Professional conferences – There’s an app for that!

Professional conferences are a great way to refresh, get inspiration, meet new people and see new places and things. In graduate school I attended my first professional library conference and was totally lost. Which sessions should I attend? How do I figure out this big bulky book that has anything and everything I ever wanted to know about the conference in it? What is the exhibitor’s hall and why should I care? I was so overwhelmed! Twenty eight years later – conferences haven’t fundamentally changed.  You still need to bring the essentials: a sweater, refillable water bottle and comfortable shoes. But what is relatively new is the conference app! They are amazing! No more carrying that big bulky book or tearing out pages – yeah! This year’s ALA Annual Conference was my first time using a conference app.

With this app you could view exhibitor information, contact information and location of their booth, all easily accessible. It also included a floor plan of the exhibit floor. You could also browse the speakers, poster presenters and other attendees. Forget your business cards? No problem! Each attendees’ badge had a QR code so you could scan other attendees’ badges with their QR code when making connections. And you could also send messages to other app users. The app would also send alerts and updates for the conference right to the app.

Best of all, you could create a personal schedule by starring the sessions you planned to attend. You could see exactly what you want to attend, what time and where the session located. Having back up sessions starred was a must just in case the session you wanted to attend was full. Presenter’s slide presentations were also available on the app. You could draw on presentation slides, highlight text and take notes. It was even better if you had the conference app on a tablet or iPad.

The upcoming Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference on Nov. 13-15 also has an app. Search the Google Play or Apple App stores for “2017 ILF Annual Conference” to download this app. Like the ALA conference app, it also includes links to attendees, favorites, notes, schedule, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, interactive map and more!

Want to learn how to get even more out of attending conferences? Be sure to sign up for this upcoming webinar: It’s Not Just Packing a Cardigan: How to Attend a Conference to Get the Most out of Your Experience on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 from 9:30 to 10:30 am, EST. No LEUs will be offered, but we still hope this is a great event to get ready for all the library conferences!

This blog post was written by Paula Newcom, northeast regional coordinator, Indiana State LibraryFor more information, contact the Professional Development Office at (317) 232-3697 or email.

Fair Use Week: Feb. 20 – Feb. 24

Everybody loves “Weird Al” Yankovic. Okay, maybe not everybody, but most people can find humor in his parody songs like “White and Nerdy” and “Amish Paradise.” Well, almost everybody not named Coolio. Word on the street is that “Weird Al” is a nice guy and gets permission to parody songs from the original artists. However, he is not legally required to do so thanks to fair use. A 1994 court case, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569, ruled that parody qualifies as fair use.

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

In the United States, fair use permits the restricted use of copyrighted material without obtaining permission from the rights holders. This allows everything from “Weird Al” parody songs to movie reviews to certain “Saturday Night Live” skits to exist. Fair use is even the reason we’re allowed to use DVRs. So, if you DVR “Saturday Night Live” it’s double the fair use. Of course, there are academic applications relating to fair use, too. Try writing a scholarly paper without quotations. Thanks, fair use. For a great overview of fair use, click here.

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the doctrines of fair use and fair dealing, is in full swing, running from Feb. 20 – Feb. 24, and is commissioned by the Association of Research Libraries. According to the Fair Use Week website, the event “is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories and explain these doctrines.”

Fair use is important to librarians and educators alike. The American Library Association (ALA) is currently hosting, on their website, a webinar titled “Complete Copyright for K–12 Librarians and Educators.”  In the webinar, Carrie Russell, a copyright expert, discusses common copyright concerns for librarians and educators.

Fair use applies to almost everyone. For a complete list of organizations, including many libraries and universities, participating in Fair Use Week, click here.

So, next time you try to imagine a world without “Addicted to Spuds,” research papers, movie reviews or an “SNL” cold open, remember that fair use makes it all possible.

This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director at communications@library.in.gov.

ALA San Francisco Recap

The 2015 ALA annual conference #alaaac15 has come and gone and it was another memorable one for the books – literally and figuratively. If you have ever experienced this conference before, you know that some of the battle is getting back home without picking up too many Advanced Readers Copies of books. For bibliomaniacs everywhere, the struggle is real. I try to resist, having purposefully packed only a small carry-on, yet alas ended up shipping 2 boxes of books back anyway. Yay, books!

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I was fortunate to be able to garner support and go to the annual conference this year, only having a few months under my belt as Children’s Services Consultant at the Indiana State Library. With a new city to navigate and different sessions from which to learn, it’s definitely a whirlwind and one you have to plan ahead of time. The ALA conference website has a nice online scheduler to assist you with jam-packing your days with high-conflict/high-priority sessions. Whee! Most times, though you’ve planned, you still roll with the punches – seeing how you feel (“I need coffee!”) and where you are actually located to see if it’s feasible to attend the session you wished. And, of course, you HAVE to compare your session times against all the great author signings in the exhibit halls.

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Time for Adventure @ The Library

I-heart-geocaching
We’re all familiar with the adventures we take when reading a great piece of fiction from our local library. But what if the library could inspire an actual physical adventure? A real, live treasure hunt unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before?
Guess what? It can!

Libraries all over Indiana have known for years about a sport called geocaching (pronounced gee-oh-cashing). The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a geocaching website to explain what it is and how to use it in Indiana parks. Geocaching can be done anywhere on the globe, but it needs to be organized first. Once you’ve decided what group you’d like to geocache with, you’re in for an adventure!

In 2013, the American Library Association’s magazine published a story called Libraries “Cache” in on Geocaching Treasure Hunts. It featured New York’s Liverpool Public Library and its summer programming that included all sorts of fun geocaching activities.

If you want to know more about this new sport, or about other libraries in Indiana which have already incorporated geocaching into their programming, look below!