Four Ways to Boost Your Career at Library 2.0

Career Blog

Published: October 3, 2016 by Kate M. Spaulding

Four ways you can help your career via Library 2.0, a free, virtual annual conference happening October 6.

Have you registered for the Library 2.0 conference that’s happening this week? Perhaps I should back up a bit – do you know about the free, virtual, Library 2.0 conference happening on October 6? If not, you should definitely check it out, as it’s a pretty amazing collection of events that the iSchool puts together for the LIS community each year.

Library 2.0 is as real as any other conference, but you can attend for free and in your pajamas. It’s also a fantastic way to learn a lot and boost your career. The theme for this month’s “mini” conference (it’s only 3 hours long) is “Libraries of the Future,” and there are presentations scheduled for a wide range of topics including library design, change, strategic planning, digital learning, and more. You can, of course, attend live, and recordings are also available afterwards.

While the continuing education benefit of this conference is pretty easy to grasp, you may doubt that a virtual conference can actually help your career. If so, here are four ways you can boost your career via Library 2.0:

  1. Learn. It’s the most obvious one, I know, but it’s also valid. This is a wonderful opportunity to expose yourself to new ideas and information. You come away smarter and thus more valuable to your current and future employers.
  2. Learn how. Besides learning new stuff, Library 2.0 is a wonderful opportunity to observe best virtual presentation practices. There are pro-level moderators, keynote speakers, presenters, and panel participants we can all take lessons from. Watch and learn, my friends.
  3. Apply your new knowledge. Are you taking a class where you need to complete an assignment about digital learning? There are a couple of submitted proposals on that topic. Same goes for new technologies and open educational resources. Conference presentations are a legitimate, scholarly resource you can use for your own papers (your APA Manual, 6th Edition tells you how: section 7.04, p. 206). Furthermore, now that you’ve observed great virtual presentations, you can apply those best practices not only to in-class assignments, but to a future Library 2.0 presentation. Anyone is welcome to submit a proposal, and you have smart things to say! Plus, presenting at conferences makes you more marketable.
  4. Network. I’ve already written about how networking is your friend, and you’re attending Jill Klees’ workshop to learn how to do it better (more info; a recording will be available). Library 2.0 has worldwide participation, which means opportunities for worldwide networking. Participate in the chat boxes and the Twitter conversation, and ask questions of presenters. And afterwards? If someone or something inspired, enlightened, or got you thinking, reach out! All it takes is an email saying, “Hi! Your talk about X was super interesting. Can I ask you more about….?” That person will indubitably respond (because LIS people are the nicest people), and boom! you’ve made a new contact.

I encourage you to read about the Library 2.016 virtual conferences on the iSchool site and then register for the one on October 6. “Libraries of the Future” is more than just the theme – it’s a call to you to make the most of yours. See you there!