LFP/I conference/final project brainstorming

I want to propose the dates of sometime between August 10th and 14th. Maybe even every day, considering that we probably don’t want it to last all day every day. I think a max of four hours a day is plenty.

I think that @Callan’s proposed topics are great and I think with five days, we could make each day themed with a topic, maybe combining the productive responses/navigating bureaucracy tracks (I see them as having some overlap) and combining the advocacy/solidarity track as well.

I think this could be really values-driven and also practical.

In terms of the infrastructure we’d need, Zoom has a webinar feature for pro accounts (which we have) but it’s an additional $40/month.

I also think we’ll want to have some kind of basic website with conference info where we share the recordings later (we can use the LFP Vimeo account to host the recordings).

For right now, it would be great to get a sense of who wants to present during this conference. I am happy to give a talk. I think we should make them 20-30 minutes each with breaks in between, just for everyone’s sanity.

Who else wants to present on one of the above topics at this conference? Who has ideas for who we should invite to present?


I’m happy to present something, and to help build out a website. I’ll also give some thought to speakers we should invite.

Couple things to add here –

I’m happy to present but am equally if not more happy to moderate/work on infrastructural stuff. Re: that, the good folks of EveryLibrary are letting me use their Easywebinar account for the conference I’m running on Monday in exchange for the emails from folks who RSVP. I was comfortable with this tradeoff because I believe in what they’re doing. I wonder if they’d let us do the same for an LFP conference, provided we’re comfortable with that exchange.

I know of a few people at Olin who could be interesting to tap for this (provided they’re interested as they tend to disappear into the ether over the summer). I’d think we should start with the current and past LFI cohorts and give them first dibs on putting in proposals, then expand the ask beyond that.

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I think if we made it really explicitly clear who EveryLibrary is and why they’re collecting emails, I think that could be okay. What is their webinar capacity?

I think the absolute max for the platform is 3,000. The way it works is they have a subscription for 500, and then can pay $15 for every 100 attendees over that (that’s what we’re doing for #LIBREV).

Couple general thoughts:

Let’s pick an actual day/week for this as soon as possible so we can reach out to folks and determine their availability to speak.

I still like the day of a week-long event. I was wondering, would it make sense to set up some kind of way for people to meet/connect outside of the sessions, like Slack, Discourse, or Canvas? Just to help continue the discussion and give people a place to solidify connections.

I think we should identify themes for each day as we’ve discussed a few times now. Here’s a very quick stab at it.
Importance of Privacy
Impacts on Democracy
Advocacy & Organizing
A Vision for Something Else

I took a bunch of steps to minimize zoombombing with the conference I’m running tomorrow and I’m yet to see how it turns out, but the main points are keeping an eye on the attendee list, making people go through more than one hoop to get a registration link, not posting the link to the actual conference “room” anywhere publicly, and using a tool like Zoom’s webinar feature or Easywebinar where trolls are confined to a chat channel that you can turn off.

I’ll have more learnings from the conference after tomorrow. We have over 2200 people signed up so we’ll see how this goes, lol.

I think the themes for each day is a great idea, as it helps provide a structure for organizing the conference, but I think is also a good marketing tool. I also really like the idea of having something ‘outside’ of the sessions to promote further discussion.

I am curious to hear how your other conference went!

Just a random cobble of thoughts here:

I really like Building a More Human Future. And I think a week long event would be killer.

I would be comfortable with putting together a talk about community mapping pre-virus and during the virus… maybe some kind of panel situation with a few different librarians who can speak to their experience and then open it up to a discussion of outreach techniques that produced positive outcomes in their communities. And what outreach even means during this time. What’s changed and what hasn’t, what works and what doesn’t, etc.

The folks at Everyday Democracy have a great activity that they run to show how community mapping actually works… but idk how/if it would translate to a virtual environment. In any case, want to give them a shout out here because they might be a good group to get involved in some capacity if we’re talking libraries and political dialog/action. Also, they taught me a lot of what I know about outreach.

Tangentially related, another thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is values-driven strategic planning–what that means during times of crisis. Slash//// what a strategic plan oriented around resilience of libraries AND ALSO resilience of our values looks like. I’m not an expert on this topic by any means, but in the next months I’ll be working with my staff and trustees to build one.

I took a stab at creating a daily schedule and adding the themes. Since it’s me, I made two days about surveillance and privacy, but we could just as easily do one: https://libraryfreedom.wiki/html/public_html/index.php/Main_Page/Conference

Each day has four 45-minute sessions, multiple breaks/announcements, and a long break in the middle of the day. The day doesn’t begin until 9:45 and it ends at 3 pm which seems very reasonable to me. I am going to work on coming up with some ideas for talks and panels and I’m going to start tapping each of you for either being on those panels or finding someone who will be. :slight_smile:

I agree with @Callan that we should pick an actual date asap–and a name, too. Once we have those, we can start framing out a website for the conference.

My brain likes to think about websites; here’s the content I think we need to come up with for this one:

  • Homepage. Should include:
    • Name of conference
    • Dates / times
    • Location
    • Themes
    • Costs to participants
    • Link to register
  • Registration page
  • Schedule
  • Session info
  • Speaker info
  • Sponsor info (if any)
  • Organizers / About Us
  • Contact us / get help

Plus we need to make sure that the website repeatedly features any hashtag we want people using, and any other networking channel we want people to use.

I’m probably forgetting things…

I’m liking everything I’m seeing here so far!

The conference was an incredible success. I’m not just saying that to toot my own horn–we had about 1600 people join us on the live broadcast and hundreds more signed up for, or have since requested, access to the recordings. I have a group of volunteers helping me with captioning the videos; once that’s completed, we’ll share them widely. I had almost no technical difficulties during the day except for some minor ones at the beginning of our last presentation. We didn’t have any trolls that I could see, and considering there was up to 1K people in the room at any given time, I didn’t see a lot of bad acting. It was hard to keep up with that many participants, though, and Easywebinar doesn’t have the ability to separate out the Q+A (like Zoom Webinar does).

I love this idea and haven’t seen a lot out there on this topic, even though it’s more important than ever. I think it would be a good opportunity to both constructively criticize the traditional “outreach in libraries” narrative as well as give advice on how to do better.

This is kind of how I structured #LIBREV and I found it worked well. One of the key takeaways for me after Monday was that you should try to get some backup with moderation–I did it for 7 1/2 hours straight and it was exhausting. No way it’d be a good idea to do it for days after, so this is something we should think about, too. (I’m happy to serve as a moderator, btw.)

Should we do this within the existing LFP site? We could always build something separate and incorporate it later.

hi everyone,

I started adding conference session ideas to the wiki: https://libraryfreedom.wiki/html/public_html/index.php/Main_Page/Conference

I would love for folks to contribute asap in two ways:

  • help us finalize a date (right now it’s mid-August. is that too late? it feels far away, but it’ll get here fast, and we don’t want to make it too close to ALA. July will be a little stretched for me because the next LFI cohort begins the first week)
  • add session ideas to the wiki (or say them here and I’ll add them to the wiki). if you want to present on the session, mention that, else mention who you think would be good for it

I will send a follow up email about this soon and we’ll have our next final project meeting covering conference next steps.

I’m thinking Aug. 3-7 or Aug. 10-14. I kind of like Aug. 3-7 more for some reason, maybe because it’s the first week of the month…?

The session idea I have is to get the folks who were instrumental in pushing back against the closure of Boston Public Library branches during the aftermath of the last recession to talk about their experience and strategies with those efforts. A secondary idea is to get the local Radical Reference crew that helped with the Occupy/zine library to talk about their work. Yet another one is asking Jennie Rose Halperin, who did a presentation about library commons/undercommons at #LIBREV, to expand on that talk if she’s interested.


Some other thoughts/takeaways I wanted to share re: #LIBREV - I think it would be great if we could come up with some kind of space for conference participants to connect and continue the dialog in addition to the “conference room.” The chat became pretty unmanageable with hundreds of people in it, and it was really clear that people had a lot more to say and contribute after we wrapped things up for the day. I did set up a Discourse page that we’re working on establishing community guidelines and norms for; something like that might be good, or a Slack channel or similar.

Big themes I saw people responding to/taking away from #LIBREV:

  1. acknowledgment of the emotional/physical impact of continued stress and unreasonable expectations, and the reasons for low morale in library settings
  2. a need for power mapping and support/community building around advocacy efforts
  3. changing the library narrative from happy-go-lucky stories/self-congratulation of things we’re doing “right” to an actual urgent ask to change & better support us
  4. transformative librarianship - how to fight back against information that has been shaped to benefit the ruling class and reinforce various supremacies & privilege
  5. redefining and challenging the limits of traditional library “outreach” - what are we actually doing to welcome groups/people who have been categorically dismissed or ignored/underserved by our systems?

I have to go watch some final presentations, but I may add more to this later! And I will have the presentation videos/slides from #LIBREV up within a week or so; just working on getting the captioning/transcription done.

Just remember that 9:45am Eastern is 6:45 am Pacific. I’ve had a hard time attending a lot of things because they start SO EARLY in the morning on the West Coast. I recognize how hard it is though to find the balance.

All these ideas sound so great! I think for the academic librarians folks, it would be good to plan for nothing later than August 14th since some schools start in late-August and there’s a ramp-up to that which would pull a lot of folks away.

I really like Callan’s themes from #LIBREV. I think it would be useful to have content that supports self-care, community care, and collective action – like stuff on mindfulness, setting boundaries, trauma (Bryce Kozla gave a great talk recently on trauma-informed librarianship focused on library worker trauma rather than patron trauma), power-mapping, how to get started with advocacy, etc. Strategies that help people take back some power right now (whether it’s the power to make their well-being a priority or the ability to improve things in their workplace or communities) would be so amazing. Seeing how people have responded to Kaetrena Davis Kendrick’s low-morale talks and writings tells me we need more acknowledgement of the realities of our workplaces and strategies that make us feel empowered to improve our situations.


LFI.4 starts the first week of August so for me the second week would be much more manageable.

All great ideas. I’d love to have more Library Freedom people on the panels, so I hope you’d join one. Were there other LFP people speaking at LIBREV?

Yeah I think this is good. I personally hate Slack but we could maybe work up something else. The easiest is a listserv but I wonder if it gets the same participation as a Discourse forum?

VERY GOOD POINT THAT I MISSED. I just shifted the times to two hours later, is that workable? That way it ends at 5 pm on the east coast but only begins at 8:45 on the west.

I added all the ideas from this thread to the wiki and now I’m going to email the list to get people to start signing up for panels.

OOOO I heart this -


I’m happy to do it but don’t want to take away from someone who might want/need the opportunity more than I do, yanno? But yes, keep me in the roster. No other LFP people spoke at #LIBREV, but man, what a convergence we will be.

I also asked Olin’s public interest technology club if they might be interested in presenting something just because I think what they’re doing is great and other folks could learn from that model. But they might be pretty scarce in August, so it’s def not a done deal.

With you on Slack, I’m frigging slacked out. What I really want to do with the #LIBREV thing is use the Discourse but also have some kind of chat room. This combo was how I spent a lot of my formative years, lol, but I think it can lead to some great stuff with giving people different ways to engage. Still not sure how to facilitate it without Slack… I guess mastodon or Discord or whatever, idk.

Some stray thoughts–Good call on pushing the timing back, this is something I failed to do for #LIBREV. Just FYI, I am willing to facilitate/moderate the crap out of this thing, whether or not I end up on a panel! And last but not least, do you have any thoughts on when we should start to put out a broader call for proposals? I was thinking maybe give the LFI community dibs on the first month or so (from the email you sent today until second week of June-ish) and then put it out there and give people 3-4 weeks to respond?

You aren’t! There are lots of spaces available. What topic are you interested in most?

Yeah that sounds good. I would really like this to be mostly Library Freedom people, and then I think we should curate the additional speakers rather than put out a broad RFP.

So I’m going to put my listserv message here, just for posterity and to keep the convo going…

  • Surveillance & privacy, specifically focusing on what Zuboff identified as “the division of learning” and the lack of agency that comes with it
  • Advocacy & organizing - could get specifically into #closethelibraries, #ProtectLibraryWorkers, #LIBREV stuff
  • Better futures - education and library programming to get us there
  • I am more than happy to do any of the conference logistics/moderation stuff as well.

For folks who are waffling about whether or not to take part in this, or if you’re wondering if there will be impact: I can tell you that our ragtag bunch of misfits conference #LIBREV, that had no official organizing entity attached to it whatsoever, had 2500 RSVPs and over 1700 people joined us for parts of the live broadcast. We got some absolutely incredible feedback about it, and it was really clear by the end of the day that people are desperate for a different type of library conference/engagement like this with an emphasis on action, organizing, and questioning/strategizing against systemic power and its abusers. I think the topics and vision we have for this LFP one will be an even greater success, reach even more people and continue to engage a subsection that doesn’t usually see themselves or their interests represented by mainstream library orgs, and will have a lasting impact on the profession, no doubt.

I’m pumped about this and down to help in whatever way(s) I can. It will be an amazing chance for us to amplify the work of LFP and extend out to like-minded folks who are both eager to transform librarianship, or library fans from other types of work/professions that want to help us realize that “better future is possible” vision!

Sounds good to me.

Hi there!

Here is how I think I can help:
Organizing- Anything you need in terms of contacting speakers, sending out proposal forms, organizing proposals, follow ups, etc. Drafting policies (NELA just created a virtual conference policy that we could borrow), advertising, etc. I read in the thread that you are able to use EveryLibrary’s platform, which is awesome. If that falls through or for any reason you need a backup, we can probably use NELA’s Tame subscription for no cost. I would just need the other Admin members to okay it.

If https://www.ceoaction.com/resources/ could do anything during this week, they might have some good insights for us about unconscious bias in hiring, which may speak to some of the lack of diversity in our profession. I’m happy to reach out if that seems like a good fit.

I can present on a number of topics. From the list on the wiki, I would be comfortable speaking on either of these:

  • how to pick battles/focusing on what we can change
  • low morale/emotional and physical impact of the stress and expectations of this moment

I also have an idea in my head about running a discussion session on the future of library associations, or leveraging the power of library associations in a more productive way, but I’m not sure yet exactly what it would look like. I just think it’s a good opportunity to start a broader conversation about what role associations should play in our profession and what they’re lacking.

Finally, another idea I had that we’ve previously talked about is something on better leadership development, or simply on leading humans with humanity.

I’m happy to use any of my conference planning experience to help as needed.

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