Tales from a Web Librarian

LITA AvramCamp ALA Preconference

Northwestern Campus in Chicago

Northwestern Campus in Chicago

June means the ALA Annual Conference, and though I didn't participate in the official 5-day event, I did head out to Chicago to attend the LITA AvramCamp ALA pre-conference workshop! I had the fortune of winning a travel scholarship in order to attend and I'm so glad I did - the event was AWESOME! 

I arrived in Chicago on June 22nd and made my way to the Northwestern main campus in Evanston. My SBU colleague Claudia McGivney was attending ALA in Chicago proper, but since she arrived on Thursday we decided to share a hotel in Evanston. The LITA AvramCamp was scheduled to start at 9am the next day (Friday) on the Northwestern campus in Evanston (or so I thought). I decided to re-check the AvramCamp email detailing the location, time, and scheduling for the next day, just to be sure. Turns out they were hosting the event at the Northwestern campus IN CHICAGO PROPER which was about an hour away from Evanston. Sigh.

So the next morning, Claudia and I packed our bags and took a harrowing cab ride down into the city. I made it on time to the workshop and Claudia headed off to her hotel. 

So, what is a LITA AvramCamp? From the event description:

"Women in technology face numerous challenges in their day-to-day work. If you would like to join other women in the field to discuss topics related to those challenges, AdaCamp is for you. This one-day LITA preconference at ALA Annual in Chicago will allow female-identifying individuals employed in various technological industries an opportunity to network with others in the field and to collectively examine common barriers faced. This day will follow the unconference model allowing attendees the power to choose topics most relevant to their work and their lives. Participants will have the opportunity to propose lightning rounds and session proposals on a variety of topics such as salary negotiation, creating inclusive job postings, and getting involved in open source software development. Please come prepared with ideas for discussion topics! The opening session, led by Margaret Heller, will address imposter syndrome, the feeling that you aren’t actually qualified for the work you are doing and will be discovered as a fraud. Evviva Weinraub will be our facilitator for the day. We look forward to having you join us for this important event!"

Meredith, Claudia, and I at Kanopy's event in the Art Institute of Chicago  

Meredith, Claudia, and I at Kanopy's event in the Art Institute of Chicago  

In short, it was a day devoted to empowering, educating, and encouraging fellow female colleagues in library technology! The day kicked off with a lecture on Imposter Syndrome (something I've experienced but never knew it had a word), and then moved on to tackle common workplace issues like negotiating salaries and managing up. The day ended with a series of lightning talks and information on how to get more involved in LITA. 

It was a great experience and I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to go!

To end my very short trip, I met up with Laura, Meredith, and Claudia at the Art Institute of Chicago for a special event thrown by Kanopy. It's always so fun to meet up with colleagues at conferences and I'm glad this one was no different!

Dana Haugh