Web 2.You 2011: A success for the 4th year in a row

I attended the 4th annual Web 2.You conference yesterday, and it did not disappoint. As you may know, I was co-organizer of Web 2.You 2009 and last year I was a presenter, but this time I was perfectly happy to sit and simply enjoy the day. The only small role I played was ambushing Web 2.You co-founder Amy Buckland at the opening by presenting her with the SLA Eastern Canada Chapter 2010 Member of the Year award. After that, there were no more surprises, just the high quality presentations we’ve come to expect each year.

Joanne Mayhew kicked things off with a presentation about Industry Canada‘s corporate wiki. The project has really taken off, and if they had only started a year earlier, I might have been able to have been involved with it when I worked there in the summer of 2008. At any rate, it was an interesting look at a successful wiki launch, and I have no doubt it will be useful for anyone in the audience who might work on a similar project in the future.

Next up, Rajiv Johal and Michelle Lake talked about LinkedIn, which is one of those social sites on which many people create profiles but fail to maintain them after the first month or two. I have the feeling that when the audience went home last night, we all either signed up for the site or updated our profiles. It was especially interesting for me because I gave a presentation on LinkedIn for MBA students last semester, and Rajiv and Michelle covered some angles I hadn’t considered before. I had looked at the site mainly in terms of networking and job hunting, but Rajiv pointed out that it can be a powerful tool for business librarians doing research on small companies. I definitely picked up some tips that I will be able to use in the future.

After lunch, we heard from a panel made up of Ulla de Stricker, Robin Canuel, and Carolyn Hank. For a group of people who had never met in person before, they did a remarkable job of feeding off of each other’s enthusiasm while maintaining a smooth flow of conversation. Topics included the ownership of tweets, data loss through reliance on USB sticks, and the belief of some students that all important old research has already been digitized. If the audience didn’t already have enough ideas to occupy our thoughts, we certainly had plenty to ponder after watching the panel discussion.

Jason Puckett wrapped things up with a fascinating look at “open formats, open source, open access, and open publishing.” He demonstrated the importance of openness to libraries, pointing to examples of where closed formats limit our users; for example, DRM on music and DVDs may actually encourage piracy because the pirated version is more useful. After pointing out the flaws in our current electronic environment, Jason gave examples of content creators, like Cory Doctorow, who are finding creative new business models that allow for openness and profits to coexist. He concluded on an optimistic note, suggesting that librarians are in a position to influence vendors and demand that they provide their information in open formats.

As usual, the event was followed by a 5 à 7, where the audience was able to interact with speakers (and perhaps to ask the questions we hadn’t been brave enough to ask in front of the whole group). All in all, it was a terrific day – congratulations to the organizers, MLIS students Adrienne Smith and Bruno Therrien!


Web 2.You 2010 follow-up

Michael and Graham

Me (on the right) with Michael Porter, after Web 2.You 2010

It feels like years have passed since Web 2.You 2010, but it’s actually only been three weeks. At any rate, as many of you already know, the event was fantastic. The other speakers gave great talks and were a blast to hang out with, and apparently I didn’t look nearly as nervous as I felt. It was certainly intimidating to present to so many excellent librarians (not to mention discerning students), but one of my former library school profs liked my talk so much that she invited me to give it again in her class. I went ahead with that last week, and it was another great experience. And fortunately I’m not the only one who deemed Web 2.You 2010 a success; here are some other reactions:

Web 2.You at McGill – the little conference that could and does
Web 2.Wow
On Speaking in Montreal

Video clips are on their way, but for now feel free to check out my photos and slides. And for extra credit, take a look through the photos taken by a current SIS student.

Web 2.You 2010 is coming up on Feb 5th

As you may recall, a year ago I co-organized an event called Web 2.You. It was a terrific success, and my co-organizer, Amanda Halfpenny, has gone on to take the lead in arranging another one this year. As you’ll see below, Amanda has lined up another outstanding set of international and local speakers, and I will have the privilege of giving a presentation as well. Whether you’re a student or a professional, if you have any interest in technology in libraries, you should register ASAP.

Also, for any students wondering how to gain some experience before graduation, I highly recommend Amanda’s blog post on how to get a part-time job while in library school.


A new year has begun and the 3rd Annual Web 2.You Conference is only a month away, so it’s time to start thinking about registering. Web 2.You is a full-day event featuring international and local speakers on the implications of Web 2.0 technologies in professional information settings. Professionals who attended Web 2.You in past years were blown away by their experience and we are confident that this year’s speakers will take it to the next level.

Here are the details:

Regular rate:
$40 full day (includes catered lunch)
$20 morning or afternoon only

Student rate:
$15 full day (includes catered lunch)
$10 morning or afternoon only

The event will take place Friday February 5th 2010 at McGill University’s Thomson House and feature presentations from Michael Porter, Jenica Rogers and Graham Lavender as well as a panel discussion on democracy and technologies.
The deadline for registration is Friday, January 29th 2010.
To register and for more details on the event visit the Web 2.You Wiki.

Please feel free to circulate this information to your network of colleagues.

See you there!


Amanda Halfpenny, MLIS II McGill University
Adrienne Smith, MLIS I McGill University

CASLIS Bulletin Special Issue

If you’re like me, you’re still slogging through your final assignments: don’t give up! You can do it!

But if you’re lucky enough to be finished your semester and need a break between job applications, allow me to suggest some reading material. The Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services (CASLIS) recently published a special issue of their bulletin that students should find interesting. The issue is freely available online, so go ahead and download it now. The first feature article is about student experiences with CASLIS and features a number of LIS students, including my classmate Sarah Severson (in fact, I participated in some of the CASLIS activities she helped organize in Ottawa last summer).

Scroll down to page 19, and you’ll find a piece summing up the year’s events at SIS, written by our very own Brittany Trafford. I need to remember to thank her for saying such flattering things about Web 2.You!

Current and prospective students should definitely check out this issue to get the inside scoop on how CASLIS is helping students, and to discover what’s going on at library schools across the country. As for me, I need to get back to my descriptive bibliography – but as of tomorrow afternoon, I plan to be entirely finished my MLIS!

Web 2.You 2009 was a terrific success!

Whew, I can’t believe it’s all over! After months of planning, negotiating, reserving, and worrying, Web 2.You finally happened on Friday, and I couldn’t be happier with the way everything went. I can’t write a long post today because all the schoolwork I ignored last week is calling my name, but I wanted to say that the event went off without a hitch. It turns out that Michael is just as kind, helpful, and inspiring in person as he has been by email over the past few months, and Stephen and Amy captivated the audience as usual. Our student volunteers really went above and beyond to make sure everything went smoothly, and the student presenters did a great job as well. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved with such a great group of people – my sincere thanks to all the presenters, volunteers, attendees, and my incredible co-organizer, Amanda.

Sadly, Amy had to return to the reference desk right after her presentation, so she missed the group photo, but here I am with Amanda, Stephen, and Michael, and there’s Amy giving her talk about social networks below.

Amanda, Stephen, Graham, and Michael at Web 2.You

Amanda, Stephen, Graham, and Michael at Web 2.You 2009

Amy presents at Web 2.You 2009

Amy presents at Web 2.You 2009

Things are looking good for Web 2.You

Registration for Web 2.You is now closed, and the response has been great! 56 people are registered (not including speakers and volunteers), which is perfect because we were planning to cap it at 60 – in other words, we’ve filled the room without having to turn anyone away. Amanda and I have been working hard, but it looks like it’s all going to pay off.

I’m super excited to meet Michael Stephens, and I’m also looking forward to hearing Stephen Abram and Amy Buckland, who I know from experience are both fantastic speakers. The three McGill student presentations look promising as well, two of which will broaden our LIS scope by touching on the use of Web 2.0 in knowledge management.

To everyone who’s registered – see you on Friday!

2nd Annual Web 2.You Conference – February 13, 2009

Attention all library folk who will be in the Montreal area (or able to get here) next month: McGill’s School of Information Studies (SIS) will be hosting the 2nd Annual Web 2.You Conference on February 13, 2009. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to organize the follow-up to the event that first inspired me to start blogging. This full-day event will feature presentations about Web 2.0 in libraries and the LIS field from a few of my favourite people:

Michael Stephens

The Hyperlinked Library

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois


Stephen Abram

Shift Happens 2.0: What on earth is happening and how will it affect libraryland?

Vice President of Innovation, SirsiDynix, Toronto, Ontario


Amy Buckland

Joining the discussion: Using social networks for professional development (or developing into a professional)

Liaison Librarian, Howard Ross Library of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec


There will also be presentations from some of the best and brightest students SIS has to offer.

I would absolutely love to meet some ILSS readers, so be sure to drop me a line if you’re able to come. I’ve put a lot of work into organizing this event (along with my co-organizer, Amanda Halfpenny), and it’s shaping up to be a great day.

Registration is very affordable and now open – for more info, check out the Web 2.You wiki.

See you there!


Wow, the responses I’ve received so far have been great – thanks everyone! I really feel like I’m joining a community. Amy is compiling a list of blogs written by students in our program, which I think is a great idea. I’ll post the list on here when it’s complete.

Today’s anti-apathy tip: take any opportunity to meet professionals in the field. Web 2.You was one example of this, but it’s even better if you can attend a session where a dialogue between professionals and students is encouraged. My school’s Special Libraries Association Student Group is holding a networking event on Thursday, and I hope all my classmates attend. It will be a chance to ask questions to the people who do the jobs we’re hoping to do one day, and the networking possibilities could even lead to future careers! So come out, and make your name known. Still not convinced? Fine, I’ll resort to using the magic words for grad students: free food.

What if your school hasn’t organized such an event? Then tell them to hop to it! Email the leaders of your school’s student groups and express your interest. Do it right now – you’re already online, and presumably you’re looking for more ways to put off doing your assignments. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll likely have more success if you offer to help organize the event. But think about it: not only will it make you potentially more employable after graduation, it’ll be interesting. If you don’t want to talk about the AACR2, I’m sure the professionals will be more than happy to pretend it doesn’t even exist. See? Fun.