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Andrea Johnson's picture

Conference handouts online?

Will handouts be available for more of the sessions presented at ALA Annual?  I've been to the Conference Materials Archive page, and only a very few programs have handouts available online.  It seems to me that ALA's efforts to "green up" the conference might include making more of these materials available electronically.  It would also aid attendees who were not able to find good seats, had difficulty hearing speakers, etc.

Lorraine Squires's picture

I can't believe how much paper is still being handed out - a 2 page bibliography at the LLAMA Middle Manager program yesterday!  That sort of thing should be online, instead of creating more clutter and waste.

Lorraine Squires

Head, Teen Services Department

Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library


Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Unfortunately, it's not really up to ALA to load the handouts, as we generally don't have them. We strongly encourage presenters to post their materials online, and to at least post to the Conference Materials Archive, if not post items there. We'll do another push after Annual ends, but your best bet might be to encourage presenters at the sessions you attend to put their stuff on the Archive.

Sadly, we just don't have the staff to hound presenters or grab all of the files ourselves during the sessions and then upload them.

Jenny Levine, ALA ITTS staff

Paula Griffith's picture

As a presenter, I would love to post my handouts online! I just don't know how to do it. I will post them on my university SLIS webpage because I refuse to hand out paper, but I need better instructions about how to post these materials. I belong to other professional associations such as the International Reading Association, and I post my materials to their website myself...which saves a lot of bother for both the presenters and IRA staff. Does ALA have this option?

Paula Griffith

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain. J.K. Rowling

Karen Muller's picture

Well, maybe not how, but at least where:



Just register to edit the wiki and post your stuff ... or at least your link.



-- Karen Muller, MLS, Life Member

Stephanie Chase's picture

We're librarians -- we should be able to get our conference handouts easily accessible online. There is almost nothing available to date on presentations.ala.org, and it is incredibly difficult to find presentations that presenters put on their own individual websites or blogs if you were not at the program to know where to go!

Can't ALA ask presenters to submit a copy of their presentation prior to the conference, and then have someone from ALA load them all up and make them available as soon as the conference is done? Or include a generic login to the wiki and instructions with every presenters' registration confirmation or payment check?

Sharron McElmeel's picture

Am I the only one who thinks that making handouts available to the general public or to those who do not attend the session to be akin to supplying "sound bites" which have little real relevance unless one hears/sees the context in which the references are provided. 

I, for one, do not replicate my entire presentation in a handout.  It is merely a referencing point providing citations about the material used.  For example, I might put a title on a handout that is a "good" example of a concept, or a "bad" example -- for specific reasons.  I do not label which, nor expound on the reasoning -- except in the session.  Those using the handout without the context would have no idea of use.

And in terms of Greening up -- sorry but IMHO anyone who wants the handouts generally prints them anyway so it is just a matter of transferring cost from one person to another.

Comments/reactions/discussion welcome.

Sharron McElmeel, MLS Author, Editor, Director of McBookwords www.mcelmeel.com www.mcbookwords.com

Dave Hargett's picture

I've been to numerous presentations at the two ALA meetings I've attended, where there was nothing available in the meeting room for notes. Being able to access the presentation online to help me make sense of my own personal notes would be helpful. Depending on the presenter's slides, they may or may not make sense to someone who wasn't there, but posting the presentation is an aide to those who DID attend. While I might look for something from a meeting I was unable to attend because I had a conflict, got stuck in traffic, or was ill, most of the time I would not go looking for a presentation that I didn't see. However a set of slides would be helpful --if the presentation made sense.

Personally I would not create a presentation that didn't make some kind of sense to the audience. If I wanted to protect my information I simply wouldn't post the presentation at all.




Dave Hargett ALTAFF Representative 2008-2010 Trustee, Fountaindale Public Library - Bolingbrook, IL

Dorcas Hand's picture

Dorcas Hand Annunciation Orthodox School 3600 Yoakum Blvd Houston TX 77008

It is more than frustrating that the handouts are not posted.  I think it should be a requirement that the handouts or a link to the handouts be posted.  As a person involved in many working meetings, I was counting on handouts for program content, programs I could not attend because I was working for the association!

I hope that session presenters will see this comment and cooperate quickly.

Dorcas Hand
School Library Advocate
ALA Council Member-at-Large

Lori Reed's picture

Thank you for the reminder. I posted mine and will remind others to do the same.

Karen Muller's picture

If you let library@ala.org know which program handouts you're looking for, we'll see 1)  if they exist in electronic form and 2) if we can get the link put up.  AASL, ACRL, and PLA hve put their program materials on their own pages--and ACRL and PLA have provided the explicit links at the bottom of the daily schedule.


Karen Muller

ALA Librarian

-- Karen Muller, MLS, Life Member

Liz Danforth's picture

I think handouts made available online have a potential value presenters cannot always envision, imagine, or predict. If you believe what is being presented has value in itself, is worth sharing, then those handouts or a slideshare of the Powerpoint might prove unexpectedly useful, the right bit of information to the right person at the right time.

Case in point was my perusal of Liz Lawley's keynote speech at LITA, something I was not in attendance for. I heard about the speech later and consequently blogged about Picture the Impossible in my column in Library Journal. I had only her uploaded PPT to look at, which gave me points to make in my own post and grounds to open a discussion with her via email. This isn’t the only example I could trot out: I’ve read handouts and Powerpoints from Jenny Levine and Beth Gallaway that were deeply influential long before I met either of them in person. And I haven’t needed to print out a single copy.

I hope presentations will be made available as often as possible, by whomever can and will do so.