.

Feel free to contact me at or @suewilsey on Twitter if you have any questions or suggestions. And make this one of the must dos on your ILA Conference schedule. Hope to see you in Peoria!

This entry was posted in ILA Conference 2012, Networking, Tips and Tools, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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