Punk & Zen – a talk at ALA

June 9, 2007, 1:09 pm

Ok, so I told myself I didn’t want to use this blog to promote my talks or articles—it’s designed for something different, a glimpse at my ideas, observations, experiments, and fantasies, but hey, rules were made to be broken, so let’s do it:

Washington, D.C.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
10:30 am till lunch
The Hilton Washington Hotel — Military room

ACRL – New Members Group (academic librarians)

Myself and Mr Crit Stuart

It’s going to be Punk & Zen.


He’s holistic and Buddhist (not 100% sure about that) and part of ARL.
I’m “allegedly” controversial and irreverent and bring it like this.

We’re building around a theme:
“Too Shy or Too Shameless: Finding a Balance in Personal PR”

Crit will probably talk about networking, influencing people, reputation, the art of conversation, finding yourself/your identity/your voice, domestication of space, and dialectics.

Here is my potential set list:

  • The ALA Bureaucracy & Social Agenda
  • Walt Crawford’s Book – first have something to say (Read It!)
  • Getting Published: style vs. content
  • The Secret Code Words for getting conference presentations accepted
  • Your Alter Ego – talking/writing publicly
  • Does everyone just want to be famous? (how blogs have leveled the field)
  • Layers of secrets – workflow in academic libraries  – cliques & alienation
  • Planting Seeds – getting buy in – mediocrity – getting shot down, rebounding
  • Watch Out! People will steal your ideas!
  • What libraries & librarians are supposed to be; the problem with 2.0
  • Reference Librarians are elitist; don’t forget about circulation
  • Strategic Planning = copy & paste, repeat, repeat, repeat
  • Social Software Storefronts = bad idea (just being there is not enough)
  • Advancement @ your Library; Advancement in the Profession
  • Why Most Library Advertising is Lame
  • Motivation & Inspiration & Transformation & Innovation
  • Self-hype vs. the buddy system
  • Impressing people with creativity = they have no idea what you’re talking about
  • The Librarian Zombie mindset

(Note: not all of these topics will be covered.)

So there you have it. This program is geared toward newer librarians, ideally those with less than three years of professional experience, and current MLS grad students are even better. If you’re a library science student at U Maryland or Catholic (or elsewhere) and are not attending ALA for some reason, come on out to this session as my personal guest. I’ll get you through the door, just don’t tell ALA. For an organization that preaches open access you’d think that our conference papers would be free, but not so… Rettig, do something about that, please.

Anyway, it should be a good session. Crit and I will each talk briefly and then lead (co-lead?) group discussions and whatnot. For those who are new or entering the profession, you’ll get a good blend of perspective and experiences. I think we can all learn a lot from each other. Crit green-lighted several of my projects so you’ll hear how we worked together in the roles of administration vs. frontline staff. We’re both a bit outside of mainstream librarianship, so it makes sense that they put is in the “military” room—because we’re battling tradition.

And those of you out there who have been in the profession for some time… I’m sure there will be some other fascinating session on information literary, a workshop on wikis, or something like that. I don’t want to discourage you from attending, but this is for “new” members of ACRL.

Oh and if you’re looking for something to do Sunday night of ALA, try the Black Cat.
Straylight Run, Sparta, and lovedrug are decent indie-rock bands, not bad for a $15 show.

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