Hit the Jackpot:
Successful Experimentation and Innovation in Instruction

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Program proposals should highlight the work of risk taking, game playing, fun-loving librarians and educators. Sessions should be creative and interactive and showcase genuinely innovative approaches to helping students develop core information gathering and management skills.


The city of Las Vegas sets the stage for this conference, hosted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The place suggests the following conference sub-themes offered to program proposers as food for thought, not as round holes to force the square peg of a program into. Alignment with conference themes is less important than innovative and compelling proposal content.

Games power this city of lights- blackjack, craps, poker and the ever present slot machines. Games are powerful microcosms representing the efforts of individuals to find the winning balance of competition and teamwork in their study, work, and life.

Las Vegas is characterized by rampant and frequently unrestrained growth. From gritty railroad stop in the middle of the Mojave to glamorous, glittering and gourmet playground for grown-ups, Las Vegas exemplifies transformation, renewal, entrepreneurship and new ways of doing business. Librarians and educators can learn from this carefree take on the historical, this easy urge to implode the old ways and take a gamble on something new.

Spectacle, feathers, fantasy, and magic rule the always packed showrooms of the Strip’s resort casinos. The elements of drama, fun, and performance are sometimes dismissed as so much fluff by educators but the power of edutainment to captivate and to generate engagement cannot be ignored.

Every roll of the dice, turn of the card, or pull on the slot machine handle involves a calculated risk. The savvy gambler manages resources in a way that recognizes the potential for a little loss, a lot of gain, and maybe some fun along the way.

Proposals are sought for the following:

  • Pecha Kucha (pronounced peh-chak-cha): A presentation format in which creative work can be easily and informally shown. The name derives from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation ("chit-chat"). The idea behind Pecha Kucha is to keep presentations concise, the interest level up and to have many presenters sharing their ideas within the course of one session. In the 20x20 Pecha Kucha format each presenter is allowed a slideshow of 20 images, shown for 20 seconds each. This results in a total presentation time of 6 minutes 40 seconds before the next presenter is up. NOTE: Only one presenter per Pecha Kucha proposal. The lightning talk presentation style is similar in nature. The linked guide on how to prepare a lightning talk offers good advice for the Pecha Kucha presenter.
  • Conference session: 75 minutes. You determine the appropriate format, degree of audience interaction and approach to questions and answers. We're selecting innovative topics that offer a measure of transferability - how might your audience members recycle or reframe your project in their own communities?
  • Other: Have a session in mind that doesn’t fit the mold? We’re interested in hearing about it.

Preference will be given to new, innovative, creative, untraditional, and other ventures that people called crazy until they worked. Experiments-in-progress will also be considered.

The primary contact on the proposal will be notified that that the proposal has been received by December 7, 2007. The primary contact on the proposal will be notified if the proposal has been accepted by January 30, 2008.

If your proposal is accepted, presenters (no more than four total) will be automatically pre-registered for the conference, and are required to confirm registration and pay costs in full by March 3, 2008. Note: Failure to pay the registration fee will result in the cancellation of your presentation and conference registration. All presenters are responsible for paying their own travel and lodging expenses.

Selected papers from the LOEX of the West 2008 conference may be published in Reference Services Review.

If you have any questions about proposal submissions, please contact Priscilla Finley at priscilla.finley@unlv.edu

For general conference information, please consult the LOTW08 website (http://www.library.unlv.edu/conferences/loexw/) or contact Diane VanderPol at dvanderpol@westminstercollege.edu