Conversants Reminder

Tomorrow is the first deadline for submissions to the Conversants Online Conference/Conversation, however we will be accepting new program ideas throughout the duration of the conference. This message is intended to give you an update and some additional information on the conference.

We have already lined up sessions in gaming, assessment, and case studies in participatory contexts. We will also be working with SLA, METRO, and LITA to provide events as part of their unconference and library camp activities. If you are hosting an event coming up and want to have a discussion about participatory librarianship as part of it, let us know and we can provide materials and ideas.

Many thanks to the folks who have volunteered to host conversations as part of the conference. I think we are going to have some great discussions. Special thanks to ALA for working on getting us space at ALA annual for the hybrid event.

We will also be recording the conference Keynote on April 28th in Syracuse. If you are in the area and want to attend, let us know. Special thanks to the Central New York Library Resources Council for coordinating the event. If you are interested in hosting a live Q&A based on the keynote, please let us know.

We have also put up a blog at to keep you to date on new developments.

Below is some additional information on the kind of sessions we are looking for. If you have any questions, please let us know at [email protected] .


Description: We are seeking submissions of traditional long-form papers for publication in Conversants, an online open-access journal. These papers will use CommentPress to allow participants to comment upon and discuss the paper on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis.

Format: MSWord or equivalent, RTF, HTML


Description: We are also seeking time- and/or place-based events that can be archived and shared. Examples might include a SecondLife presentation, which can archived as a streaming video and shared with participants, or a podcast of a workshop or discussion that took place at a physical library.

Format: URL of publicly shared video or podcast, presentation or event


Description: Do you have an example of something that you did at your library that worked really well? Or that flopped spectacularly? Share your experience with your fellow Conversants! Creativity in format is encouraged.

Format: Open, but should be publicly available


Description: Present your research, tackle an idea or controversial topic, or present conflicting viewpoints of a current event. Everyone is welcome to submit poster proposals, but library students are especially encouraged to participate at this level.

Format: PDF, jpeg image


Description: Links to blog postings, open Facebook posts, etc., that will carry a conference badge.

Format: URL of publicly available website

Conversation Topics

Description: Topic ideas for “water cooler” threaded conversations. Proposals should include an overview of the topic, starter questions, [and a core of at least 5 people to seed/start conversation.?]

Format: Email containing this information

We will post very soon on the Conference hub location and details!

Please send Proposal submissions offers to:
[email protected]

For Proposal Submission, please include “Proposal for Conversants” in the subject.

Libraries Facilitating Conversations and Communities

“Libraries Facilitating Conversations and Communities” Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Houston, TX

Abstract: At their core, libraries are about conveying knowledge and fostering the exchange of ideas through communication and conversation. This session examines the library’s continuing role in community dialogue. The speaker emphasizes how libraries can advance their communities – and their position in them – by embracing participatory Web 2.0 technologies.


The Big Picture

“The Big Picture” State Library of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

Abstract: Dr. R. David Lankes of Syracuse University will discuss some of the ideas and challenges of participatory librarianship. Simply put, participatory librarianship recasts library and library practice using the fundamental concept that knowledge is created through conversation. Libraries are in the knowledge business, therefore libraries are in the conversation business. Participatory librarians approach their work as facilitators of conversation. Be it in practice, policies, programs and/or tools, participatory librarians seek to enrich, capture, store and disseminate the conversations of their communities.


Reference Extract Seeking Support

As we proceed to seek funding for the building of Reference Extract, we are seeking your support. Below is a video overview of Reference Extract (available in high definition too) and the concept of a credibility engine. Below that is a generic template for a letter of support.

Reference Extract: Call for Support from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

[February 22, 2009]

R. David Lankes
Information Institute of Syracuse
Syracuse University
213 Hinds Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244

Dear David:

[Organization or Individual] is pleased to support your proposal for Reference Extract that will enable the library community to build a credibility engine and enhance how people search for information on the web. Finding credible information on the Internet is essential in this digital age, and project like Reference Extract demonstrate the considerable positive effect libraries and librarians can make.

[Information on you or your organization and efforts in credibility and/or librarianship]

[We/I] support the effort and look forward to helping to shape the project. Some ways my organization might support the project include [sharing reference archives, serving on a board of advisors for the project, providing an environment to test Reference Extract,].


[your name]
[your title]

Panel: Participatory Librarianship

“Panel: Participatory Librarianship” ALISE Conference, Denver, CO.

Abstract: Presentations on the theory and reality of participatory concepts.

Todd Marshall(Syracuse) on the Theoretical underpinnings of participatory networks

David Pimentel(Syracuse) and his examination of organizing principles in participatory environments

R. David Lankes(Syracuse) on the implications for MLS education and the Reference Extract project