Free Professional Development and Opportunities for Collaboration at Library 2.019 Free Web Conferences
15,000 Information Professionals Worldwide Register to Attend


Library professionals, employers, graduate students, and educators gathered online at three Library 2.0 web conferences during 2019. The conferences series, offered through a partnership between Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director of the San José State University School of Information, and Steve Hargadon of The Learning Revolution, is part of the larger Library 2.0 free international social network for librarians and educators. 

“We are pleased to have collaborated with our partner Steve Hargadon for the last nine years on Library 2.0 virtual conferences, and we are excited to celebrate our 10th year of hosting Library 2.0 conferences next year in 2020!” said Hirsh.

The Library 2.0 platform offers a unique professional development experience, a chance to learn directly from industry leaders, and opportunities for engaging with other library and information science professionals from around the globe – all online. Each Library 2.019 virtual conference focused on a specific topic: Emerging Technology, Open Data, and Instructional Design, and featured experts in the information profession.

Library 2.019: Emerging Technology

Library 2.019 “Emerging Technology,” was held on October 30, 2019, and had 5,776 people register to attend. This conference explored the latest trends and technologies that are shaping our lives and learning experiences, including virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, Internet of Things, drones, personalization, and the quantified self. Attendees learned about current practices for using these cutting-edge technologies, new ideas for implementation, and possibilities for the future. 

Keynote Panelists

The conference began with a keynote panel discussion. Panelists included:

Christina Mune is associate dean of innovation and resources management at SJSU’s King Library. Her research interests include online instructional design, discovery and digital literacy. She is currently working on her upcoming book, Libraries Supporting Online Learning: Digital Literacy, Open Access and Local Connectivity from ABC-CLIO

Jim Hahn, associate professor in the Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois, has researched technology-enhanced learning and been involved in many software development projects within library settings. His unique insights into new students’ expectations and needs helps inform his work as the orientation services and environments librarian for undergraduate students at the University of Illinois.

Ida Arlene Joiner is the senior librarian at the Universal Academy in Texas and author of the book Emerging Library Technologies: It’s Not Just for Geeks (Elsevier, 2018). Currently pursuing doctoral studies in Texas Wesleyan University’s Curriculum and Instruction program, Joiner’s research focuses on emerging technologies such as drones, robotics, driverless vehicles, artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, and the uses of these technologies in libraries and education.

Dr. Sue Alman, instructor at the SJSU School of Information, delivered the final keynote highlighting poignant thoughts shared during the three-hour event.

Session Highlights: Virtual Reality, Immersive and Innovative Technologies

The core of the conference presented 12 concurrent sessions. Session highlights include:

“Creating A Virtual Reality Library Tour: How, Why, and What’s Next,” presented by Eliza Donne, multimedia specialist at Harrell Health Sciences Library, demonstrated to nearly 300 attendees how libraries offering immersive experiences are opening the minds of their users to better understand what is possible today, and what the future of VR holds. The session included an overview of the steps needed to create a 3D model of the library, import it into a game development engine, add interaction, and add compatibility with the VR Headset.

“Introducing Immersive Technologies,” presented by Chad Mairn, librarian innovation lab manager at St. Petersburg College, attracted hundreds of participants who witnessed how immersive technologies imitate or extend our physical world via digital simulations, explored the differences between virtual, augmented, and mixed realities, discussed potential issues with using these technologies in learning and teaching, and learned what libraries can do to make use of immersive technologies to create new user experiences.

“Breaking Down Barriers to Emerging & Innovative Technologies for Everyone,” presented by Sarah Norrell, librarian at the Robert R. Muntz Library at the University of Texas at Tyler, shared several free and cost-effective options for libraries looking to integrate emerging technologies into their collections—more than 200 attendees participated.

SUNY’s “Exploring Emerging Technologies for Lifelong Learning and Success” (#EmTechMOOC) session, presented by Roberta (Robin) Sullivan, the emerging technologies librarian and head of media services at University at Buffalo Libraries, State University of New York, and Cherie van Putten, an instructional designer at Binghamton University, showed hundreds of participants how to use an online learning opportunity that enables participants to improve their information technology skills with ease while supporting a key goal of today’s libraries: to help patrons evolve from “knowledge consumers to knowledge creators and curators.” #EmTechMOOC and #EmTechWIKI are the two associated parts of the self-paced online course. Read more about the project here.

Library 2.019: Open Data

On June 5, 2019, Library 2.019 Open Data, attracted 3,422 registrants who came together and discovered how librarians are using open data, teaching others about it, and creating it. They also learned how local, state and federal governments are releasing the public’s data in new ways, discussed examples of open data that give people the tools they need to learn and advocate, learned tools for implementing open data in local libraries, and looked at case studies in open data from library partnerships with local and state governments.

The closing keynote announced the launching of a “New Open Data Curriculum” that promotes open data literacy by training librarians and community members how to find, use and give feedback about open data through four online, interactive classes. Developed with the input of public and academic librarians in California and Washington, as well as with civic technologists and state government leaders in education and technology, this cutting-edge curriculum has been pilot-tested over two years at more than 20 public and academic libraries in the two states.

Keynote Panelists

The conference kicked off with an introductory discussion around Open Data. Panelists included:

Anne Neville-Bonilla, keynote moderator, holds an MPA from the University of Southern California and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and currently serves as director of the California Research Bureau, where she and her team develop non-partisan, independent research for the Governor and Legislature.

Will Saunders, keynote moderator, is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Maine School of Law, and currently leads the State of Washington’s Open Data program in the Office of Privacy and Data Protection.

Lilian Coral, director of national strategy at the Knight Foundation, has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of California, Irvine and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Los Angeles. She manages the Knight Foundation’s national portfolio, which is focused on the development of the foundation’s Smart Cities strategy.

Derek Kilmer received a BA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and earned a doctorate from the University of Oxford in England. He currently serves as the United States Representative of Washington’s 6th Congressional District, having previously served in the Washington state House from 2005 to 2007, and the state Senate from 2007 until he was elected to the US House in 2012.

James Neal, a graduate of the MLS program at the University of Maryland College of Information Science, Maryland’s iSchool in the Information and Diverse Populations concentration, is a senior program officer in the Office of Library Services with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, where he manages a portfolio of grants focused on building equitable digital communities, including open educational resources, digital inclusion, data privacy and security, and e-books.

Session Highlights: Free Tech Tools, Data Visualization, and Community Data Partnerships

The conference offered 10 crowd-sourced sessions attended by nearly 1,000 participants. Session highlights include:

“Data Toolbox: 25 Free Tools for the Data Librarian,” presented by Jim Craner, library technology strategist at The Galecia Group,  led hundreds of attendees through an introduction to more than two dozen useful and free technology apps and services for collecting, managing, manipulating, transforming, and visualizing data.

“FAIR finds: Seeking and re-using open data,” was presented by Adrienne Canino, data and science outreach librarian at the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries. Nearly 200 participants examined a case study of transforming government data in static tables into data visualization, and the related FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) data principles.

“Libraries in Community Data Partnerships: The Civic Switchboard Project,” was presented by two University of Pittsburg librarians: Associate University Librarian for Digital Scholarship and Creation Aaron Brenner, and Scholarly Communications Librarian Nora Mattern. The session encouraged partnerships between libraries and local data intermediaries as a means to better serve data users, further democratize data, and support equitable access to information by providing an overview of the library’s role in community data partnerships — as seen through the lens of the Civic Switchboard Project, an Institute of Museum and Library Services-supported effort geared toward positioning academic and public libraries as “players in community open data ecosystems.”

Library 2.019: Shaping the Future of Libraries with Instructional Design

More than 5,800 librarians, instructional designers and other educators registered for the Library 2.019: Shaping the Future of Libraries with Instructional Design web conference held on March 13, 2019. During this three-hour web conference, librarians, instructional designers and other educators came together to discuss the latest innovations in educational technology being applied in libraries and classrooms, and what to expect as instructional design and technology transition to essential elements within libraries.

Keynote Panelists

The keynote panel for the Library 2.0 Instructional Design conference was organized by John Shank, head of the Boscov-Lakin Information Commons and Thun Library at Penn State University Libraries, and Steven Bell, associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University. Panelists included:

Dana Bryant, the lead instructional technologist for academic technology services, Woodruff Library at Emory University, has a PhD in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University, and earned an MS and BS in Industrial Engineering/Human Computer Interaction from University of Alabama and North Carolina A&T State University, respectively. Bryant currently focuses on promoting best practices in course design for higher education, providing instructional support for Emory’s learning management system (Canvas), and managing the Instructional Design & Technology Community of Practice (IDTCoP) for faculty, support professionals and course content developers across Emory University and Emory Healthcare.

Assistant professor and learning design specialist at Purdue University Libraries and the School of Information Studies, Michael Flierl, aims to enable first-year and international Purdue students to use information intentionally and creatively to learn. His research interests include informed learning, self-determination theory, and student-centered teaching and learning environments.

Lindsay O’Neill, faculty member in California State University, Fullerton’s Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology program, was previously the instructional design librarian at the campus’ Pollak Library. O’Neill holds a Master of Education, specializing in Educational Technology/Instructional Design, as well as a Master of Library and Information Science. O’Neill consults and trains faculty and librarians on effective pedagogy, instructional design, educational technology, e-learning development, open licensing, and accessibility.

Session Highlights: Multimedia Design and Interactive Online Learning Experiences

The conference presented 16 crowd-sourced sessions attended by more than 2,000 participants. Session highlights include:

“The Intersection of Instructional Design and Libraries” session was presented by Leanna Fry Balci, instructional design librarian at Brigham Young University, and Matt Armstrong, innovation and online learning assistant. Attendees including academic librarians, public librarians, administrators, and instructional design librarians explored the intersection of instructional design and libraries from the different perspectives of the presenters: Balci as a librarian learning instructional design; Armstrong as an instructional designer learning librarianship.

Instructional design librarian at Loyola Marymount University, Darlene Aguilar, presented “Improving Library Tutorials: The Multimedia Design Principles,” which guided approximately 300 participants through a review of Mayer’s (2001) Multimedia Design Principles, developed to help improve instructional modules, tutorials, and videos to teach information literacy skills.

“Designing, Delivering, and Evaluating an Interactive Online Learning Experience,” was presented by senior director, online library and technology services at Berkeley College, Matthew LaBrake; and director of research and instructional services, Amanda Piekart. Geared toward academic librarians, the session focused on the “Interactive Online Learning Experience,” and immersed more than 200 attendees in scenario-based activities that adopted elements of storytelling and gamification, which encouraged deeper insights into the role of libraries and librarians.

Free Professional Learning

Founded in 2011, the Library 2.0 Worldwide Virtual Conference has evolved from one large conference spanning two days around the clock, to three annual mini-conferences per year, with each themed conference lasting three hours. Library 2.0 now reaches a total audience of more than 50,000 from 175 countries. 2020 marks 10 years of SJSU’s partnership with Library 2.0 offering these free global conferences.

Reflecting on his collaboration with Library 2.0 conference co-chair Hirsh, Hargadon noted: “The commitment that San José State University School of Information has made to the library world, by supporting the Library 2.0 series of conferences, has been profoundly valuable. The combination of a curated topic, hand-selected keynote speakers, and then selected presentations by practitioners, has proven to be extremely popular and is a remarkable gift to the larger library community.”

Three Library 2.0 conferences are once again planned for March, June and October 2020. The call for proposals and registration will open in early 2020 for the March conference.

Archives Available

Library 2.0 makes all the recordings of its mini-conferences available to all members for free. Membership in Library 2.0 is free and offers an excellent networking opportunity to connect with other librarians and information professionals. The recordings of the numerous conference sessions are available through the Library 2.0 website and through the Library 2.0 YouTube channel.