Librarians Swarm Austin! A Handy SXSW Interactive Primer

by Paul Vinelli, graduate student in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin

Librarians Swarm Austin! A Handy SXSW Interactive Primer

SXSW Interactive is an overwhelming assault on the senses. Fortunately, over the past few months a team of top library professionals from across the country has worked incredibly hard to make the conference accessible, productive and fun. Here are some resources for folks coming to Austin (or who are partial to conferences in general)…

If you’re looking for a basic introduction to the melee, I’ve put together a presentation entitled “Unofficial SXSWi Primer for Rowdy Librarians.” The primer features tips for navigating the conference, useful items to bring, suggested networking questions and places to check out in Austin.

The #sxswLAM = Library* + Archiv* + Museum* Facebook group has been a fountain for creative brainstorming and a fantastic way for attendees to network. Andrea Davis and Myrna Morales are the whirling dervishes behind the forum and keep everyone up-to-date on original projects and events. I’d suggest joining as quickly as you can.

Kelsey Gibson of Serials Solutions has arranged to sponsor a swinging party: #sxswLAM: Librar* Drinkup SXSWi 2012. The event is billed as a way to “simmer down after a day chock-full of panels and awesomeness that is SXSW before gearing up for the full night ahead.” We also owe a hat tip to Eduardo Loera of ProQuest for securing the space. The meetup is happening on Saturday, March 10th from 6 pm to 8 pm at Skinny’s Ballroom, which is located at 115 San Jacinto Boulevard.

John Chrastka spearheaded a campaign to raise funding for an assortment of library promotion tools. One example: temporary tattoos designed by artist Ted Davis (see graphic). We’re going to encourage conference attendees to affix them to their persons and showcase their library pride. On top of that, Christina Coleman of the ALA is sending her love from Chicago by shipping us a bunch of “I Love Libraries” swag. Everyone should grab all that they can – SXSWi is as much about free stuff as anything.

Cindy Fisher has built a terrific website that documents all the featured librarian panels for this year. She’s also been collaborating with several students from UT’s School of Information to coordinate on-the-fly interviews with incoming brainiacs. Stay on the lookout for microphones and cameras… you might be a victim.

Last but not least, Monica Sack, a savvy SXSW staff member, has booked the official Interactive Librarian Meetup for the past two years. This time it will be held on Saturday, March 10th at 5 pm at the AT&T Conference Hotel, Salon B. Mass kudos to her…

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at SXSWi.

Paul Vinelli

Image by Ted Davis

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 19.5 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 & 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro. She presents whenever she can, most recently thrice at the American Library Association's Annual Conference as well as breakout talk presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa and as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting, at the National Press Club, McGill University, the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has relocated to being nomadic. She runs her husband’s moving labor website,, fixes and sells old houses and assists her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food as well. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


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