UNCC’s UnConference for Information Professionals

On Thursday I attended UNC Charlotte’s J. Murrey Atkins Library’s first UnConference for Information Professionals .

What’s an unconference? An unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven event. For this event, when participants registered they selected what topics they wanted to speak about and what topics they wanted to hear about. From that organizers Somaly Kim Wu, Lisa Nickel and Lois Stickell pulled together a mix of:

  • Speed Networking which is exactly what it sounds like. Participants took 15-minutes to meet as many other participants as possible.
  • Lightening Presentations where speakers had 10-minutes to present on their selected topic.
  • Speed Geeking where speakers had 10-minutes to present on their selected tech topic.
  • Round Table Talks where a group has a facilitated discussion around a specific topic for 10-minutes.

If it sounds a bit chaotic believe me it was anything but! I was impressed with how smoothly the entire event went from registration to lunch to navigating the break out sessions.

The audience of 100 or so was comprised of academic, public, and school librarians, as well as MLS students or recent graduates.

I gave two presentations during the Speed Geeking sessions. The first was on gaming in libraries. The second was on using social networking to find a job. Though I did not use PowerPoint for the social networking presentation, I created one to share some of my key points. The slide decks are on Slideshare, and I’ve linked them below.

This was a great event and I hope we see more like it as libraries and library staff struggle to travel further to larger events and conferences.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.

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