Founded in 2015, the goals of The Collective are learning, networking, and kickstarting new ideas among next-generation librarians and library stakeholders where the participants determine the content.

We are an independent, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to education and innovation for better librarianship. 

How is The Collective different?

EVEN FOOTING: Everyone who attends is an active participant and pays an equally low registration fee. Celebrity culture is for tabloids, not conferences. 

ACTIVE LEARNING: We emphasize skill-building, tangible takeaways, and networking. No “CV filler” or“sage on a stage” presentations here!

LOW COST: Designed for affordability, those within driving distance of Knoxville should be able to cover all associated costs of attendance for around $500.

Conference Cost Comparison                  Based on 2017 data. Total cost uses lowest hotel room price listed & reflects registration fee plus 3 hotel nights.

PARTNERSHIPS, NOT SALES: We think developing relationships with vendors is far more effective than hard sales, so we program real discussions rather than sales pitches.  

PRACTITIONER-FOCUSED: While administrators can certainly bring a wealth of knowledge and level of expertise, we believe that the ratio of admins to front-line workers should be reflective of the real-world landscape. 

NON-PROFIT: Our event is put on by volunteers who give their time in service to the profession. We have no paid or dedicated staff and do not profit off of registration fees; in fact, attendance costs are subsidized for all participants thanks to our hard fundraising work. 

How do we make all this magic happen? It's a big secret, just a lot of hard work! And we've documented our process to help like-minded individuals join the revolution and start their own unique gatherings. 


What takes place at The Collective?

The gathering consists of three fun nights and two full days.

The program schedule and content is set by YOU, the participants. Learn more about our unique program planning here.

Morning kickoff sessions consist of interactive plenaries and panels, followed by more takeaway-driven afternoon sessions and lightning talks.

Extended lunchtimes offer an opportunity for discussion of special topics among shared interest groups or informal gatherings in our "unconference" spaces--the IdeaLibrary and Tinker Lab.  Aside from a longer afternoon "wrap-up" plenary discussion on the second day, evenings are reserved for informal networking and exploration of the Knoxville arts and culture scene. 

Our opening night reception is a festive, themed dinner with live music in downtown Knoxville and we also plan an optional library-themed pub crawl or other social event for the closing night! 

But you don't have to take our word for it!

Want to share about The Collective analog-style? Download this handy PDF.