February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Washington State Library Conference Adds Virtual Connection

You don’t have to be in Washington State to get the exciting takeaways from the Washington Library Media Association’s (WLMA) two-day conference, which is being hosted in Yakima, Washington, and starts October 17. For this event, at which Washington’s teacher librarian leaders will discuss the future of the profession and swap best practices on technology in the classroom and meeting the Common Core State Standards, WLMA will again be offering a free virtual broadcast of key presentations.

Through an innovative, ongoing partnership with the Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference, which takes place this weekend, WLMA is offering access to at least three sessions from Yakima to a worldwide audience, Craig Seasholes, the immediate past-president of WLMA, tells School Library Journal. “Great things are in store @WLMALIT,” he notes.

The free-to-attend Library 2.013 conference—the third installment of the Library 2.0 online community’s annual conference series founded by co-chairs Dr. Sandra Hirsh, professor and director at  San José State University’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), and Steve Hargadon, director of Web 2.0 Labs—will feature two days of online presentations, with web conferencing scheduled around the clock in multiple languages and time zones.

The WLMA sessions being offered online through Library 2.013 will include panels with SLJ columnist and regular contributor Richard Byrne and AASL president-elect Terri Kirk, and a panel Seasholes is running on K–12 school and public library collaborations. The latter session will feature a discussion with librarian Stephanie Ham, coordinator of the Limitless Libraries program at Nashville Public Library, and with Amy Mikel, outreach librarian for the Brooklyn Public Library in New York. The two will join a panel of WA public library partners, Seasholes says.

Broadcasting events in this fashion is a strategy known as a SMOOCh, or a Synchronous Massive Open Online Conference, Seasholes notes, adding that they are more intimate than MOOCs “since they focus on participation and encourage presentations.”

In addition to offering highlights of its content to Library 2.013 attendees this coming weekend, throughout its own event, WLMA intends to guide its conference attendees, Seasholes says, “into active participation in viewing sessions in this wide-ranging virtual conference.”

Becoming savvy in the ways of the webinar is key for teacher librarians, Seasholes says, noting, “When you get webinar-smarts it’s like you’ve stepped from Dorothy’s black-and-white Kansas into the wonderful world of connected conversations in a technicolor world of ideas and information.”

Adds Marianne Hunter, from Timberline High School in Lacey, WA, “Webinar-smart teacher librarians show students how they can be authentic users and producers of ideas and information.”

Keynote presenters at Library 2.013 discussing the future of libraries of all types will include Dr. Hirsh; Barbara Stripling, the president of the American Library Association; frequent Library Journal contributor Roy Tennant, a senior program officer for OCLC Research; Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, and other innovative library experts from around the globe.

The virtual conference will also include about 150 presentations on areas relevant to public, academic, and school libraries, including such topics as building sustainable digital collections, evaluating the user experience, serving distance users, and library management.

Pre-registration for Library 2.013 is not required; attendance is open to the public beginning October 18 for any session they which to view at their convenience. Conference sessions, including those from WLMA, will also be recorded for viewing after this weekend.

Karyn M. Peterson About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson (kpeterson@mediasourceinc.com) is a former News Editor ofSLJ.