Conferences & the Environment: High Five to LILAC!

This afternoon I returned from the LILAC 2019 library conference in Nottingham, England. I need some time (and sleep) before I put together major information literacy messages that I took away–and there are many! In the meantime, I wanted to praise LILAC and its organizer, CILIP’s Information Literacy Group, for the subtle yet noticeable efforts they took to make LILAC more environmentally sustainable. Here are a few that stood out to me. Any readers who attended, please feel free to comment and highlight more!

  1. Give only one piece of swag–and make it the best swag EVER. Case in point, this gorgeous notebook with rainbows on the sides! Quality alilac-notebooknd pragmatism. I also noticed that one vendor was giving away Cadbury eggs; those are useful, too.
  2. Speaking of vendors, focusing on sharing product information verbally, with additional material online. I chatted with a vendor for Hublet. He carefully explained that he only had one flier to give me; the bulk of the information was online. You know what? Perfect!
  3. Speaking of fliers and presenting information, many speakers either skipped using paper handouts and offered links to their information online, or provided fairly minimalist handouts. Additionally, the conference organizers asked attendees to sign up for sessions in advance (pros and cons), which allowed those who did create handouts to estimate numbers accurately.
  4. Hot beverages were served by waitstaff instead of through self-serve methods. This was subtle, but I imagine that it saved quite a lot of coffee and tea that otherwise might have been over-consumed.
  5. Holding the conference on an impressively sustainable campus, the University of Nottingham. Besides saving energy, water, and more while we were there, the various buildings on campus shared information on aspects of their sustainability through signage.

As I’m writing this, I do feel a good deal of tension over the fact that I flew to attend the conference–quite a long way, in fact. That’s something that I need to reconcile: my carbon footprint….with the fresh ideas, new contexts, and joy that I get from conference opportunities like this. I am heartened, though, at several working relationships that I formed through the conference that can be developed over Zoom.

Fellow attendees, what else stood out to you? I’d love to hear your observations, as well as ways you’ve worked balancing all the benefits of travel with a minimal carbon footprint.

2 thoughts on “Conferences & the Environment: High Five to LILAC!

  1. Great overview of the Lilac conference from a sustainability angle, I am interested in your doctorate subject area and would be interested in any of your outcomes.
    I think we talked briefly on 1 of the tours to the museum/art gallery? ( I was the 1 holding the tour sign!) Take care Dallas

    • Hi, Dallas! Thank you so much for your kind comments. Of course I remember you! That was a really great tour of the museum, by the way.

      I’m working through the data from my dissertation research. It’s going to take a few months to “crunch” — I’m going into a lot of depth — but I will most definitely share findings. I’d love to keep in touch about it, too, since you’ve got related interests. What are you most interested in?

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