Annual Unconference

Friday, June 28, 2013 -
9:00am to 12:00pm

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An unconference is a participant-guided experience that harnesses the unstructured conversations people usually have between conference sessions into the conference itself. Unlike most conferences where talking heads and group leaders decide what is important, unconferences are organized by the crowd. Unconferences are about sharing the knowledge and passion we have for our profession and taking what we learn into the world to make a difference. Everyone has something to share. Everyone has something to learn. We can all change the world.

Type of Library: 
Included with conference registration
Last Updated: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 1:18pm CDT
312 people interested in attending (View all)


This isn't how an unconference is run. Choosing topics and then making everyone talk about all of the topics, each for 1/2 hour, is just ventng. Room too small. Would be more productive if you had space to break up topics and attend multiple topics discussed in small groups.

I'm sorry I too walked out. While an unconference is set up to let the attendees choose the topics, the format requires strong leadership and structure to work. And the right room, which I know the two moderators could do nothing about. The large group needs to be broken up into small groups having meaningful conversation about one of the voted-for topics, then come back together to report out. With that much time, individuals can have a second opportunity to participate in a small group on another topic. Then meaningful conversation occurs. This unconference had no rudder.

Thanks for your comments. Speaking for myself, I admittedly found it difficult to work with the room in that configuration. As we continued on, we changed formats slightly to try to encourage interaction between participants, given our limitations. We hope that next time, we have a bigger room with more space so that it is easier to break up into groups.

Thanks again for your input.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I was thrilled to see so many people attend the unconference, more than we've ever had in the past. We clearly booked a room that was too small, which made configuring participation very difficult. My apologies to the conveners since this was out of their control, and thank you to them for doing the best they could.

Increased enthusiasm and participation are great problems to have, but I'm sorry it affected the opportunity for interaction. In the future, we'll definitely book a larger room for this event.