Southern California

Invitation to a #Library Shark Tank Weekend -Asilomar, CA, October 12-14, 2018

  • 1.  Invitation to a #Library Shark Tank Weekend -Asilomar, CA, October 12-14, 2018

    Posted 07-17-2018 22:44

     Tired of the Same Old Talking Heads, Spouting the Same Old Cliché Ideas, at the Same Old Library Conferences?   Here's a Chance to Do Something About It. 


    Join Us and a bunch of other forward-thinking, fun-loving librarians at #Library Shark Tank Weekend this October at Asilomar, overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Monterey, CA.


    It's all in honor of Barbara Quint, a revolutionary librarian and information industry provocateur who died last year.  For those of you who weren't lucky enough to know her, Barbara was the long-time editor of Searcher and Online Searcher, and the founder of SCOUG (the Southern California Online Users Group) and she loved getting together with kindred spirits, working on big ideas and disruptive possibilities.  We're a group of Barbara's friends and colleagues and we've decided there could be no more fitting way to honor her – and all the other wonderful librarians and info pros we've lost over the years -- than to get a bunch of fun-loving, free-thinking librarians and information professionals together to do something meaningful for our profession and industry. 


    So, that's exactly what we will be doing at the "#Library Shark Tank Weekend" at the Asilomar Conference Groups (right beside the Pacific Ocean) in Monterey, CA the weekend of Oct 12-14, 2018 – just before the Internet Librarian Conference.   All library and information professionals are welcome to attend but registration is limited to 60.  


    A hive mind brings people together to share their collective intelligence and opinions as they create new possibilities. And you probably know the shark tank drill in which a bunch of aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to investors for a chance to see their projects realized.   Well, we're switching it up for the library world.   Instead of products you'll be pitching big new ideas or projects that can help libraries thrive in the modern world.  And instead of millionaires, you'll be pitching them to an audience of experienced library leaders and business professionals who are as hungry for good new ideas as you are.  But unlike those selfish tycoon types, we librarians like to collaborate; so, in this shark tank, you can either make a pitch yourself or choose to work on the project team for a pitch you like.  The prize is a full-writeup in an Information Today publication, and perhaps a chance to see your project realized.   And just to show you the kind of big ideas we're talking about, here are just a few of them that have been submitted so far:  proposal for a combined library / bookstore so patrons can get the best of both worlds, proposal for a subscription reference service that would allow any library to offer its community access to a crack reference team on demand, proposal for a shared library catalog that would act like Goodreads for libraries.  Like to add your idea to this list – read on for additional details on the program and to register and submit your proposal. 


    Cost ranges from $711-$907 for the full weekend (depending on whether you want a single, double or triple room), and includes 2 nights lodging at Asilomar, all meals and registration.   We think most of you will want to stay at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds right beside the Pacific Ocean, but if you'd prefer to stay offsite, the Registration fee for the Weekend is $375 and includes all meals on Saturday and Sunday.    This event is totally non-profit, registration and fees just cover your costs.  


    If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, please go to the Library Shark Tank Weekend website at and register and submit a brief description of your project proposal – if you have one. Remember, you do not need to submit a project proposal to participate in the Shark Tank Weekend … you can choose to work on a project team for a proposal you like.   Also, remember that registration is limited, so do it now, while you're thinking about it.


    And if you're a poor, struggling library school student (yep, we've all been there too), it's possible you could attend the Library Shark Tank Weekend for free.   Some of us old-timers have agreed to pool our funds and sponsor full registration, lodging and meals for the library school student who submits the best project proposal for consideration (as judged by us).  Submit your project proposal at, indicate that you are a library school student and your school, and we'll notify you later this summer if you are the lucky winner. 


    We are all looking forward to seeing you at the Library Shark Tank Weekend, because as we all know, amazing things can happen when you get a bunch of smart, forward-thinking and fun-loving library and information professionals together. 


    Thanks and looking forward to seeing you there,



    From all the members of SCOUG and FOBQ (Friends of Barbara). 


    Doris Helfer
    FCS & Social Sciences Librarian
    California State Univ. Northridge
    Oviatt Library
    Northridge, CA 91330-8328