Recap of Unconference Planning Meeting (1/25/11)

Attendees: Danielle Whren Johnson, Alison Cody, Shana Gass, Natalie Burclaff, David Dahl

Several items related to the Unconference were discussed at this planning meeting, including date/time, location, theme, and the schedule of activities.


Several suggestions were discussed in relation to the Unconference theme for this year.  The goal of the theme is to provide some direction and inspiration for presentations/talks without being too restrictive.  The idea of focusing on relationships in the academic library came up, and the theme of “Friends with Benefits” was selected as a preliminary theme.


The Unconference will run from 9:30-3pm on May 26th.

May 26th was chosen as a preliminary date for the Unconference. This date was chosen in an effort to keep some space between the Unconference and the MLA Annual Conference (May 4-6) and to avoid conflicts that may arise because of the Memorial Day weekend.

Feedback from last year’s Unconference indicated that participants would have liked the program to be longer.  With that in mind, the group decided that extending the Unconference until 3pm would allow for more content without significantly increasing the price for participants.


Several locations were suggested for holding the Unconference.  Loyola/Notre Dame Library worked well last year and will be considered again for this year.  It was noted that it would be good to change venues if possible.  Since the MLA conference is on the Eastern Shore and ACRL MD’s Fall Program was held in western Maryland, the Unconference will be hosted by a library in Baltimore.

The following locations will be investigated for the event: UMBC, Loyola/Notre Dame, Towson University, and Goucher College.  Other suggestions are welcome.  Host locations must be able to offer 2 flexible meeting rooms and a larger room or gathering area for lunch and other activities involving all participants.  The location must also be able to address the parking needs of attendees.  Preference will be given to locations that do not require ACRL MD to use the school’s in-house catering service.  If you would like to suggest a location for hosting the Unconference, please send an email to David Dahl at, addressing how the location meets the requirements for the Unconference.  We expect to choose a location by mid-February.

Proposed Schedule

Details of the schedule and related activities are ongoing, but a basic outline of the day’s activities was decided upon:

9:30-10 – Registration
10-10:30 – Speed networking
10:30-11 – Voting/break
11-12 – Lightning talks
12-12:45 – Lunch
12:45-1 – Voting
1-1:45 – Prepared talks
1:45-2 – Break
2-2:45 – Prepared talks
2:45-3 – Closing announcements/evaluations

If you have any suggestions for the Unconference, please leave them in the comments section of this blog post.  More information will be forthcoming as details are worked out.

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