Gwyneth Stupar and Barbara Alvarez

Leah:                This is Circulating Ideas. I’m Leah White filling in for Steve Thomas who every now and again, if I ask super duper nicely, allows me to hijack his podcast. My guests today are Gwyneth Stupar and Barbara Alvarez, co-creators of the online conference Library OnCon and superstar awesome librarians at the Barrington Area Library in Illinois.

Leah:                Welcome to the show Gwen and Barbara!

Gwen:              Thanks for having us.

Barbara:           Thank you.

Leah:                So I thought we could start out by you guys just telling us a little bit about what you do at your library, and I think it’s partly because your library is unique and you do a lot of really community-focused stuff. So, can we start with Gwen and can you tell us a little bit about what you do at the Barrington Area Library?

Gwen:              Absolutely. I select the adult fiction and nonfiction ebooks. We have a wonderful collection of Barrington and at Barrington we have a really great team. And one thing I’ve been working on recently is our maker lab. I’m part of a team that creates the curriculum: 3D modeling, laser cut jewelry, et cetera. So that’s been really fun as well.

Leah:                Awesome. That’s great. And then, Barbara, what do you do with the Barrington Area Library?

Barbara:           So my official title is Business Liaison Librarian. It’s kind of a mouthful, but in a nutshell, I work with job seekers, business owners and professionals in the Barrington business community and I’m pretty embedded in the community, which means I’m out and about about, more about 50% of the time, sometimes more than that, and it’s a really great opportunity for me to connect our business community with the library because so often they don’t know of the wonderful resources that we have and they’re the very group that would benefit a lot from our resources. So it’s great.

Leah:                Awesome. Oh, that’s great. So one of the things I love to hear about is what I call librarian creation myths.

Barbara:           I’m totally going to use that. You need to trademark that.

Leah:                So I would love to know how you both became librarians and I also am kind of interested in, like, when you were in library school, is this the kind of job that you thought you would be doing? So did you really set out to do the things that you’re doing now or has it kind of taken you by surprise? So let’s actually start with Barbara.

Barbara:           Okay. So, I’ve always loved libraries and I used to volunteer at a library in high school, but I never thought of being a librarian as an actual career path. And it was my junior year going into my senior year and I had a fellowship at the University of Iowa for the summer to do, a grant project with a professor there, a history professor because I wanted to be a history professor. And while I really liked the time that I spent with the professor and, you know, the idea of being a professor, I was more pulled into the work I was doing in the library with the librarians and the archivists. And they were the ones who were like, “Well, have you ever heard of library school?” I’m like, “No.” And then they were like, “Oh, you should look into it.” So I did some researching that summer, and I went back my senior year deciding that I was going to become a librarian. So, I started, I graduated Undergrad that December and I started graduate school that January at U of I and I went into library school kind of off what I had done that summer, thinking about archives and history. And Lo and behold, I ended up working in a youth services department in Barrington and I really loved what I did there. And then graduation time came around and I got my first full time position in an adult services, position at West Chicago Public Library district. And then I’ve been back at Barrington working with the business community. So it’s interesting because you just don’t know where your career path is going to lead you and where the opportunities are. And I always say that really look, the librarians have to be willing to fit the needs of the community, and sometimes that’s not doing exactly what you thought you were going to do, but you end up loving it because you’re filling a need in the community.

Leah:                Oh, I love that. And you were recruited. Yay. That’s great. So, Gwen, what’s your librarian creation myth? How’d you become a librarian?

Gwen:              Well, I actually grew up kitty corner to a public library, so it was actually like kind of in our front yard in a way. So, I would be in there all the time. It was basically like synonymous to my home. But, when I was in high school, my mom saw a job opening for the college library and she worked at the college – Lake Forest College – and she was like, “You know what, why don’t you apply?” And I’m like, “Well, I’m in high school. It’s for college kids, whatever.” And, I got the job and my mentor there, her name was Rita Kohler, and she was really short and like really spunky and what I liked about her was she let me do everything that they all did. So I got a really good cross-training and just a wonderful experience and I really looked up to her. And, one moment when I worked at Northbrook actually I was, you know, weeding or whatever, and I looked up and she was there and she knew that I had worked at Northbrook and she was like dropping by and she’s like, “I am so proud of you!”

Leah:                That’s awesome.

Gwen:              I’ve just been like so lucky to have people like that in my life all throughout my career.

Leah:                Oh, yay, mentors. That’s super awesome. So let’s talk about Library OnCon because I really, I think it’s super cool and I’m really kind of into what you guys have created. So for our listeners who don’t know yet, can one of you describe what you consider Library OnCon to be?

Gwen:              Our tagline is a place where ideas, inspiration and conversation come together.

Leah:                Nice.

Barbara:           Library OnConference is a really good opportunity for library professionals from throughout the nation to meet together, for free and network. We use Google Hangouts, which is a free software to use. So it’s an opportunity for people to meet virtually, but in a more meaningful way. They can actually develop connections with people and share their ideas and then get that inspiration as opposed to being an anonymous participant in a webinar.

Leah:                Yeah, I just… As someone who attended the first OnCon I just want to say how impressive it was, because often when you see something that’s free, you think, oh, it’s just going to be some person, but, why don’t you tell our listeners who your keynoters have been for the past two OnCons.

Barbara:           We’ve been really fortunate to have some great keynote speakers. Our first year was R. David Lankes and he was gracious enough to take a chance on the library OnConference and he spoke… he provided our keynote message, which was really phenomenal. It’s still up on our YouTube channel and I definitely recommend checking it out. And this last year, we had Beck Tench who is an incredible visionary and just all around creative genius. And her keynote message just blew us away too. So we’ve been really, really fortunate to have, like what I was saying, the support that we’ve gotten in the library world.

Leah:                And what’s cool is then after that you people then break out into smaller sessions and it becomes a really hands-on discussion-oriented conference. Right?

Barbara:           Absolutely. I think what we’re, what we’re trying to achieve with the Library OnConference is that, so often in a webinar you, you get some really good ideas, you get some inspiration and then you don’t really have anybody to share it with. Maybe you tweet about it, but you want to be able to talk about it and also connect with other people who are watching it too. So it was a way for us to still get that message across, you know, the keynote message, but then have a breakout session.

Leah:                Awesome.

Gwen:              And as a way to like really meet people, because someone who was in one of our Library OnConferences said, well he was on the train, he saw somebody who was in it, he was like, “Oh hey!”

Leah:                Oh, that’s great!

Gwen:              “I recognize you!”

Leah:                So it’s still a networking opportunity!

Barbara:           Yeah. I was actually at a work party yesterday and somebody from our youth services department at Barrington Area Library met Jennifer Drinka, who was one of our moderators. She’s been a moderator for the last two years and they were like, “Didn’t we meet at the Library OnConference?” And then they can meet in person. So yeah, I mean, it’s really cool.

Leah:                That’s great. I just got goosebumps. I love that. I think it’s so great that, you don’t necessarily have to be sitting in a room with someone to connect with them and network with them.So I guess kind of along the same lines, what inspired you to create Library OnCon? What kind of, what put that fire in you?

Gwen:              Well, the first thing Barbara and I had been doing Google Hangouts, like actually teaching Google Hangouts to the public and to staff. And we also live, as we were teaching classes, we were actually having them live online. So this was really something that, we were really proud of at the time.

Barbara:           Still are proud of!

Gwen:              And we wanted to show that. So at PLA…

Barbara:           Yeah, so Gwen had this great idea for us to submit a proposal to talk a PLA at their Spark Talks, which was awesome, and I hope they do Spark Talks at the next PLA because it was one of the best sessions…

Leah:                Which PLA was this?

Barbara:           2014 in Indianapolis. And I hope they do it again because I know Toby Greenwalt was one of the ones who started the Spark Talks and it was just really great. Basically you have five minutes to pitch an idea or talk about a library topic, and then they will literally use a bullhorn once it’s 5:01 and then they stop you. So Gwen had this great idea about us submitting our Google Hangouts experiences, and our topic was Connecting with Your Library Community for Free, Using Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts On Air. And we got a really great response from the librarians that were at the Spark Talks. They wanted to learn more about it and just being at PLA, we met so many librarians so we wanted to stay in touch with.

Gwen:              We met people that hadn’t even really heard. Like they were like, oh is it like Skype?

Barbara:           So that’s when we were like, well, we want to stay in touch with people. People are saying how they want to keep in touch with the people they met at PLA and people are talking about how they’re interested in Google Hangouts. That’s let’s connect them.

Leah:                Oh that’s great. It’s interesting cause I actually had heard of Google Hangouts before doing Library OnCon, but I had never actually done one. I had only done like, you know, video chat through Gchat and it was really cool to actually get on and see what it could do. And I think that’s really common with a lot of librarians is that they know it exists and we probably could show patrons how to do it, but because we’ve never done it ourselves, we don’t realize the kind of power that’s something like that has.

Barbara:           And I feel like we’re constantly learning all the things that it can do because Google Hangouts, they seem to always be improving it and making it better. So even just in the last year and a half that we’ve been using it, it’s gotten so much easier to use. There’s all these new features. So I mean it’s a learning process for us too, but it’s a good resource and it’s free and we like free.

Leah:                Yeah, free is great. So this sounds like a really big project. I can imagine it’s easy for people to attend, but it could not have been easy to plan and run. So I’m always really intrigued by people who manage to tackle these like massive side projects. (This includes you, Steve, and Circulating Ideas!) So I’m always really impressed by people who tackle massive projects while also still doing really good work for their community. So could you talk a little bit, both of you, about time management? How you made time to actually plan it, and what that looked like.

Barbara:           Well we’re really fortunate to work in a supportive work environment, I think that that’s probably the biggest piece to the puzzle is having a supportive environment and not just in the environment we work in, but also supportive participants like you, Leah who was one of our first moderators, so being able to work in a supportive environment and with people that are encouraging you makes it more manageable. Absolutely.

Leah:                Just real quick. So when you say supportive environment, do you mean like your manager was supportive of the idea? Were you able to work on it during work time?

Barbara:           Our manager and our director, they loved the idea and they were all for it, which is great because it’s new. There was a little bit of a risk to it because it never been done before. You know, we didn’t really know what the outcome was going to be like and they were just all go, green lights.

Leah:                Awesome.

Gwen:              Yeah. And I think too, it was just nice having that trust there. You know, like our manager was basically like, “Well what do you need? Like a domain, like no problem!” It was just really nice to kind of have that.

Barbara:           So the process though for making this happen, it was a lot of planning. So, you know, for anybody out there that is interested in doing a project like this, it does, it takes a lot of brainstorming, a lot of open communication, a lot of planning and revising your plans and getting input from other people and being willing to hear what’s not working out. And you know, you might think this is going to be an awesome idea, but if so many people are telling you that, “Oh, that’s not going to work out” or “that’s not something that would interest me,” then you know, taking that critique. So that’s definitely another part to the plan.

Leah:                Awesome. All right, so I guess along those same lines, looking back is there anything you would do different during the planning period and, along the same lines, what do you feel worked really well and what didn’t work? Because I often, and I swear I’m not trying to pry for negativity, but I feel like often people creating things, can learn more from our failures when you tried something then almost from what worked, so, but I still want to hear what works. So if you could talk a little about that.

Barbara:           Well, I just want to say as a preface that, for anybody out there that’s going to do a big project or undertake something similar to this or something new, that old phrase that we all learned when we were kids. Like if at first you don’t succeed, try again. I would consider our first one a success, but the second one, the planning process was so much better. So don’t get, my advice would be don’t feel overwhelmed or I don’t know, disappointed or something if your first round of planning is a struggle because that’s just the groundwork and I feel like, I dunno if Gwen can agree with me on this, but the second round of planning, it just felt so much easier. I mean there were still challenges, but it was like, wow, we had already laid all the major groundwork the first round. So just keep that in mind. First time round will probably be the most challenging.

Leah:                What’s a good example of, of a challenge. So what was one of the days it like you tried to do and it just didn’t, it wasn’t working?

Gwen:              Well, I think, you know, in the beginning we had this concept, everybody was on board. We just weren’t sure what the interest level would be. So, we planned around, the different people that we had and all of a sudden it was like everybody on planet earth was registering for the conference, which is awesome…

Barbara:           We were hoping we would get 25 people to register and then we had like 60 people and then we had to cap it because we were like, we can’t like sustain this, which is a good problem to have. But like, we were hoping for 25 people.

Leah:                How many people registered for the first one?

Barbara:           60 people, and I think we had a little over 60 this last time too. So, speaking of which, our registration process was kind of a nightmare the first time around, and we started using Google Docs the second time around to create the registration process, and that made it much more streamlined. And you can actually cap how many people can register. You can put a limit like, you know, close this form down after 10 people register. So that made it nicer, so we didn’t have to worry about like getting ahead of ourselves.

Leah:                What were you guys doing before? What were you using?

Barbara:           It was like, so our web domain is through Weebly and we were just using one of their forums…

Leah:                Yeah, it just sends you an email, right?

Barbara:           And there’s no way to stop it. There’s no way to stop people from registering, even if you’re like past the maximum amount. So, that helped a lot. And then I also think how we formed the groups this time helped, if you want to talk about how we changed with the speakers and their topics and things.

Gwen:              Well, we actually had two mentors that were in the first session session, Emily Vinci and Jennifer Drinka were on board with this session. We gave people a guided “Come up with a topic and that topic will drive your session.”

Barbara:           Right. So like the first time round we were just like, okay, we’ll have Leah talk about community engagement. I was, like, “Were you readers advisory?” Cause you could be both. Yeah you could do like a hundred topics. So we were like, okay, how about like community engagement and like you know, Mike talk about digital libraries and somebody talk about youth services and we just kind of gave them like a broad topic. Whereas this time we had the speakers, you know, come up with their own topic and they were really unique topics. So like Alexandra Walsh from Oak Park Public Library, hers was about when to end things at the library. Like when is a program or an initiative just not working anymore for the library or the community and how to make that decision and how to, you know, move on from it.

Leah:                So it was really specific. So you went from kind of like broad topics to really specific topics.

Barbara:           Exactly. So that helped a lot because I think it also gave our speakers more ownership and cause this is their, they’re doing so much in that they really have a lot to offer.

Leah:                Oh, that’s great. That was a really, that’s a really good idea.

Barbara:           And so we’re, we already have in the works new ideas for round three because this is just a big learning process for us too. So, yeah.

Gwen:              And the first time around we asked people, the second time around, we had an application and the people that responded to be moderators were fantastic.

Leah:                Oh, so you actually, for speakers, you had people apply? Oh that’s great.

Barbara:           So it was great. And then we had two librarians from outside Illinois, which was nice too. We had somebody from North Dakota and somebody from Indiana, so that was nice. And then we also had a social media assistant this round too, who was amazing, Claire McCully. And she really, really helped us.

Leah:                What kind of role did the social media, and that’s, I’m super intrigued by that. So you had one person whose job was social media?

Barbara:           Yeah, and so she worked on Facebook and Twitter and our Google+ page. And she helped us come up with ideas for blog posts and we really couldn’t have done it without anybody on the team, but she made a huge contribution to us because we both, instead of having to focus on tweets and Facebook posts, we could focus on making this a more efficient and productive round. So I think that’s the other thing is realizing when to bring people in that can help you.

Leah:                That’s awesome. Yeah. What a good idea. What did you get that idea from? That’s genius, everyone needs that.

Barbara:           It was really great. And so we had an application for that too and she, we were really fortunate to have her apply.

Leah:                That’s awesome. Great. So, in contrast to advice to people planning an online conference, I think a lot of people just haven’t attended an online conference because it’s a pretty new concept in contrast to attending a webinar, which is a very passive activity. So, what advice would you give to someone who’s interested in attending an online conference for the first time? And how do you feel like it differs the most from the in person conferences, which we’re so we’re so used to going to?

Gwen:              I would say practice, practice. You know, people kind of think I’ll just show up on the day, I’ll get in and it’ll be great. No matter who you are, it really helps to take those extra couple of minutes, and it was really important to Barbara and I when we did this to have training sessions, that way people can feel like anyone could do this.

Leah:                So training sessions on the platform that the online conference is hosted on?

Barbara:           Yes. So the first round what we did, and this is also something we improved upon was we host when, and I hosted training sessions like drop-in training. Gwen and I will be, you know, training from seven to eight tonight if you need help.

Leah:                I attended one of those. And I could not get the volume to work. Do you remember that? It was great.

Barbara:           This time round, we thought a really good way would be to get the moderators. We had five moderators to each be in charge of the training for their own group. So it was kind of like creating community groups instead of, you know, on the day of the conference you’ll meet your moderator and the other people in the group. What we did was we gave all the registration to the moderators in advance who then started sending out emails and tweets to their participants saying, hey, if you guys need help training before the conference day, let me know and we can set this up. Things like that. So that was, that was a huge improvement to streamlining it.

Gwen:              And that created some accountability, too. I saw one who was like, Hey, I noticed you didn’t show up. You know, let me know if you need help.

Leah:                Oh, that’s great. So that is, that can be a thing. Like I know in the breakout that I hosted, I had at least two people not show up. So I like the idea that there’s like a little bit more accountability.

Barbara:           The people feel like they’re already part of this group before conference day, you know? And that’s the whole point is to create these networking groups. So we felt we saw improvements from that this round.

Leah:                That’s great. Any other advice for people attending an online conference for the first time?

Gwen:              Just have fun. I mean, be free. Something that was important to us too was not to have the sessions recorded where people could actually talk to each other. Cause sometimes people feel if it’s online, Big Brother’s watching us.

Leah:                Or Big Boss!

Gwen:              And it was really open and really free in that sense.

Leah:                That’s great. So, and from that, just don’t be afraid to be yourself because it’s a safe place. Yeah. I think that’s great. So what’s the big difference between this and an in person? So how, how is this a different experience?

Barbara:           Well, in-person conferences of course are awesome. I mean, there’s no way…

Leah:                They can be.

Barbara:           Yeah. They can be, exactly. So, you know, of course, like anything networking in-person, you really can’t compare that. But this is a great alternative for when, you know, we’re in between big conferences, the big in-person conferences or you know, if you’re at a library that doesn’t have the funding or the staff time, I think this is a really great way to get that, pick-me-up where you need to talk to your librarian peeps and you know, get inspired and get some new ideas before, you know, summer planning or the fall or what have you. I think online conferences are a great way to, you know, stay in the loop and stay connected and stay energized throughout the year when we can so often get bogged down with what’s going on in our library and our community.

Leah:                Yeah. Yeah. So can you describe one of your favorite moments from Library OnCon? And I want I would like to hear from both of you. So, Gwen, do you have any favorite moments from, from the two conferences that you’ve done so far?

Gwen:              Well, one of my favorites, when David Lankes’s presentation was live. And it was really neat to see, we were all in a room together while it was going on. And it was just so neat to see the numbers of viewers creeping up and up and up, you know?

Leah:                Oh, and that’s something we should point out is that anyone could watch the keynote. It was just the 60 people could attend the breakout sessions, but anyone could watch.

Barbara:           Yeah. So I think we were at like 180 viewers or something, which was so cool. And nothing beats seeing people using the #liboncon on Twitter and seeing people tweet about how much fun they’re having and their experiences and their takeaways. That just felt awesome. And on a totally silly note, we had a great experience when we were doing one of our pre-conference training sessions. It was a drop-in Hangout. So Gwen and I were like, Hey, we’ll be on Google hangouts from seven to eight drop in if you need to practice. And then we had our computer on mute and we were just like sitting there and I knew each other and like shooting the breeze and then all of a sudden we look on the computer after like 20 minutes and see that there are, these librarians watching us like trying to get our attention, messaging, like we’re in this room. Can you hear us? And hearing everything we’re saying. So that was hilarious.

Leah:                That’s good. That’s so great. I love that, so outside of Lib OnCon, can you tell me what some of your favorite professional development moments are and what you found the most beneficial from that experience? Um, I think that professional development is so overlooked in so many ways because we’re so busy now and we do so many things and often there are things that we didn’t know how to do before. So we’re just so busy doing the things at our job that we forget how important it is for professional development. So if you could both speak a moment about your favorite professional development moments and what you found to be beneficial from that.

Gwen:              Well, I think any opportunity to meet other local people who were working in libraries, it’s always great. I loved when we were in RLACE, just the different kinds of speakers that we would get…

Leah:                And can you tell the listeners, so outside of Chicago, no one knows what that means. So could you speak a little bit about what RLACE is?

Gwen:              RLACE is the Reference Librarians Association Continuing Education. I’m running out of breath…

Leah:                It’s such an epic acronym!

Gwen:              It’s a group of librarians who meet and they get local people or other speakers to come talk. And it’s great because not just librarians that talk, like you had problem solvers…

Leah:                Yeah. Yeah. And so it’s not always, and just full disclosure, I was on this committee too, so sometimes it’s someone from outside of the field who can give advice to people inside the field, which I think is really important.

Gwen:              Absolutely.

Leah:                And just to throw in on this one. On the things that I was really passionate about with that group was that because it was all done with money from outside organizations and grants, all of the continuing ed was completely free. And that is such a huge barrier. And it’s one of the reasons I love Lib OnCon so much is because I think there are so many people who cannot afford to go to ALA. So, I’m really passionate about that too. That’s awesome.

Barbara:           Yeah, and speaking of that, with professional development, a lot of emails we got were from managers from throughout the US actually and they were like, is this really free? Like my staff members want to attend it, you know, my staff members want to go to this session. So that was a really good feel-good moment to know that there are managers out there, you know, it’s not just a pet project. There are managers out there that really see this as a valuable opportunity for their staff to develop at no cost to them. So it was definitely a feel-good moment. One of my favorite professional development opportunities has been ILEAD USA and Gwen participated in ILEAD USA too, but different years for both of us. But that’s how we met Beck Tench and Dave Lankes and that’s how I started using Google Hangouts. My team, we used Google Hangouts to do ways to reach out to the community for free using Google Hangouts, so yeah.

Leah:                And again, ILEAD USA. So can you, can you just describe that a little for the listeners because it just went national.

Barbara:           Yeah, so it’s a grant-funded opportunity through the Illinois State Library and the Illinois Library Museums… IMLS. And it’s a grant-funded opportunity for librarians, all different types of libraries to come together, collaborate in teams and to work on a project that will improve their libraries’ connection, you know, with the community or the library profession. So that’s how I got started in even using Google Hangouts on a community level. And so I owe a lot to ILEAD USA for that and I’m having a great time being part of Synergy, which you’re… Leah is also a part of Synergy.

Leah:                I am. I am a Synergist.

Barbara:           And how would you describe Synergy?

Leah:                So Synergy is, I keep calling it leadership camp. That’s what it feels like to me. So it’s three intensive leadership training sessions.

Barbara:           And they’re intensive.

Leah:                They are super intense. It’s like super deep leadership therapy. That’s what it feels like to me. And, it’s also, it’s a pretty intense application process and I believe ILEAD U has an intense application process too, right? So you really have to want to do it and you have to put in the effort to apply and, they then select 30 people and then it’s completely free for us. Obviously, I like free things. So it’s really, I think it’s great because there’s people from all types of libraries, not just the really heavily funded libraries. So yeah, leadership camp. Free leadership camp.

Barbara:           Yeah. Leah and I were, we just attended our first one a couple of months ago and that was pretty, pretty epic. I’m looking forward to the next two rounds.

Leah:                Yeah, I love that too. We’ve talked about how accessible online conferences, like Library OnCon are. How do you choose what to attend in person? Because often we get, if we’re lucky, one a year. So what criteria do you use to decide what you’re going to take your time to actually go travel to something? Barbara, do you want to start?

Barbara:           Sure. Well, I think about, you know, what I have on my just personal agenda with the community and with the library and with staffing, you have to think about staffing allowances and you know, your schedule. And definitely online opportunities are less of a commitment and you don’t have to worry about funding typically for things like that. So, there are several online conferences that I participate in. Every year I do Library 2.0 this year it’s gonna be Library 2.015, which is a virtual online conference. And I participate in that every year. It’s free, it’s low cost, no time commitment. So that’s an easy one, but to attend things like, I’m going to ALA this year in San Francisco, I can’t wait, those things like that take a little bit more time to decide about applying to are going to. And I think I’m definitely more intrigued by being able to get to connect face to face with people from throughout the country.

Leah:                Awesome. Great. And, Gwen, how do you decide what to actually take your valuable time and attend in person?

Gwen:              Well, I think a lot of it depends on the different programs that are in the program book, will this work for whatever kind of job I’m doing at the time. However, I think you should also go to sessions that interest you personally.

Leah:                You taught me that, you are the person who taught me to go to something that was not related to my job. I never did that before and you told me to do it. And I went to a children’s program for the first time and we like sand, and we stood up and danced. It was the coolest program I’ve ever gone to. And I was like, why have I not been doing this the whole time? It just, it was invigorating!

Gwen:              I can’t take any credit. Tracy Hartman, who is a librarian on the east coast? She taught me that. I went to the east coast and stayed with her. I was like, well, I’m going to this for my job and this for my job. And she’s like, well, what do you want to go to? I’m like, well, there’s a… she’s like going to that one.

Leah:                Oh, that’s great. Okay. I think we’ve talked for quite a while, so thank you so much for taking your time to come and speak. So where can people go to find out more about you and your work? Gwen, where can people find out more about you?

Gwen:              Okay. Well, my website is and the Library OnConference link is

Leah:                And Barbara, where can people find more of your work?

Barbara:           Well, definitely check out the conference website. We’ll be doing another one in the spring, next spring. And my website is but disclaimer, because there are so many Barbara Alvarez domains apparently. It’s Barbara Alvarez and just one a in the middle. So Barbara Alvarez is connected.

Leah:                Like Streisand.

Barbara:           I know, right?

Leah:                Like Babs, I love it.

Barbara:           There’s apparently a million Barbara Alvarez domains so I had to try and keep mine unique.

Leah:                That’s great. And I’m sure Steve, will link your websites as well, right, Steve? So thank you for coming. Awesome. And thanks for listening, everybody.

Barbara:           Thank you.

Gwen:              Thank you.