The LITA Program Planning Committee is through it’s initial stages of review and discussion about programs for next summer’s Annual ALA meeting.  After hours of thoughtful individual review, commenting, and rating, we had an absolutely jam packed two hour discussion today.

So how did we judge a program/what were we looking for? Here are the questions I asked the committee to keep in mind during their evaluations:

  • Will this be a timely topic next summer?
  • Will it scale? Is it transferable across types/sizes of libraries?
  • Will it put backsides in chairs and keep them there?
  • Would you sit through it?

Have I mentioned how grateful I am for some of our current technologies?  We used a Doodle Poll to schedule the meeting, a Google Form to collect responses, Google Spreadsheets to organize things we were rating and make comments, Skype to get everyone together to talk. I was editing the spreadsheets live as we met with programs moving to an accepted or declined tab.  I’ve still got some notes to pull together from today’s meeting but overall, things are in pretty good shape.

Because we had so much to talk about, the meeting was a forced march at a really quick pace. I was impressed at the collaboration and consideration that I heard from the committee members. There were several programs that various committee members felt very strongly about and their arguments, examples of relevancy, and passion helped the committee create a list of programs that we are confident presenting to the ALA attendees.

If you’re waiting on notification, it’s going to be a little longer before you have an answer. There were some programs where we’re asking for clarifications, a couple that we’re asking to combine, and a few other things floating about that need to be settled before final acceptance/decline emails are sent. I promise things are moving behind the scenes, even if it may seem interminably slow on your end.