Why should I attend The Collective?

Are you tired of spending lots of money on conferences where you don't learn as much as you'd hoped? Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of organization at an "un-conference"? We're aiming to change all of that, so we hope you'll join us for a low-cost, high-impact event!

What makes The Collective different from a regular conference?

The Collective is a new conference concept that aims to offer the best of the traditional conference and "un-conference" worlds--enough organization so that you come away with some tangible skills, knowledge, and new contacts but enough flexibility so that our program doesn't grow stale in the time between proposals and the actual event. Participants are involved in creating the gathering program in an interactive, transparent way. And we're also programming in lots of fun!

What do you mean by "next-generation" librarian?

In the context of The Collective, "next-generation" librarian means any individual, regardless of age or stage of career, who has his/her pulse on the leading edge of library trends as they relate to the technology being used or services being provided. In short, it's someone who aims to understand librarianship 2.0 (and beyond!) and how libraries and librarians are changing to meet the needs of 21st century users.

Can local folks participate?

Absolutely. While we welcome practitioners from around the country to join us, local participation is highly encouraged. 

What should I wear? Is there a dress code?

There is no formal dress code. We suggest you wear what makes you most confident and comfortable for a high-energy, collaborative gathering among professionals.

Keep in mind that March in Knoxville is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 48°F to 57°F over the course of the month, exceeding 70°F or dropping below 35°F only one day in ten. Prepare for light snow or rain as well--we recommend bringing a winter coat and an umbrella. As with most conference venues,  dressing in layers is probably best to accommodate your own temperature preference. 

Do you have a code of conduct?

The Collective is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the conference organizers. Our anti-harassment policy can be found here.

What are some nearby attractions to make the trek to Knoxville worthwhile?

Within the Knoxville city limits, we recommend a visit to Ijams Nature Center, one of the many fine restaurants or shops near Market Square, and the Farmer's Market. Librarians and archivists might especially enjoy visits to the Knoxville Museum of Art, the East Tennessee History Center, the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound, or the Beck Cultural Exchange Center. Our partner, VisitKnoxville, has some good lists, too.

In addition to all the fabulous places in Knoxville, nearby we have the nation's most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the strange and awesomely tacky attractions of Pigeon Forge, and Dollywood--just to name a few. Librarians might be especially curious to check out the Highlander Center; Historic Rugby, Tennessee; Arrowmont, or the Museum of Appalachia, all within a short drive. 

What are some restaurants and bars I should try when I'm in town?

For those who wish to imbibe, we highly recommend the following, all within a walk or quick cab ride from the conference hotel: Suttree's, the Peter Kern Library (inside the Oliver Hotel), Scruffy City Hall, and the Public House

Those with a sweet tooth should make an effort to taste the goodies from nationally-celebrated Mag-Pies Bakery

And you can't go wrong with dining on Market Square.

Will you have a boring SWAG bag at The Collective?

Absolutely not. Our SWAG bag art locally designed and previous bags have been created by this guy. Our 2017 bag was designed by this gal

Will you stream all or part of The Collective online? Will any of the sessions be recorded?

No, we do not plan to stream any sessions at The Collective events and we have a few reasons we hope you’ll understand:

  • First, we think the best kinds of networking and collaborating happen in person. Since the sessions are not “sit and listen” panels and lectures, taping them would be rather challenging and wouldn’t make a lot of sense, especially for the hands-on, conversation-driven, and make/hack/play-style of our sessions.
  • Secondly, we’ve designed The Collective as an extraordinarily low-cost conference. Anyone within a reasonable drive to Knoxville (approximately two-thirds of the population of the US is within a day’s driving distance) should be able to attend for around $500, including registration, hotel, gas, and non-provided meals.
  • Finally, we also think some sessions are best not recorded so that participants can share freely about their successes and failures and opportunities and challenges in the workplace.