Demystifying Conferences

photo of train tracks disappearing into fog
Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding

If you’ve taken INFO 200 and watched Dr. Michael Stephens’ lectures, or taken his hyperlinked libraries class, or read his “Office Hours” column in Library Journal, or read his book, or ever heard him speak, then you know he is passionate about connecting with the global community of library folks. That made him the perfect choice for the Special Libraries Association Student Chapter’s (SLASC) recent virtual program, “Demystifying Conferences.”

If you missed the event, I encourage you to watch the recording! Dr. Stephens presented a list of tips, interspersed with personal stories and designed to whet our conference appetites and make the whole experience seem doable and less intimidating. His excitement about the opportunities for meeting real, live people in Real Life was palpable, and his curiosity about people and libraries made me want to go back to SLA’s annual conference!

Following Dr. Stephens, several members of SLASC’s executive committee shared advice from their own conference experiences. Swetta Abeyta gave smart advice about getting into presenting and even made it sound fun. She also encouraged using cat photos/gifs in slide decks, so it was definitely based in library reality! Mary Vasudeva provided some resources for finding conferences and writing proposals, and Jonathan Christensen encouraged everyone to get out there and connect with wonderful, new people. Furthermore, throughout the program, attendees were sharing ideas, tips, suggestions, questions, and experiences in the chat box, so this event was bursting with valuable information.

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