Introduction to Python: Join Us in Chicago for a LITA Preconference

Are you ready to start coding? Have you made your ALA Annual travel plans yet?

The Library Code Year Interest Group (a joint ALCTS and LITA Interest Group) will be offering a full-day pre-conference workshop on Python before this year’s ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Attendees will learn the basics of the Python programming language with ample opportunities for hands-on, project-based practice. Using a curriculum based on the one developed by the Boston Python Workshop, we will teach attendees the syntax and key features of Python while providing them with an opportunity to work through practice exercises. During the second half of the day, attendees will have the opportunity to complete a short project in Python to use the skills they have learned. Experienced teaching staff will be on hand to provide support and feedback throughout the workshop.

While we’ll cover a lot of ground, this workshop does not assume any prior programming experience. We will provide a supportive environment and explain everything you need to know through a mix of lecture, self-paced hands-on exercises, and projects. By the end of the day, attendees will be ready to tackle new projects and will have ideas about how they can integrate Python into their work going forward. Whether you have never written a program in your life or you already have experience in other languages and want to add Python to your repertoire, this workshop will be perfect for you! Come to learn a new skills and to meet like-minded individuals in a fun, welcoming setting. While Division members get a discount, you need not be a Division member to attend; we’d love to see all kinds of library staff represented! If you have any questions about the workshop, please feel free to contact Carli Spina ( for additional information. Registration and Cost Information

Please note: Attendees will be asked to bring a laptop with them to the workshop and will need to set up a Python development environment on that computer in advance. The teaching staff will offer support throughout this process, including step-by-step instructions and virtual office hours. Depending on your experience level, this may take anywhere from half an hour to a few hours.

Can’t make it to Chicago for ALA this summer? Want to start learning today? Find out other library coding projects and educational opportunities in the Library Journal Digital Shift’s post Cracking the Code: Librarians Acquiring Essential Coding Skills

Call for Proposals: ALA Annual 2010

This year, the LITA Program Planning Committee, in an effort to modernize the workflow for planning programs for ALA Annual, has moved the process entirely online! The following is the form that you can fill out if you are interested in proposing a program via LITA for ALA Annual 2010, June 24-30th in Washington, DC:

The form will be available at the above link, on ALA Connect (, on LITABlog, and anywhere else we can embed it.

Once you submit your program proposal, the Program Planning Committee will be in touch with you by the middle of August, 2009. The deadline for submitting proposals to LITA for a program for Annual 2010 is July 31st, 2009.


If you have questions about anything relating to programs at ALA Annual, there is a public discussion board on ALA Connect designed just for that:

You do have to have an ALA Connect login, but you do not have to be an ALA member…you can register as a non-ALA member and still ask questions of the PPC. If you are an ALA member, you can login to Connect using your ALA login information.

If you have any problems that the Connect group doesn’t solve (or you have other issues), you can email me directly, Jason Griffey, at griffey at or find me on Twitter at @griffey. But please try to use the forum first. :-)

What Can You Submit?

I am well aware of the challenge inherent with planning technology programming a full year in advance of the conference. Feel free to be a general as you need to be in describing your program on first draft…we can always approach you and ask you for details as we move through the process. But you do not have to have every speaker booked, and every topic decided, to put forward a proposal. Have a topic area, a theme, an idea for where you think tech will be? Go with it.

Who Can Submit Proposals?

There is one more difference in the process this year that everyone should be aware of. In the past, all programs were driven by Committee and Interest Group submissions, with each group effectively submitting one program. While the PPC is happy to get submissions from these groups, it is NOT NECESSARY to be backed by a group in order for LITA PPC to examine and forward your proposal for a program.

If you, as an individual member, have a great idea and want to be considered, please put in a proposal. If you and two friends want to throw your hats in the ring, please do. If you aren’t a LITA or ALA member _at all_ and think you have the best idea for a program at ALA Annual in the history of technology, fill out the form!

Library Society of the World, Code4Lib, and other library groups: here’s your chance! Please participate and share with us! Let LITA give you a stage for your ideas. If you have an idea worth putting in front of 300 people at the largest gathering of librarians in the world, we are interested in giving you that opportunity.

Bring it.

Jason Griffey
Chair, LITA Program Planning Committee