Announcing Intersect 2020 – 

Welcome to Intersect 2020!

On behalf of the Western New York Library Resources Council, the Continuing Education Committee would like to thank everybody who made the past two Intersect Unconferences a success! We were inspired by the great ideas, creativity and support from the library workers of Western NY, and we are excited to continue this year with Intersect 2020: From Shushing to Shouting: Advocacy and Using Your Voice!


The Unconference is Going Online!

Due to the current restrictions on gatherings and events, and the uncertainties that face all of us on returning to our working spaces, the Continuing Education Committee has decided to hold this year’s Intersect Unconference virtually. We are trying to keep the spirit of learning from and collaborating with each other alive in our current telecommuting climate, and feel that a virtual unconference can still maintain the format integrity of small breakout sessions, large plenary discussions, and individual spaces for networking, casual discussion, and demonstrations.  


Submit a Session Idea!

From Shushing to Shouting: Advocacy and Using Your Voice was the theme that received the most votes in our January poll of choices for 2020’s Unconference theme, and we feel that this theme is especially important right now. Thank you to everyone who participated! There are many ways to advocate and use your voice in libraries, and we want to see how you interpret this year’s theme. We ask you to consider some of the many directions this theme can apply to, such as (but not limited to):


  1. Legislative Advocacy - How do you mobilize librarians to advocate for government funds, improvements, and better budgets? What are some plans of action or positive experiences with legislative advocacy that could be used to educate others?

  2. Worker Advocacy - How do unions advocate for libraries? What does the unionization of library workers do for our profession as a whole? What strategies can be employed to communicate the needs of a large team versus a small team or solo librarian?

  3. Advocating Within & For Communities - How does geography and setting affect community involvement in advocating for the local library? How can libraries better engage and involve their home communities in the conversation? What sources or services can neutral libraries provide to members of a culturally divided community? 

  4. Advocating for Information Literacy - What are some ways that librarians work with vendors, develop collections, or design spaces with the needs of patrons at the forefront of the discussion?  What role does advocacy play in accessibility? How does the advocacy process differ in K-12 versus University settings?

  5. User Advocacy - How have you defended the Right to Read recently?  What has been your liveliest book-banning scenario? How do library workers interpret, promote, and advocate for freedoms of speech, information, and expression while maintaining a neutral, safe space where everybody is welcome?

  6. Self Advocacy - What are some ways that managers can effectively advocate for their employees to administration?  How do we defend ourselves against burnout without completely losing the highly engaged nature of our profession? How do we  compartmentalize our personal and professional lives in a healthy way?

  7. Environmental Advocacy - How can libraries work to become more sustainable? What sustainability initiatives has your library participated in? Are there ways that libraries can spread awareness of conservation and sustainable living? What can we change in our regular practices to reduce waste and resource consumption, and how can we serve as an example to other institutions?


In short, advocacy can mean a lot of things; we want to know what your thoughts are, and what the theme means to you. Feel free to use one of these questions as inspiration, or to draw your own ideas for inspiration! This is our active conference proposal space and it’s also a chance for attendees and presenters to be creative with their content submissions. This is a place for you to express yourselves and explore the changes you’d like to see in our profession -- it’s your opportunity to BE the change! The purpose of Intersect is to facilitate a culture of learning among librarians and other interested professionals in the region by bringing people together annually to network and share ideas in an interactive, engaging setting where participants determine the content. 


We welcome ideas for workshop sessions, poster sessions, lightning talks, pecha kucha, discussion roundtables, breakout sessions, interactive panel discussions, demonstrations, presentations in interesting new formats, and anything else that you'd like to experience at this year’s unconference from the Western New York Library Resources Council Continuing Education Committee. We would LOVE to see our participants engaged in active learning, embracing creativity, and exploring new ideas. 


To Submit an Idea, You Will Need:

1. A short session description of around 100 words. Please include what style of session (demonstration, panel, roundtable discussion, make/hack/play, etc), whether this idea is fully-formed or in the works, and whether you are open to working on this with other collaborators.


2. An email address so we can contact you if your session is selected for Round 2. If you are selected, you will be asked to give a more detailed proposal for our peer review process. FOR YOUR IDEA TO BE CONSIDERED WE WILL NEED A WAY OF CONTACTING YOU.


Important Dates:

  1. Idea Submission: March 20 - June 30

  2. Voting on Idea Submissions Closes: June 30 

  3. Invitation to Round Two: July 6

  4. Peer Review Ends: August 3

  5. Final Round 2 Decisions Made: August 8

  6. Intersect 2020: October 2, 2020 


This session decider will only be available until June 30, so don't hesitate to post your great ideas here. Remember: the ideas with the most votes and interaction on the Tricider will move forward to Round Two of our proposal vetting process. To foster attendee participation right from the start, we highly encourage you to vote on the proposals you see here as well. We can't wait to see what creative and wonderful sessions are waiting to be proposed!


We Are Here to Help!

The virtual Intersect Unconference will have a reduced attendance fee (more information coming soon). If you are a library worker who would like to attend the 2020 Intersect Unconference but have been furloughed or otherwise economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us, as we are currently working on financial assistance for our colleagues in need.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mandi Shepp (amanda.shepp@fredonia.edu), Caitlin Kenney (ckenney@wnylrc.org), or Heidi Ziemer (hziemer@wnylrc.org).