The Collective 2020 - Calls for Participation
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LibCol Sesssion TitleOrganizer NameOrganizer Email or Link to CallShort Session DescriptionHow to Collaborate
LibCon: Game & Kit DemonstrationsThe Library Collective's GenCon but Library Style!

For those not in the nerdy-know, Gen Con is the largest tabletop-game convention in North America by both attendance and number of events. It features traditional pen-and-paper, board, and card games, including role-playing games, miniatures wargames, live action role-playing games, collectible card games, and strategy games.

Our version, LibCon, will be a bit smaller but mighty nonetheless. In this free-form expo area, participants can check out vairous library game and resources in a hands-on demonstration area, featuring librarians and their stuff! Think of this session as an idea fair or like a poster-session that doesn't's a way for librarians to show off games, kits, tools, apps, inventions and more in short demonstrations and conversations!

Fill out our short application online here no later than December 1 for fullest consideration:
Failure ConfessionsThe Library We do this awesome session of quick lightning talks each year: Let's celebrate our failures: Projects that failed spectacularly or went nowhere, and why, and lessons learned.

Participants will be asked to address their failure in four sections: hopes and dreams; the turning point; how it failed; takeaways. 6-8 minutes total, 4 (super fun, visual) slides in a modified kucha lightning talk style.
Looking for about 3-4 presenters -- send a brief description of the "failure" you'd like to share via email and I'll be in touch to tell you more.

Do let me know if you've attended LibCol before so I have an idea of your familiarity with the session. I'll follow up and let you know if it's a good fit for this year!
There's a Dragon in the Library, What Should I Do?Kim Loobyklooby@uncc.eduThe purpose of this room is to be completely interactive in a low-stakes setting. The room will have large white post-its on the wall for librarians to come in and write down a problem they are facing at their library that other librarians may be able to offer advice on. Other librarnas are encouraged to come and read the problems and offer up advice on how their library solved that problem or a simlilar one; or anyone may simply offer suggestions. The takeaway is just a problem and solution room.This room runs 10:30 to 5:45. Looking for 5-7 other people to help facilitate the room for an hour or so in order for facilitators to attend other workshops- it would be awesome to have multiple people to help out with this room - all you need to do is walk around and engage with people who are writing down problems or trying to come up with solutions. Talking to others should help inspire more creative solutions to these problems. If you like solving problems, then this is the room for you!

Email Kim directly to volunteer/sign-up.
Don't Split the Party: Using Tabletop RPGs to Teach Collaborative SkillsSara Sweeney Bear & Max, maxo@vt.eduParticipate in a mock version of our tabletop RPG workshop where we use the game Weave to teach skills such as collaboration, communication, and creative problem solving. We encourage participation of all attendees. A small group will play the game with us, while the rest will fill the role of "researcher," collecting data about the skills players are practicing. We'll then analyze the data we collect as a group and talk about how games can be used to facilitate connections and teach collaboration skills. We’ll also pass on some of the learning objects we’ve developed.We're looking for 3-4 folks who are comfortable playing a tabletop RPG in front of an audience. The audience will be acting as "researchers," noting the skills that the players are practicing/developing. Weave is a simple, story-heavy tabletop RPG that's easy for new players to learn. We would meet up with you some time before the session (ideally on Thursday) to go over how the game is played and help you build your character. Email Sara if you have any questions or would like to volunteer.
Got Banned From My Last Campaign for Insisting Paladin was Pronounced Paula Deen and Other MemesBeth Carpenterbcarpenter@transy.eduPop culture literacy, and understanding how it functions can be integral to academic librarianship, from working with students to creating instruction sessions. Let’s talk about pop culture and how to leverage it in our profession.Looking for 2-3 people who love pop culture and use it in their librarianship, in any way, whether it's with student workers, instruction, technical services, collection maintenance, etc. This will be a panel discussion, with an activity. Ideally the takeaway will be how to develop a pop culture knowledge base/keep up with pop culture, and ideas of how to integrate it into librarianship. Feel free to email me directly if you'd like to discuss more about the session, or talk things through! If ideas mesh and gel and vibe, I'd love to have you on board!
Librarian Show-n-Tell, aka Dork ShortsMaggie Nunleymn3fa@virginia.eduGather ‘round, Dear Adventurers, to witness the heroic deeds of your fellow librarians! Students, like zombies, scroll aimlessly past library resources, uninterested with eyes glazed over. Outdated and unengaging content sits on library websites infecting the masses. The librarians must take to the forge to smith their outreach weaponry. Our valiant heroes face off against demogorgons, mindflayers, and the most fearsome enemy of all: social media influencers.

Nothing is more important to a successful campaign than the ability to create materials for your party. Sometimes we make something from nothing, often from an inspirational model, and on rare occasions from a wealth of riches commandeered through feats of bravery, and grants. For this session, we’ll have a group of folks ready to share their tale of fantasy, wonder, and merriment.

Each person will be offered a mere FIVE minutes to set the scene and tell us all about a material that they made or that someone else made and they covet. This could be a video series, a tutorial, a handout, an exercise, perhaps even - dare we even say it… a LIBGUIDE?! It’s our chance to crow from the ballroom stage about our hardwon accomplishments, lead an impassioned speech to enlist future collaborators, and introduce others to the sheer majesty and brilliance of a material that makes us fanperson hard.
Here is our Call for Participation:

...Are you brave enough to join us?
Stranger Things: When Early Career Librarians Engage the Unknown and Roll for Perception Russel Petersonrtpeterson1@ua.eduApproaching new projects can be a daunting task for early-career librarians, especially when those projects are not reflective of an assigned Class (i.e. cataloger, instructor, data services librarian) or a preferred area of interest. In this series of lightning talks, a group of new players will discuss how they tackled responsibilities and initiatives that were outside of their usual realms of expertise, and advanced through their campaign regardless. Looking for 1 co-presenter to share their 5-minute stories about learning essential components of librarianship on the job or taking on an unfamiliar project and improvising your way to relative success. Example topics include leading a software carpentry workshop without a firm grasp of teaching pedagogies or starting a collection evaluation despite having never taken a collection development class. I would like to have a set of co-presenters from a wide array of university types and job roles, so please contact me no matter what kind of librarian or library worker you are! Feel free to shoot me an email or DM me on Twitter (@russ_librarian) to express interest and share potential topics.
Campaigning Your Way to Useable and Clean DataSamuel Hansensmhansen@umich.eduStructured as a D&D campaign teams of participants in this session be dropped into a foreign land and will have to navigate four dungeons, each of which will be focused on learning a different data skill or tool, in order to get home. These skills and tools will include using command line tools and regular expressions to mine data, using Open Refine to clean up messy data, using a spreadsheet program (Excel/Google Sheets) to visualize data, and SQL to merge data together. There will be a dungeon master for each of these different dungeons to both provide the teams with their challenges and help them if they should happen to get stuck.Meredith and I are looking for two more dungeon masters for this session, one with expertise on command line and regex and one with super spreadsheet visualization skills (Excel or Google Sheets preffered). You would help us in designing the challenges people would have to overcome in the areas you are DMing and would be more than welcome to help develop the overall story as well if you wish (you will not be required to if you do not). Please get in touch with me ( if you would be excited to DM a data challenge!
What would Jean-Luc Picard do? Practicing no win situations in the library classroom with the Kobayashi Maru: Librarian Edition, an interactive role-playing game.Mary K Oberlies, Alexandra Flores, Paul;; phshow@wm.eduSometimes, when an instruction session goes badly, there’s no quick fix. The goal of the Kobayashi Maru: Librarian Edition interactive role-playing game is to be comfortable with failure; the librarian works to ensure the disruptions don’t affect their teaching goals and the other members of the classroom. This will be a hands-on workshop providing a brief overview of this instructional development tool and then attendees will participate in the Kobayashi Maru: Librarian Edition. We are looking for 2-3 librarians to participate as teachers in the game. Participants must come prepared with a 10-minute lesson that includes one active learning activity for students (other attendees) to complete. As a group, the collective will decide whether they would like to draw from the Student Persona deck, or the Scenario deck. (For librarians who want an extra challenge, both decks can be entered into play.)
THIS CALL FOR PARTICIPATION HAS BEEN FILLED WITH TWO CO-CONVENERS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST! The Librarian Returns To Work After Illness or Injury: Surviving At Work When You Are Busy Actually SurvivingAlex Gallin-Parisi (she/her)agallin@trinity.eduWhen a librarian returns to work after an extended medical leave for a serious illness or injury, there is rarely a known set of abilities, weapons, tools, or spells. The librarian is forced to renegotiate relationships with other adventurers as well as relearn the librarian’s own personality traits and ideals. It can be a lonely journey.
In this roundtable discussion, brave adventurers –– err, librarians who have returned to work after an extended medical leave –– will gather in a safe space, discuss how we have survived the journey, and create a map for future adventurers. Please be prepared to share as much you'd like, keep others' stories confidential, and help contribute to an initial document of best practices.
I am looking for 1-2 additional people who have returned to work after taking leave for a serious illness or injury to co-convene this roundtable with me. I would like to find people who are willing to share a little bit about their story, feelings, successes, and what didn't work. Participants in the discussion will leave having started a working document for best practices for library folks returning to work. Your responsibilities would involve co-planning the roundtable facilitation with me, including preparing our introductions, ensuring a safe and confidential space, prepping group questions and ways to keep the conversation flowing. Having a co-convener to walk this path with me would be AWESOME, as this is still a new and sensitive topic for me. Please email me ( if you are interested and then we can set up a phone call or video to chat more!
Speed Mentoring: Kick Start Your Mentoring Adventure SeedJaena Manson and Quetzalli Barrientos
“Find a mentor” is a common piece of professional advice given to early-career librarians. This speed-mentoring style event will facilitate conversation between participants who are looking for that mentorship experience. Participants will leave with contact information of possible mentors.We are looking for people to act as “mentors” for our “Speed Mentoring: Kick Start your Mentoring Adventure Seed.” This speed-dating style event is meant to give participants the opportunity to discover possible mentorships. We are looking for people who have already experienced a mentorship relationship (whether it was great or not so great) and is willing to share their knowledge of what a good mentorship relationship can look like and how to get there. The “mentor” will help guide the conversations and give advice from their experience. This presentation will also allow the “mentees” the opportunity to ask questions and advice. If you’d like to volunteer to be a “mentor” please reach out with some information about your experience as a librarian and/or library professional and why you would like to participate. We’re looking forward to working with you!
Role Initiative: Creating or Recreating Your JobJill Most jobs have established responsibilities and expectations. But sometimes we inaugurate a position and must ourselves develop it. And sometimes we want or need to reinvent our current job. Panelists who have created or recreated their jobs will discuss their experiences and help attendees consider how to embody a new role or redefine an existing one.I am looking for 3-4 co-panelists who have experience creating or recreating their jobs (see full description on Sched for more about what I mean by that: So many library workers need or want to do this at some point in their careers, so let's share how we approached the challenge and how our experiences were exciting, rewarding, liberating, scary, frustrating, overwhelming, demoralizing, etc. More than that, let's try to pull our individual narratives into some generalizable best practices and lessons learned. Also, I'd like to collaboratively create an exercise in which attendees can think about how they can embody a new job or adjust an existing one. I'm hoping to gather a group with different kinds of jobs at different kinds of libraries. (I happen to be a mid-career scholarly communications librarian and manager at a graduate-only campus of large urban public university.) Please get in touch at if you're interested in joining this panel. I look forward to hearing from you! (PS: To foster openness and honesty, we'll observe the Chatham House Rule during this session.)
Gaming Sustainability through Outreach: A Crafting, Mending, and Reusing WorkshopShelley OR theshellery@gmail.comWhen staring down the dragon known as climate change, what are some small ways to fight back? Learn to stitch, mend, and create reusable items to help save the planet! Arm yourself with some new skills as part of Earth Day outreach by crafting in the library.This workshop designed as a workshop covering mending and embellishment, general craft ideas, and a discussion of sustainability, low/zero waste, and general earth day info. I'm looking for 3-4 extra folks to help out with crafty stuff, OR before the conference, help out with preparing supporting materials (zines, handouts, or samples). I'm planning on making at least one zine (stitches and craft projects to help reduce waste/reuse items) to have on the tables, and would really love to collab with some crafters who can help inspire folks, help with crafting, discuss sustainability with attendees, and generally be a support for me in the room. I want people to be inspired to make, and to think creatively about ways to be more sustainable, reuse, or mend existing items to extend their life. OR support is also welcome making supporting handouts. I have a lot of plans and ideas, so if anyone wants to help with that, that is also welcome!
Min/Maxing yourself for unexpected side quests: resume optimization, career path shifts, and marketing your transferable skillsPorsche Schlapper & Molly OR mjostendorf@stritch.eduRegardless of your education or experience, if you're itching for career exploration, change is possible! It's all about identifying your own transferable skills, staying keen on how to learn and prepare for new responsibilities, and marketing yourself as THE hero of the hiring committee's campaign. Learn how through collaborative discussion with colleagues in this guided breakout session.We're looking for 2-4 co-conveners who have experience with a career trajectory shift or change, either from your education to your job or from one position to a (seemingly unrelated) different one. Attendees will split into 4-5 groups, each led by one of the contributors.

The session team will work together in advance of the conference to finalize discussion topics, but an initial example selection is:
“Level Up & Take a Feat: Identifying unexpected transferable skills”
“I Cast Charm: The interview process and addressing the questions about the why and how of your career shift”
“Preparing spell components: assessing and improving your application materials”
“Stay true to the main campaign: accepting & finding happiness in a new role while searching for the opportunities you’ve trained for.”