Curious about the Midwest Youth Services Unconference? We’ll keep adding and responding to frequently asked questions here.

What’s an unconference?
Check out our “How the Unconference Works” page for full details.

Who can attend the unconference?
The Midwest Youth Services Unconference is intended for library staff who serve children and teens. Public and school library staff are equally welcome to attend, as are library graduate school students who are pursuing careers in youth services. Folks can attend from anywhere, although please note that out-of-town attendees requiring overnight lodging will need to secure their own arrangements.

Who is putting on the Midwest Youth Services Unconference?
The 2015 Midwest Youth Services Unconference is being organized by a team of youth services staff at the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Sarah Bean Thompson, a youth services librarian, is heading up the unconference; you can contact her via email by clicking here if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions.

Is there a cost for participating in the unconference?
Registration and attendance at the unconference are free. Attendees who opt to participate in our catered boxed lunches will be required to pay for their own lunches, in cash, on the day of the event. See below for all lunch options.

What’s for lunch on the day of the unconference?
There will be three options for lunch on the day of the unconference.

  • Option 1: Catered Lunch Plate – We will be working with our Library coffee shop, The Mudhouse, to provide lunch options. You will be required to pay for your lunch at this time. Boxed lunches will cost $8, and we will be able to accept cash only.
  • Option 2: Bring Your Own Lunch – We will have a standard size refrigerator on site in which to store lunches that require refrigeration.
  • Option 3: Off-Site Lunch – There are several dining options close to The Library Center that you can visit within the one-hour lunch period. Please note that if you venture off-site for lunch, you will most likely miss Guerrilla Storytime and the tour of The Library Center.

What do I need to bring to the unconference?
If you’re the sort of person who likes to take notes, bring a notebook and writing utensil. Laptops and tablets will also be great–the unconference facility has free wifi available. It’s also a good idea to bring business cards so you can swap with fellow attendees. Make those connections work for you!

Will I get continuing education credits for participating?
We will not be able to issue formal continuing education credits to attendees, but we will issue a certificate of participation in the unconference if desired.

How do I get to the unconference location?
The unconference will take place at The Library Center of the Springfield-Greene County Library.

What will be the session topics at the unconference?
We won’t know the official session topics until attendees choose them at the beginning of the unconference. All registered attendees will be able to contribute session topics on their registration form and topics will be chosen from this list at the start of the unconference.

Can I still attend even if I don’t want to help lead a session?
Absolutely! Library staff have a wide variety of talents, and those who prefer to observe have just as much to offer as those interested in facilitating discussion.

What will the Unconference schedule look like?
The Unconference will take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. While the session topics won’t be decided until the day of, we will have a firm schedule for the Unconference itself. The official timeline is on the How the Unconference Works page of this site.

Can more than one person attend from a single library?
Absolutely! There are no limits on the number of attendees from a single library, so anyone who is interested should feel free to register and attend.

Can I register even if I can only attend part of the Unconference??
You bet! Half-day attendees are a-okay in our book. We’ll make sure that the session schedule with room assignments is posted in a highly visible area once we create it in the morning, so afternoon attendees will be able to choose their sessions.

Will I be able to find out what happened at the Unconference even if I can’t attend?
You bet! At the beginning of each session, an attendee will be designated as notetaker; it will be the notetaker’s responsibility to capture the sharing and learning that happens in the session. The notetakers’ write-ups of all the sessions will be shared on the 2015 Session Notes page of this blog within a week of the Unconference. Also, we’ll be encouraging attendees to blog about the day, too, to provide more opportunities for post-Unconference learning.

Is there a hashtag for the unconference?
Why, yes there is! Our hashtag is #mysuncon. Share your learning–and see what’s happening in other sessions on the day of–by using and following the hashtag!


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