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David Lee King: Pick a conference and learn something new

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Image: Pick a conference and learn something new!

As librarians, we are information professionals and need to keep learning. Where are some great places to learn and network? Library-related conferences!

Image: David Lee KingDavid Lee King

David Lee King is the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends.

He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website management, digital experience, and social media, and has been published in many library-related journals. David is a Library Journal Mover and Shaker.

His newest book is Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections.

David blogs at

Read David's other articles…

Image: Social media

I always learn something when I attend a conference. In the United States, our big annual conference is the American Library Association's annual conference. Imagine 20,000 librarians converging in one place!

If large conferences aren't your thing, there are smaller, more focused library-related conferences to choose from, like Computers in Libraries in the United States or Internet Librarian International in the UK.

There are also local or regional events to choose from, too. For example, my library helps put on a local reader's advisory conference every year.

Image: Pick a conference and learn something new!

But that's just library-themed events. I'll guess that there are some local non-library conferences and events that probably relate to what you do too.

For example, I just drove 70 miles to a digital inclusion conference that was focused on nonprofits and local government organizations getting broadband and training to lower income families. That definitely relates to what my library does!

I have also attended local social media events. My library even hosted a regional social media conference for four years.

What's my point? It's this:

  1. Make sure you keep learning! Library-themed conferences are a great way to keep up with our profession, and also a great place to network with like-minded librarians.

  2. Attend non-librarian conferences too. Why? Conferences outside our field can often provide a different perspective than what we would normally hear from another librarian. If it's a local event, you can also make some valuable connections that will benefit the library (and your customers).

Please - learn something new … and make sure to share what you learned with your colleagues!

If you need help finding a conference, Emerald Group Publishing has a great list of library events that you can search and find what works for you. Check it out today!