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Vote sxswLAM! Panel voting is now open

on Thu, 08/14/2014 - 04:02

The SXSW PanelPicker is now open for public voting. Our goal is to get as many LAM-related panels on the docket for 2015 as we can, but we need your help. Thirty percent of the decision to pick a panel is based on public input; learn about the other variables here. Sign up for an account, and get your votes in before Friday, Sept. 5. Please add comments to the proposals to show your support, and share far and wide! Selected panels will be announced starting Monday, Oct. 20, 2014.

Below is a handy list of sxswLAM panels. Let the voting begin!

SXSW Interactive Panels

Anythink: The Brand that Sparked a Revolution

Big Data Startups Should Hire Librarians

Coworking, Creating, Doing Business @ your library

Digital roadmap for bookstores and libraries

How Not to Irk & Alienate Your Fanbase

Libraries as Playgrounds for Digital Natives

Measuring Mom? Quantify What Really Matters

Sparking True Imagination in a Digital Environment

We want to be your showroom

When New Businesses Hatch at The Public Library

Your Hometown SuperPowerHouse: Library as Platform

SXSWedu Panels

Animation Makerspace: Digital Media & the Library

Connected Learning Networks in Austin

Creating Citywide Connected Learning Ecosystems 

Free on the internet! Open Educational Resources

Hacking the Culture of Learning in the Library

How To Distribute Docs to the Educational Market 

Librarians: Superheroes in Danger of Extinction?

Play & Learn: Games and Instructional Practices 

Schools & Libraries Together: Rethinking Learning

Schools' Vortex: Innovative Library 'Makerspaces' 

Other Awesome Panels You Should Vote For

Underage@SXSW: No Parties? No Problem!

Don't see your panel listed here? Leave a comment below or post to the sxswLAM Facebook group, and we'll get it added to the list.

Food for thought

on Sun, 07/13/2014 - 17:38

As part of our planning for SXSWi 2014, we put together some criteria to help us evaluate our onsite ideas. With so many players and partners, we needed a few guidelines that would help us really look at the "why" behind our ideas so that we could put our energy towards the ones that would have the greatest impact.

After recently revisiting these criteria, we realized some may also be useful in thinking about panel submissions, due Friday, July 25.

A few things to consider when shaping your proposal...

Does it help people think differently about libraries?

Does the initiative help break the stereotypes about libraries (and librarians)?

Does it help people understand how libraries are relevant to them?

We’ve found that counting on people’s altruistic nature isn’t always effective (e.g. talking digital divide). Does the panel help communicate how libraries can impact their lives/biz in a way they can relate, understand and be inspired?

Is it daring?

SXSW is all about breaking the mold - our panels should do the same.

Is it active vs. passive?

They call it  SXSW "Interactive" for a reason. In libraries, we're seeing a shift from a passive>participatory experience. Does your panel proposal reflect this shift? Rather than just talking at people, can you engage them as active participants?

Do you have other criteria you're using for your own proposals? If so, please share!

Impact by Collaboration: A SXSWi Phenomenon

on Tue, 03/11/2014 - 15:06

Beyond the gadgets, apps and mind-blowing new ideas at SXSWi, the most powerful takeaway from this year's festival was collaborative impact.

Our group of passionate librarians and supporters infiltrated this year's festival in a big way, and we even surprised ourselves at how far-reaching our impact was in 2014. Our most effective tool was the conversation - one-on-one advocacy with tech leaders, students, entrepreneurs, innovators, fellow librarians and even celebrities. The conversation went like this: Libraries and the tech industry are a perfect match. Libraries are now places that support creativity and content creation, the perfect location for prototyping and user testing new products. They provide the perfect space for co-working and collaboration. They are spaces that inspire ideas, creativity and innovation. Most importantly, librarians are your trusted partners, here to support your personal and entrepreneurial success.

Most of the people we talked to didn't need much convincing. More than once we heard, "My mom is a librarian!" or "My dad is a librarian!" Also, "I take my daughter to the library every week." One man even spoke about how he started his business at his local library.

"We needed a room and a white board," said Zachary Barker, founder of Opportunity Machine. The first place he thought of was his local library.

That is the purpose of this wild librarian adventure: Let's get libraries at the forefront of people's minds. By facilitating these conversations, the next time one of these SXSW attendees launches a new product, starts a new business or researches a new service model, we hope they'll remember our conversations and know the library's on their side.

These conversations were wide-reaching, influenced by the depth of collaboration between this year's partners.

The sxswLAM team specialized in their fun, on-the-fly street advocacy through it's "Do you library?" campaign. Attendees were asked to tweet to their local libraries to say hello, good job, see ya soon, or even sorry about those overdue fines. In return, they got a sweet coozie that proudly displayed, "Not the same old SHHH..." This was a great way to connect SXSWi attendees from all over the country with their local libraries, and in turn, the libraries learned about sxswLAM. Our goal was to tweet to 20 libraries, and our team will wrap up today well beyond that.

The team's success this year was largely due to our presence on site in the SXSW Trade Show. Through the help of Joe Murphy, Innovative Interfaces sponsored a booth - not just to market their products but to market librarians. This was a space where we could talk with attendees in an informal, fun setting and have those important conversations about how libraries fit into people's lives (and business plans).

Sandy and Bonnie Tijerina from ER&L found the perfect location for this year's IdeaDrop house, a space not far from the convention center where people came together to connect, share ideas and discuss important topics in libraries and beyond. With the help of their fabulous AV tech Albert, the house not only live streamed conversations from librarians and thought-leaders, there was a "confessional" where people could record their thoughts on SXSW and librarianship. They also live streamed the Ed Snowden simulcast so we could avoid the crowds, enjoy mimosas and watch together from the comfort of the couch.

EveryLibrary ensured we were well fed and well connected over the course of the weekend, sponsoring breakfast each morning at the IdeaDrop house and meet-ups at our favorite Austin jaunt Mugshots. John Chrastka, this week named a 2014 Mover and Shaker, talked with start-ups and venture capitalists about how investing in libraries is investing in a healthy economic future. At breakfast each morning, we'd discuss our successes from the day before, what we were excited about, what we had planned for the next day.

A serendipidous and delightful addition this year was the presence of the Labrary, Library Test Kitchen's prototype library space out of Harvard. Jeff Goldenson and Jessica Yurkofsky are two of the coolest people you'll ever meet and converged on the lawn of Austin's O'Henry Museum to show off their student-designed library machines. They provided inspiration and participation to SXSWi attendees, showcasing the possibilities and creativity that abound in libraries.

The radical team of Christian Zabriskie and Lauren Comito took to the streets of Austin as the Volunteer Library Brigade, conducting story times and street reference for awe-inspired passersby. The passion of this power duo is infectious, and they brought fresh ideas to this year's efforts.

The turnout of librarians this year was astounding. The long list of partners impressive, so much so that it's difficult to list them all here.

Fueled by undeniable passion and hundreds of volunteer hours, this year's initiatives culminated into five days of determined, strategic, effective library advocacy. This model of collaboration was an important reminder of how powerful we can be when working towards a common goal and the greater impact we have when supporting each other, inspiring each other and working together to help push libraries forward.

 

Libraries and Librarians - Partners in Your Success

on Wed, 03/05/2014 - 15:14

In anticipation of librarians traveling to SXSWi this week, EveryLibrary - the only national Political Action Committee dedicated to building capacity at a local level to secure and extend library funding at the ballot box - issued the below press release highlighting some examples of libraries on the cutting edge of tech.

Libraries & Librarians as Major Players in Tech at SXSWi

Library Technology Leaders Travel to SXSWi to Showcase Trends hosted by Innovative

AUSTIN (February 5, 2014) – Representatives from the library industry’s leading organizations and associations are attending SXSW Interactive to raise awareness of the ways librarians are already supporting emerging entrepreneurs and tech businesses across the country. The goal is to get more entrepreneurs to recognize how librarians can help them scale their businesses. Through the support of Innovative, the leading provider of technology solutions and services to libraries, these organizations will be represented at the Innovative booth for libraries (#1036) during the SXSW Trade Show.

Joining Innovative to represent the library industry are the American Library Association, the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, the Digital Library Federation, Electronic Resources & Libraries, EveryLibrary, the Freedom to Read Foundation, Urban Libraries Council, Urban Librarians Unite, and sxswLAM, among others.

“Librarians are easily the most underutilized resource a startup has. They’re your gateway to all of the information you need to gather competitive intelligence, convene focus groups or allow users to test your product,” says John Chrastka, executive director of EveryLibrary, a library advocacy organization dedicated to preserving local library funding and ensuring access. “We’re opening up the eyes of starters and entrepreneurs across the country to the resources that are accessible at their local library and online, for free with a library card.”

Libraries continue to be the original co-working space and are evolving as drivers of the ecosystem. They serve as central locations for civic hacking and tech meetups.

Librarians are also starters themselves, and they are leveraging libraries as showrooms to get their products in the hands of consumers. Following are several examples of libraries and librarians on the cutting-edge of tech.

Libraries and Partnerships for the Future

Joe Murphy, in the capacity of director of Library Futures, is leveraging the technology partner, Innovative Interfaces, to facilitate librarians as partners in the SXSW technology conversation. Murphy says, “We are proud to participate in the meetup of librarians at SXSW. It’s our way of showing our support for the library industry in the pursuit of educating the tech world of what an important role librarians play.”

Libraries as Co-working and Maker Spaces

At Anythink, the public library system for Adams County, Colo., the library supports existing and future entrepreneurs by providing space for making and creating content. The Studio at Anythink provides access to tools like a 3-D printer, a textiles studio, digital photography studios, a sound recording studio and software, like Adobe Creative Suite, to help community members pursue their creative and entrepreneurial passions.

“What’s truly unique about The Studio at Anythink is its Artists in Residence program,” says Stacie Ledden, communications director at Anythink. “We partner professional creatives with our customers to help push their skills to new bounds. By pulling in experts from the fields of web design, programming, photography, graphic design – even vocal coaches – we’re tapping into the expertise of our local community and growing the skillsets of those who use The Studio. Not only does this help them to be successful in their professional and creative pursuits, but they are designing finished products that they can include in their portfolios or on their websites – and they created them at the library.”

In addition to The Studio, Anythink is a destination for business meetings, hosted workshops or as a comfortable, accessible coworking space for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

See Anythink Director Pam Sandlian Smith discuss what to expect in a 21st century library during her presentation for TEDxMileHigh: Women 2013.

Librarians For Open Data and Civic Hacking

Rebecca Stavick, staff development specialist at Omaha Public Library, is one of the four founders of Open Nebraska, a citizen-led organization dedicated to pushing the open data movement in Nebraska. Open Nebraska’s mission is to solve community problems through civic application development, open data advocacy and tech education. The group organized Hack Omaha, a weekend hackathon they hosted in November 2013, which attracted around 30 participants. Stavick contends there are so many elements of civic hacking that are a direct reflection of librarianship. The library, she says, is one of the few places with the space and the Internet access that makes these types of events possible.   

“Lack of access to local data is of direct concern to libraries. If libraries are supposed to provide open access to information, then any kind of public data would fall within that realm,” says Stavick. “Curating local information so that it’s more accessible to the public is a common goal of both librarians and civic hackers, with the intended result of informing citizens so they can make their own decisions.”

Open Nebraska is launching Hack Lincoln, the first-ever civic hackathon in Lincoln, Neb., this March and is aiming to plan another hackathon around National Civic Hacking Day in June.

Libraries as Drivers of the Ecosystem

In addition to hosting a local group of developers every Friday, the Princeton Public Library in New Jersey is home to the Princeton Tech Meetup. The group, led by local entrepreneur Venu Moola, has a membership base of more than 2,000 people and draws around 150 entrepreneurs, developers and investors to the library on a monthly basis. In traditional pitch-style event fashion, the event begins with a guest speaker and then startup founders get their time in the limelight and have the opportunity to let the crowd know if they’re looking for developers, financing or other forms of support. Following the pitch session, attendees network and make connections. Librarian Janie Hermann, the public programming librarian at Princeton Public Library, says the meetup has been successful in helping starters find both developer talent and investment dollars.

Find more information on Janie Hermann’s SXSW presentation, “The New Startup Garage for Innovation? Libraries

Libraries as a Showroom

Through the Arapahoe Library District, Director of Digital Services Oli Sanidas is using the library as a showroom to give patrons access to cutting-edge products that are generally out of reach for the everyday consumer. Products like Google Glass, 3-D printers and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets for 3-D gaming are making their way into the hands of patrons at the Arapahoe Library District. Sanidas says they have also begun touring the products throughout the community, giving hands-on access to businesses and residents. While this is a great opportunity for companies to put their products in the hands of consumers, the library’s goal is to expose people to new technology and inspire them to engage by either creating for these technologies or simply raising awareness that they exist.

The Innovative booth for libraries is hosted in partnership with the American Library Association, the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, the Digital Library Federation, Electronic Resources & Libraries, EveryLibrary, the Freedom to Read Foundation, Urban Libraries Council, Urban Librarians Unite, and sxswLAM, among others. It is made possible through generous support from Innovative Interfaces.

For more information on the programs, panels, and outreach librarians, archivists, and museum professionals are doing at SXSWi, visit http://www.sxswlam.org/ or stop by Booth #1036 during the SXSW Trade Show.  
 

About EveryLibrary

EveryLibrary is the only national Political Action Committee dedicated to building capacity at a local level to secure and extend library funding at the ballot box. EveryLibrary’s mission is to provide campaign consultancy, technical assistance, and direct funding to locally organized, pro-library ballot committees and PACs. As a 501c4, we do not campaign for or support any candidate for office at any level of government. More about our work building voter support for libraries can be found at www.everylibrary.org.

About Innovative

Innovative is dedicated to providing leading technology solutions and services that empower libraries and enrich their users worldwide. Innovative offers the broadest and most complete portfolio of library automation products on the market today. Innovative.s flagship library services platform, Sierra, is the most rapidly adopted product in library automation history. The company’s versatile and market-leading solutions also include the Millennium ILS, the Encore discovery solution, Electronic Resource Management, Decision Center collection management tool, the SkyRiver cataloging service, and INN-Reach resource sharing. Customers are supported through a 24/7/52 Help Desk, Innovative University, and the CSDirect Web support center. A recognized leader in library automation software, Innovative has introduced technological advancements for over 30 years. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Innovative serves thousands of libraries in over 50 countries and has offices around the world. Keep up with Innovative on the CEO INN-Sights blog at blog.iii.com, Facebook, and YouTube.

Let's connect

on Sat, 03/01/2014 - 06:01

Below is a list of the many ways you can connect with #sxswLAM and our partners. Support our awesome team and help spread the word about the perfect match that is libraries and technology.

sxswLAM

@sxswLAM
#sxswLAM
https://www.facebook.com/groups/sxswLAM/

IdeaDrop House

@ERandL
#ideadrop
http://ideadrop2014.sched.org/

http://www.electroniclibrarian.com/ideadrop

http://www.electroniclibrarian.com

https://www.facebook.com/ERandLConf
 

American Library Association (Washington Office)

@ala_wo
#ALAWO
http://www.ala.org/offices/wo

https://www.facebook.com/libraryadvocates

American Library Association

@ALAlibrary
#ALA
www.ala.org
https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLibraryAssociation

Association of Rural and Small Libraries

@RuralLibAssoc
#ARSL
http://arsl.info/
https://www.facebook.com/ARSLpage

Carson Block Consulting Inc.

@CarsonBlock
Http://www.carsonblock.com

Digital Library Federation

@CLIRDLF
#DLF
http://www.diglib.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Digital-Library-Federation/120568318151192

EveryLibrary

@everylibrary
#ELPAC
http://everylibrary.org
https://www.facebook.com/EveryLibrary

Freedom to Read Foundation

@ftrf
#FTRF
www.ftrf.org

https://www.facebook.com/freedomtoread

Innovative Interfaces

@iii_Innovative
http://www.iii.com/
https://www.facebook.com/InnovativeInterfaces

 

Library Test Kitchen

http://www.librarytestkitchen.org/

ProQuest

@ProQuest
https://www.proquest.com/en-US/

https://www.facebook.com/proquest

Urban Libraries Council

@UrbanLibCouncil
http://www.urbanlibraries.org/

https://www.facebook.com/UrbanLibrariesCouncil

Urban Librarians Unite

@ulunyc
http://urbanlibrariansunite.org/
https://www.facebook.com/urban.unite

Counting down the days

on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 03:42

We're just a week out before the librarians descend on Austin. In preparation, here are a few updates on sxswLAM happenings.

ATX Librarians Social Club

The only thing better than the music scene in Austin are the librarians! Cindy Fisher, sxswLAM organizer and librarian extraordinaire, has helped put together the ATX Librarians Social Club. There's a meet-up next Wednesday, March 5, and all of you librarians/library lovers are invited. There's a great breakdown of upcoming sxswLAM partner events during Interactive via their Tumblr. Even if you don't have a badge, there are lots of opportunities to get together with your fellow librarians from across the nation (and the world!).

We Geek APL

We're so excited to hang with the crew from Austin Public Library during this year's SX. Not only will they be chatting over at the IdeaDrop house about some of the great projects they're working on (you can watch the stream live!), but they've partnered with LABRARY, a collaboration with the Austin Public LIbrary Friends Foundation and the Library Test Kitchen out of Harvard. They'll be getting their geek on outside of Austin's O. Henry Museum. Find out more in their official release out today.

a collaboration between the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation and the Library Test Kitchen, a Harvard Library-supported Design Seminar that engages students in designing and building future library machines. - See more at: http://library.austintexas.gov/press-release/austinites-get-your-geek-56...
a collaboration between the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation and the Library Test Kitchen, a Harvard Library-supported Design Seminar that engages students in designing and building future library machines. - See more at:

Change the Conversation

on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 01:59

Some of the best parts of SXSWi are the connections and conversations you have daily with other attendees. Between the parties, the lines, the sessions and the shuttles, there are many opportunities to engage in some great idea sharing.

Here are a few conversation starters for when you're out and about that may help get attendees thinking about libraries – and librarians – in new, exciting ways. Let's change the conversation about libraries one interaction at a time.

Library is a space for creating – Libraries aren't just about books anymore but are spaces that support ideas, discovery and creativity. The maker movement has a huge presence at SX, and some attendees may be surprised to know that it also has a huge presence in libraries. Whether using a 3-D printer, coding a new app or playing with e-textiles and circuit boards, libraries are more and more becoming a resource for these tech-savvy creative outlets. Librarians are not only sourcing pros with these skills to share their expertise, they're learning these skills themselves and can be an incredibly valuable resource for other creative professionals.

Library as space for prototyping/beta-testing – Libraries have a built-in customer base that represents so many different parts of our local communities. This can be the perfect place for entrepreneurs to test new products or work together with the community to design something even bigger, bolder, better. There are also these incredibly creative resources on hand - our amazing, kick-ass librarians - that can help connect start-ups and small businesses with the support they need.

Library is the original coworking space – "Coworking" is hot right now, but what people might not realize is that the library was the original coworking space. With free wi-fi, areas for collaboration and, heck, even coffee, the library can be that space where the next big idea is generated. There's no overhead AND people have their own research specialists on hand ready to help with whatever they dream up.

Librarians are kindred spirits (research, test, invent, inspire, build, explore) – Just like many entrepreneurs, library pros have an innate sense of curiosity. We fuel that by building community, researching new ideas, inventing programs and services, exploring all that's happening in the world around us to ensure we remain relevant against some fierce competition. Many libraries also understand (better than most companies) how creativity is bred through constraint. Just imagine the things we could build/invent/inspire/imagine together!

Come to a party, follow us on Twitter, go get a library card – Between the happenings at the IdeaDrop house, the EveryLibrary meet-ups, the Innovative Libraries booth in the SXSW Trade Show (#1036), and all of the fun photos/ideas/videos posted via #sxswLAM, there are so many ways for people to engage with our crew of fantastic librarians. Buy someone a drink, invite them to a party, share the hashtag and the library love.

2014 SXSWi LAM Proposals

on Thu, 08/22/2013 - 05:48

To shift the perceptions of libraries from a warehouse of books to dynamic places that celebrate ideas, we need to share library innovations far and wide with diverse audiences in unique formats. SXSW Interactive is a major annual gathering of thought-leaders and funders – “fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.” (Sounds a lot like the library!)

There are a slew of incredible submissions this year proposed by creative library and museum professionals. You can help put libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) at the forefront of this ideas-exchange by voting for LAM presentations in the SXSWi Panel Picker from Aug. 19-Sept. 6, 2013, at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/.  Below is a list of sxswLAM panel proposals and well as sxswLAM-related panel proposals.  You can also do a search by keyword in the Panel Picker for “library” or “libraries”and there are dozens more. If you believe that librarian voices need to be heard, even if you’re not attending, we need your vote to make it happen at SXSWi 2014.

Here’s a brief blogpost that explains the logistics of picking a panel. You are required to create an account to vote.

sxswLAM Panel Proposals

Choose Your Adventure...Transforming Libraries http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20909 (Aspen Walker)

Creating a Gig Library with Strategic Partnerships http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/17706 (Nate Hill)

Curating Serendipity in Online Music Communities http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20674 (Paul Vinelli)

Destroy All Slimeball Consultants! http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/22549 (Carson Block)

Library Machines: a lo-fi design workshop http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/19336 (Jeff Goldenson)

The New Startup Garage for Innovation? Libraries! http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20229 (Janie Hermann)

We Will Not Be Shushed: Guerrilla Library Advocacy http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23259 (Lauren Comito)

How Fanfiction is Taking Over the Classroom http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/25460 (Heidi Tandy)

Igniting Action In A Digital Culture http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/19731 (Patricia Martin)

The Future of Book Clubs http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/22615 (Andrew Kessler)

Publish or Perish http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23623 (Myrna Morales)

sxswLAM-related Panel Proposals

Can One Story Change the World? http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/21645 (Jon Voss)

Content Marketing & Libraries: A Perfect Match http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/19889 (Carl Flynn)

Digital Divide or Sinkhole? Tech Famines in the US http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/18774 (Sian Morson)

Everyone's a Curator: Do Museums Still Matter? http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20388 (Kathryn Jaller)

Fear No Marker: Tools to Create Your Visual Story http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/22316 (Heather Willems)

Honk if you love library innovation http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/25329 (Sue Kriegsman)

How Creative Commons Is Changing Artists' Careers http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23974 (Elliot Harmon)

I Arm Wrestled Stephen King - Blog To Book http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20985 (Josh Hanagarne)

Libraries: Saving the Net Means No Exit Strategy http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/25482 (David Riordan)

Making Digital & Physical Experiences Seamless http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20834 (Chaim Haas)

Museums and mothballs: reinventing the experience http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/21180 (Christine Renaud)

The New Book Publishing Industry: A Skype Talk http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/21423 (Calvin Reid)

On The Road Again: Touring Interactive Projects http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/17454 (Daniela Capistrano)

Opposites Attract http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/19074 (Stacie Slotnick)

Reducing Isolation in LGBT Communities http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/25428 (John Chrastka)

The Sense Event: Future of Immersive Entertainment http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/22092 (Derek Woodgate)

Tech + Art: Digital Innovation in the Art World http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/22956 (Leslie Wolke)

What could the library of the future look like? http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/23349 (Daniel Flood)

Take the plunge - why not?

on Wed, 07/17/2013 - 04:09

Last year, a few days before SXSWi panel submissions were due, I got what I like to call the "Andrea Davis bug." The queen of #sxswLAM encouraged me to submit a panel proposal for the festival. I had no idea what I would present on, no idea what I was getting into. Yet her enthusiasm was infectious. And we both agreed: "F*&% it, why not?"

My panel proposal didn't get accepted. But there were plenty of fabulous LAM panels that did. Luckily, through Dre's help, I was able to make it to SXSWi as an attendee, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience - more than I could have imagined.

The SXSW Panel Picker is open once again. So, why should you submit a panel proposal for Southby?

  1. Libraries (and librarians) are awesome; share them with the world. Presenting at SXSWi – representing the #sxswLAM community – helps people think about libraries in a different way and gets us one step closer to changing perceptions of what a library can be.

  2. Connect with savvy tech, media, info pros. One of the best things about Southby is connecting with creative professionals you might not interact with at library conferences or in your day-to-day work life. These connections provide new ideas, new solutions and invaluable collaborations. 

  3. You're an expert. Share your expertise. LAMers are some of the most creative, resourceful people in the world. You offer a unique perspective on the needs of our communities – a perspective that's valuable to professionals and industries trying to understand those needs. Everyone has something to learn – and everyone has something to teach. What are you passionate about? What makes you tick? We're all experts at something – share that expertise with others.

  4. Badge of honor. Best part of presenting at SXSWi? You get a free badge! Registration is a bit pricey, so this is a great opportunity for LAMers to be a part of the festival, part of the community, without breaking the bank.

Once you decide to submit a panel proposal, how do you compete with all those tech smarties? Don't worry about anyone else – just focus on your fabulous self. Here are some tips to help formulate a great submission.

  1. Go solo. Straight from the SXSW blog: "Over the years at SXSW, our experience is that solo presentations tend to offer far more focus and more depth – two elements that SXSW registrants crave when they attend the event." Panel pickers are looking for presenters who will put the time, effort and care into their presentations to create an amazing experience for attendees. When you're the only one responsible, it's all on you. As scary as that seems, it gives you an opportunity to share what you're passionate about and connect with others more directly.

  2. Pick a great title. Humor, irreverence and boldness go along way when it comes to SXSWi titles. Just peruse last year's schedule. (Remember "Hey, where's my robot girlfriend?")

  3. Compelling content. Find a topic you're passionate about, that other people will find irresistible, and present it in a compelling way. They call it an "interactive" conference for a reason. How can you explore that in your own presentation so that panel pickers also find it irresistible? Get them to say, "I gotta see this!"

  4. Connect our worlds. Consider topics that bridge the gaps between libraries, archives, museums, technology, media and participation. Is it a topic that appeals across professions? Does it provide opportunities for different groups to explore challenges and solutions together?

For more tips on tailoring your panel for SXSWi 2014, check out the PanelPicker FAQs. There's a whole section on tips for PanelPicker success.

Most important thing to remember – even if you're flying solo for the presentation, we're all in this together! Feel free to post your ideas to the sxswLAM Facebook group for feedback or on this site's forum.

Welcome to the new sxswLAM site

on Wed, 07/03/2013 - 04:13

Welcome to the new sxswLAM site! We're getting a head start with planning, programs and promotions for SXSWi 2014 and will compile updates, news, tips and more on this site. Interested in participating? Join the Facebook group, follow us on Twitter or enter your name and email address in the submission form and we'll add you to the email list.

In the coming weeks, we'll share more details about the ways interested folks can help get out the word and establish a strong LAM presence at next year's conference.

Bookmark this page, and visit often!