By: Hailey Temple

The School of Information Studies (iSchool) is hosting “Spaces and Places”  to be held Feb. 26 from 8:30am to 12:30pm in the Schine Student Center, rooms 304ABC.

Places and Spaces is being called an “unconference,” designed as a free-form conference where attendees have the opportunity to choose the topics to discuss with their peers. Attendees will participate in thirty-minute sessions to exchange ideas and information about these topics with others.

The conference is the brainchild of four LIS graduate students: Mia Breitkopf, Sarah Bratt, Stephanie Prato and Matthew Gunby. The team began coordinating the project as a part of Professor R. David Lankes’ class “LIS Skills & Tech Trends”

“We wanted the conference to be attendee-driven to allow each person to share their expertise in certain areas,” said Sarah Bratt, an LIS student coordinating the conference. “We want to dismantle the approach of a hierarchical conference and make it an active experience for everyone to really level the playing field and allow people to talk about what they are interested in.”

Though the main topics are not chosen prior to the conference, the conference will mainly focus on the advancement of physical and conceptual spaces at libraries. Librarians are looking to use the spaces in innovative ways that range from purchasing new furniture to creating effective maker spaces for visitors.

“Librarians are working to make their spaces a ‘third place’ as a go-between from home to work. Whether it’s buying movable furniture or adding 3-D printers, we are looking to make libraries a more familiar and conversational place to start ideas,” said Bratt.

With over 45 attendees, including iSchool students and librarians from local cities and surrounding universities, Spaces and Places seeks to unite users from various areas of expertise and backgrounds to spark important conversations about the trends in libraries. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP for the Spaces and Places conference.

If you cannot attend the event, you can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #spacesplaces or following their account at @spacesplaces13.