empty pockets? go to an online conference!

Conferences are expensive to run and to attend, and those costs keep many of us at home, wishing we had the funds to travel away from our desks. But with new technologies cropping up daily, low-cost alternatives are surfacing that make learning from the experts a little easier on the pocketbook.

One such alternative is the Iowa Small Libraries Online Conference (ISLOC). A couple years ago, an intrepid group of librarians dreamt up a conference where anyone in their state could attend, as long as they were equipped with some free time and an internet connection. Good ideas are sticky, and 2010 marks the third year for the ISLOC. This year's clever theme is "Lemons to Lemonade: Surviving to Thriving in Tough Times" and their speakers range from regional favorites (Pat Means, from the Villisca Public Library, IA) to San Jose Public Library's Sarah Houghton-Jan, the LibrarianInBlack. TechSoup is honored to be a part of the virtual exhibit hall, where attendees can stop by and ask questions, just like face-to-face conferences. The conference is this Thursday, January 21st. 

An online conference making its debut this year is WebJunction's Technology Essentials 2010 event.This 2-day conference is packed with timely topics and impressive speakers, including Stephanie Gerding and Mala Muralidharan, two contributors to TechSoup's MaintainIT Project. Mark your calendars for February 9th and 10th!