People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.



Projects: Development and Facilitation of Unconferences

We have developed and facilitated unconferences, including:

  1. BPL ThinkTank Staff Unconference
    BPL ThinkTank was Brooklyn Public Library’s first staff unconference. More information.
  2. HealthCampNYC Regional Unconference
    HealthCampNYC: Using Collective Knowledge to Improve Health Literacy and Community Health was a regional health unconference. More information.
  3. Library Staff Unconference
    We provided assistance with facilitation on the day of a library staff unconference.
  4. Community Health Unconference
    We provided advice on unconference organizing and facilitating for a community health unconference in Washington, DC.



We have presented on best practices and lessons learned for unconferences:

  1. “Revitalizing Communication and Professional Development Through Unconferences: The Brooklyn Public Library and Darien Public Library Experiments”
    2010 Public Library Association (PLA) National Conference
  2. “It’s All Hallway! An Unconference Approach to Professional Development”
    2011 Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference
  3. “HealthCampNYC: Using Collective Knowledge to Improve Health Literacy and Community Health Through Unconferences”
    2013 Medical Library Association (MLA) Conference



Unconferences: Guide on unconferences and tools, resources and tips for DIY unconference
Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) LibGuide



“A fun, relaxed atmosphere truly fosters creativity.”
– BPL ThinkTank participant

“Thanks so much for making time to facilitate the unconference, especially on such short notice! I really appreciate it.”
– Library manager of a public library

“We have formed 2 new partnerships as a result of [HealthCampNYC] and were able to brainstorm more ideas for fundraising and securing support for worthy projects.”
– HealthCampNYC participant

“Thank you for your session at the SLA Annual 2011 on unconference management. The information you provided was extremely helpful and served to assuage fears of unconferences. By examining the aspects involved in planning and running an event, as well as participating in a miniaturized unconference, you and the panel created an engaging and informative experience for all of us in attendance.”
– Attendee at SLA 2011 program on unconferences

“Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and provide advice about the process of planning an unconference. The Unconferences LibGuide was an invaluable resource as well. We successfully facilitated an unconference for librarians, health professionals, and community organizers in June 2015. The “Collaborating for a Healthier Community” Unconference was hosted by the District of Columbia Public Library. It was a great learning experience, and some good connections were made.”
– A medical librarian and unconference facilitator