Use Library 2.0 to Boost Your Career

photo of a soldering station
Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 by Kate M. Spaulding

Have you registered for the Library 2.0 conference that’s happening in just a couple of weeks? Perhaps I should back up a bit – do you know about the free, virtual, Library 2.0 conference on October 11? 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 strategically boost your career. The theme for this month’s “mini” conference (it’s only 3 hours long) is “Makerspaces,” and there are presentations scheduled for a range of topics including makerspaces+volunteers, low cost tools, design, 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 emerging technologies? Here’s a great way to learn about some! There are also sessions that cover working with kids, teens, and volunteers. 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 [note: keep an eye out for 2018 calls for submissions], 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 should listen to Jill Klees’ workshop to learn how to do it better. Library 2.0 has worldwide participation, which means opportunities for international networking. Join 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 11. See you there!

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