Program Planning Committee Update

Looking at my archives, I see that it’s been quite a while since I gave you an update on the LITA Program Planning Committee and all the various and sundry things that go along with that.  As I actually have a couple of hours to write this afternoon before I need to shuffle off to the airport, now seemed like a good time to get that done.

In August we chose programs and in September the committee sorted things into time slots. This is far less fun than it sounds.  We have to try and meet the requests of the speakers, not conflict with similar topics or other LITA no-compete times, and still have something during every slot that we’d all like to go to.  We might have moved our committee meeting because of one of the programs that’s happening next summer…..

During the course of the fall there was some contact work that the liaisons needed to do.  I sent a fair number of reminders and when people weren’t speaking up, I sent pointed requests.  Due to work situations, two of my committee members had to excuse themselves from service, so I also need to send emails to my two new committee members this afternoon.

By the way–unless it’s a personal special request, I don’t really control who is on my committee.  When I lost a committee member over the summer, I had a name in mind because of some emails that I’d seen not too long before conference.  I knew said person had filled out the volunteer form and had other committee experience that would benefit my group.  This time around, I sent a request saying I need two more people and Colleen Cuddy made things happen.  I got the names shortly before Midwinter.

This spring, I will be hearing from/working with the VP of LITA–Zoe, to get a couple of people who are rotating off the committee replaced.  I don’t know how much influence I’ll have there either.  I think it’s a good committee to cut your teeth on, though it’s a fair amount of work in the fall.

My committee did not have a formal meeting at Midwinter ALA. I said I’d be in X space at Y time and three of my committee members happened to come by and see me and, over the course of the conference, one of them and I worked out some changes to one of the programs (I say “we”–Mike did the hard work and the talking to people, I gave him some ideas, started a couple of conversations and asked to be copied on the emails.).  I saw a few other chairs and we shared some ideas but the wifi at the conference was so weak that I couldn’t edit a GDoc while I was there.  Did I mention that 98% of my committee’s work is in a GDoc Spreadsheet?

Interestingly, several people have come to me assuming that I can put programs into the program now or that LITA PPC actually arranges the programs.  While we have the latest (last I checked) deadline for annual programs, that deadline is long past.  When we’re talking about a conference of 25K people, it’s not quite as easy to throw a program in at the last minute.  And while we select and coordinate programs, the PPC does not traditionally arrange and put on the programs.  Our work is much more behind the scenes.  That being said, the committee is responsible for the Flash Presentations.  This is a new program (it’s not about the Flash on the computer btw–someone asked) that I’ll send out a call for in April.  Six ten minute presentations about what’s going on in technology at your library RIGHT NOW.  But that was something I knew I wanted to arrange last summer and we already have our timeslot for that.

Someone else asked what if there is a cancellation?  We do not do a replacement.  Particularly this year.  Individual speakers on a panel might certainly change up until the conference but if an individual doing a presentation pulls out, I’m not going to go back to the list of suggested presentations.

That being said, I am sharing the LITA-PPC spreadsheet with LITA Education Chair Cody Hanson, who will be reviewing both the presentations that we accepted and those that we did not accept to see if there are workshops that he could create, speakers he could tap, and other opportunities that can be created out of the wealth of suggestions people put forth.  And one of our rejected proposals was handed as a suggestion name to an IG Chair who asked us for people for their panel.  So things do still happen.

Oh! I did go and talk to the LearnRT Board and they are entirely on board to take on coordinating with our programs to offer pre-program support: reviewing slides, dry run of the presentation via Skype, etc.  I’m thrilled to have their assistance and felt very welcome at their meeting.  I’m happily anticipating better programs by our presenters!

We’re under description deadline for the print this week, so it’s time to go send emails to all of my committee members again.


If there’s a question I didn’t answer, let me know…