Skilltype @ ALA Midwinter 2019: Taking the Road Less Travelled

In typical Skilltype fashion, our presence at ALA Midwinter 2019 in Seattle was non-traditional. Mainly because as a startup, exhibit hall real estate isn’t the most fiscally responsible investment. But also because brands that launch at ALA in the sea of vendors simply to fade into oblivion. Why spend all of that money to cross your fingers in hope that the right people stop by your “little booth that could”, when in actuality the people who stop by just want to know if you’re raffling off an Apple Watch.

So instead, I saved money, called up some friends, and connected the Skilltype way.

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Announcing Skilltype Working Groups

The amount of one-off feedback we receive has finally become overwhelming. This is what we needed to pull the trigger on creating more formal ways for the community to shape the product and policy decisions at Skilltype. We’re thrilled to announce 7 working groups, led by members of the community to create formal feedback loops to the Skilltype team. As of January 2nd, all 6 groups have open slots, and some still need Chairs and co-chairs.

  1. Assessment: Measuring LIS workforce development

  2. Ethics: Preventing adverse consequences of product decisions

  3. Metadata: Describing the LIS profession

  4. Networks: Sharing expertise across LIS organizations

  5. Skills: Defining professional success across LIS

  6. Training: Democratizing LIS professional development opportunities

Working group membership isn’t limited to our development partners, so regardless of whether your institution is involved, let us know if you’re interested. Aside from helping shape the product and policy that will influence the future of work in libraries, working group participants benefit in the following ways:

  1. Networking and Community Building: Skilltype has 7 development partners and counting, along with a broader community of nearly 200 followers and beta testers who are passionate about the future of talent management in libraries. Working groups are a way to connect with like minded peers and discuss the big issues related to your personal career development and livelihood.

  2. Speaking engagements: Skilltype development partners have already begun submitting proposals to information science conferences around the world

  3. Publishing opportunities: Skilltype development partners are actively responding to calls for proposals in journals such as the Journal of Library Administration, Collaborative Librarianship and others to share findings and experiences with the broader community regarding how Skilltype impacts their organizational talent management practices.

Each group will have an “open house” Google Hangout next month, with work beginning in March. Drop us a note on Slack, Twitter or Email. Or fill in the spreadsheet directly if you’re interested.