Thursday, March 8, 2012

Librarians Going to SXSW Get a Great Primer

I've always viewed SXSW as a festival that focuses strictly on music, with the seemingly endless list of live band performances, panel discussions featuring industry insiders, rockumentary screenings, etc. So if you weren't in a band, a fan of the band, or with the band - or if you weren't in the music business - then there would be no real reason for you to go. So it was news to me that there's something at SXSW for librarians and library school students (other than the music).

The sun sets on those gathered at last year's Librarian Meetup at SXSW in Austin.
image by shieldss44/flickr

I'm now learning that there is this whole scene at SXSW for the MLIS set. Apparently, there is so much going on there for librarians and library school students that a primer is needed so that attendees don't miss out on anything or get overwhelmed. An incredibly useful primer has been put together by Paul Vinelli, a graduate student at UT's School of Information. Readable online in a slideshow format, his "Unofficial SXSWi Primer for Rowdy Librarians" is chockfull of great information and useful links. Looking through it makes me wish I was going to SXSW!

For Vinelli's excellent primer and other resources for librarians and library students going to SXSW, see the INALJ article below.

INALJ (I Need a Library Job) * March 7, 2012

Librarians Swarm Austin! A Handy SXSW Interactive Primer

by Paul Vinelli, graduate student in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin

SXSW Interactive is an overwhelming assault on the senses. Fortunately, over the past few months a team of top library professionals from across the country has worked incredibly hard to make the conference accessible, productive and fun. Here are some resources for folks coming to Austin (or who are partial to conferences in general)…

If you’re looking for a basic introduction to the melee, I’ve put together a presentation entitled “Unofficial SXSWi Primer for Rowdy Librarians.” The primer features tips for navigating the conference, useful items to bring, suggested networking questions and places to check out in Austin.

The #sxswLAM = Library* + Archiv* + Museum* Facebook group has been a fountain for creative brainstorming and a fantastic way for attendees to network. Andrea Davis and Myrna Morales are the whirling dervishes behind the forum and keep everyone up-to-date on original projects and events. I’d suggest joining as quickly as you can.

Kelsey Gibson of Serials Solutions has arranged to sponsor a swinging party: #sxswLAM: Librar* Drinkup SXSWi 2012. The event is billed as a way to “simmer down after a day chock-full of panels and awesomeness that is SXSW before gearing up for the full night ahead.” We also owe a hat tip to Eduardo Loera of ProQuest for securing the space. The meetup is happening on Saturday, March 10th from 6 pm to 8 pm at Skinny’s Ballroom, which is located at 115 San Jacinto Boulevard.

John Chrastka spearheaded a campaign to raise funding for an assortment of library promotion tools. One example: temporary tattoos designed by artist Ted Davis (see graphic). We’re going to encourage conference attendees to affix them to their persons and showcase their library pride. On top of that, Christina Coleman of the ALA is sending her love from Chicago by shipping us a bunch of “I Love Libraries” swag. Everyone should grab all that they can – SXSWi is as much about free stuff as anything.

Cindy Fisher has built a terrific website that documents all the featured librarian panels for this year. She’s also been collaborating with several students from UT’s School of Information to coordinate on-the-fly interviews with incoming brainiacs. Stay on the lookout for microphones and cameras… you might be a victim.

Last but not least, Monica Sack, a savvy SXSW staff member, has booked the official Interactive Librarian Meetup for the past two years. This time it will be held on Saturday, March 10th at 5 pm at the AT&T Conference Hotel, Salon B. Mass kudos to her…

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at SXSWi.

Paul Vinelli

Image by Ted Davis

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