[Should I yell STELLLLLLLLAAAAAAAA?] I don't know.
First, I would like to thank everyone who is here. We have some people who traveled a long distance to get to this unconference. There are people from Maine, NYC, California, Canada, Florida, etc. I would also like to really thank Jill and Jeffra for being co-organizers.
Thanks to the financial sponsors.
As you know, there are a lot of science and engineering librarian groups, but most of them are tied to larger organizations, such as PAM, ST, the Engineering Division (and others) within SLA. Then there is STS within ACRL within ALA. There is the Engineering Libraries Division (ELD) within ASEE. Then there is MLA, and ASIS&T, and some others. There is no single place for science and engineering librarians to hangout. With social software and loose networks of people (such as the LSW here, here and here), librarians can organize without the organization. [Mention Clay Shirky and his book here.]
Don't get me wrong, I really like the SLA (I am the Chair-Elect of the ST Division) and the other organizations with their diverse membership, but I also wish there was an organization that just had science and engineering librarians. Maybe this could be it?
Who has attended an unconference before? Even if you have, this one might be different than the others, and that is ok. Here is some background material. The basic idea was documented (in this PDF) by Kathryn Greenhill and Constance Wiebrands in Australia.
"Unconferences are gatherings of people united by a passion, where the content and structure of the day is driven by the participants. An unconference is often facilitated using the Open Spaces Technology model. This uses the four flow principles:
• Whoever comes are the right people
• Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
• Whenever it starts is the right time
• When it's over, it's over"
Let me repeat. If we end up having 40 or 60 people attending instead of 75 or 80, that is OK. If a session runs late or finishes early, that is OK. If a digital projector explodes, and the Internet is fluky, and you need to improvise in a session, that is OK.
Note: Remember the Law of Two Feet: if you’re in a session that you’re not interested in, feel free to leave and join another session in progress. This is your unconference -- not DU's, not Joe's, Jill's, Jeffra's or Bob's -- make it what you want.
Second, I would like to thank some people who were not able to come. These are the people who gave me the inspirational spark. They are Meredith Farkas [see her column in American Libraries and the stuff on her blog (This post was the bomb for me)], Steve Lawson, Laura Crossett, Joshua Neff, and many others in the LSW. See this presentation for more info. Explain more about what the Library Society of the World is and their policies.
In addition to Here Comes Everybody, Some other good books are from Tara Hunt who wrote The whuffie factor: using the power of social networks to build your business, and Don Tapscott (and Anthony D. Williams) with Wikinomics: how mass collaboration changes everything and Grown up digital: how the net generation is changing your world.
Third. What's up with the name STELLA? Well, a lot of science librarians know the acronym STEM, and if I wanted to start a new library organization, I didn't want the acronym starting with STEML... But, if I dropped the M, then we would have STEL. Hummmmm, how about STELLA, but then what should the second L and the A be? As I was trying to sleep one night in December of 2008, I thought -- "Library Leaders in Action" -- sure, that will make a great Acronym!
Thanks to Stella Ota for letting us to use her first name.