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2012 LITA National Forum Final Report

January 23, 2013

2012 LITA National Forum Final Report

Susan Smith, Planning Committee Chair

The 2012 LITA National Forum was held in Columbus, Ohio from Thursday, October 4 through Sunday, October 7, 2012. The theme was New World of Data: Discover. Connect. Remix.


Mark Baggett, Elizabeth Black, Robert Danford, Terese DeSimio, Anita Dryden, Mohamed El Ouirdi, Kathryn Frederick, Paul Keith (past chair), Regina Koury, Matthew Phillips, Frances Rice, Susan Smith (chair), Tina Walker, Jen Waller, and Hu Womack. 


Formal Sessions: This year’s programming was modeled after the successful framework of the 2011 Forum. There were two preconferences held simultaneously Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.  Three keynotes speakers did presentations (Opening General Session, Saturday morning General Session and Closing General Session on Sunday. Beginning Friday afternoon seven concurrent sessions were held (2 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday). Thirty-nine presentations were offered during the concurrent sessions. During a no-conflict 90 minute time slot (the last time slot on Saturday afternoon) 11 poster sessions were presented. One lightning round session was held during Concurrent Session 6.

Supplementary Programming: Networking dinners were planned for each evening Thursday through Saturday (2 on Thursday, 4 on Friday, 6 on Saturday). The Sponsor Showcase was held Friday after Concurrent Session 2. First time attendee orientation was held Friday, immediately following the first General Session. 


  • All three keynote speakers streamed live, recorded and stored on LITA’s UStream channel for later viewing at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/lita-forum
    • Final keynote speaker was unable to travel due to unforeseen health issues and delivered keynote virtually.
  • The Risky Business Contest was repeated (The committee decided to rename this to “Most Innovative Project” but marketing went out using the original name, so we stuck with it). We advertised a prize for the winning speaker (gave an iPod shuffle): Alexa Pearce, "Persona Most Grata: Invoking the User from Data to Design"
  • Conference photos are posted at http://www.flickr.com/groups/litapix/
  • Presentations are posted at http://connect.ala.org/litaforum?page=2&type=managed_file

Feedback from Debriefing Breakfast


  • Room sizes were good (concurrent, general session)
  • Directional sign in lobby of hotel would help new arrivals to locate the conference space
  • AV people were good
  • Parking was good and affordable
  • Overall, Internet connectivity was good

Concurrent Sessions

  • Continue to work on best method to make sure that it is very clear that vendor-only proposals are not accepted  (must be paired with a librarian)
  • Travel support from many schools is sketchy, so we need to plan to accommodate changes after the acceptances are confirmed.
  • Need to include that any changes in speakers needs to be communicated.

Poster Sessions

  • The room size was good with plenty of space for posters and viewers
  • 90 minutes was a good amount of time (previously was 2 hours which was too long)


  • Break following Saturday keynote was too short
  • Some felt there needed to be coffee available at all times during the day
  • Lack of seating in lobbies was issue inhibiting networking
  • Food was great, but people didn’t know what types of snacks to expect (especially following chocolate pretzels!)


  • Would like higher visibility, room location was not central and it took effort for people to seek them out
  • Suggestion to explore possibility of moving them out into hallway if the hotel layout would accommodate it.


  • Networking dinners: the number held appeared OK, suggestion to add walking distance to restaurant in addition to walking time, price ranges and cuisine (on signup sheets)
  • Use interns as moderators
  • Have different badges for the committee and interns so they can be easily spotted by attendees
  • Include institutional affiliation or home city on name badges (has been done various ways before)
  • Have different badges for first time attendees to identify them more easily (ribbon?)
  • If the “Most Innovative Project” contest is to continue, arrange the prize ahead of time and locate a source of funding (was a scramble once it was realized that no donation was forthcoming. And the cost was underwritten personally by committee members)
  • Explore more immediate way to collect feedback (evaluations) on concurrent sessions (received about 90 evaluations following the conference)