The Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference took place October 18-19, 2013, but it isn’t too late to listen in on the incredible presentations that spanned the globe, touched on a multitude of topics, and were given in multiple languages.
Library 2.013, a free, worldwide professional development learning experience for information professionals, was co-founded by the San José State University School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS), who also helped to organize this annual event. The director of SJSU SLIS, Dr. Sandra Hirsh, was one of the 10 keynote speakers.
Hirsh’s presentation, entitled “The Global Transformation of Libraries, LIS Education and LIS Professionals,” focused on emerging technologies and what they mean for the future of the information profession, as well as the future of LIS education. Hirsh cited SJSU SLIS as a leader in training students to work with emerging technologies, as well as the information school’s use of these new tools in its online graduate programs.
Beyond the 10 keynote addresses, there were more than 140 presentations that covered eight conference strands. Presenters shared information, research, and opinions at the Library 2.013 conference, which attracted more than 5,000 participants from 169 countries.
Joining the global conversation about the future of libraries were graduate students in SJSU SLIS lecturer Dr. Sue Alman’s LIBR 204 course. As part of a class assignment, students attended at least one Library 2.013 conference session and provided a summary report.
For her assignment, Sara Latham, a graduate student in Alman’s class, attended “Public Libraries Serving Homeless LGBTQ Youth by Creating Safe Spaces,” presented by Dr. Julie Ann Winkelstein. In her summary of the presentation, Latham wrote, “Dr. Winkelstein has not only studied the subject of her presentation, she has actively worked to ensure that homeless LGBTQ youth are not excluded from library services. She suggests ways libraries can adapt, partner, and provide materials and services to engage these individuals.”
Another MLIS student, Lisa Reyna, also attended Library 2.013, where she found a presentation that piqued her interest both as an information professional and as a graphic designer. Reyna attended the presentation by Pamela Van Halsema, entitled “Data Visualization, Graphic Design and Meaning: Equipping Students with Critical Literacy Skills to Create and Consume Infographics.”
“Students have become surrounded by all things digital. Accessibility of information is right at their fingertips,” wrote Reyna as part of her LIBR 204 class assignment. “And because of this, librarians and teachers must find a way to incorporate the proper navigation and critical thinking skills involved in determining meaning behind what has become an image heavy environment of available information, popularly known as infographics. Infographics are designed to convey a story, message or procedure in most cases and can achieve comprehension with even the most complex topic.”
Jill Seeland, who is also in Alman's class, enjoyed the presentations she could attend live. “I wished I could have attended more sessions, but I am excited to go back and listen to the recordings. There were so many different topics, and this seems like a great way to keep tabs on what is going on in Libraryland, outside of my everyday scope,” Seeland stated.
Luckily for Seeland, and anyone else who wants to learn more about the future of libraries in the 21st century, presentations from the open, online Library 2.013 conference are still available to access at their convenience. All the conference sessions were recorded and are freely available on the school’s website.
Planning for next year’s conference is currently underway. The Library 2.014 Worldwide Virtual Conference is tentatively scheduled for October 8-9, 2014.