ALN Conference 2024

Academic Libraries North Conference 2024

Generative AI and Emerging Technologies

#ALN24

Online on 12th June (via Teams) and in-person on 5th July 2024 (St. George’s Centre, Leeds) 

 

Registration

Bookings are now open - for more details and to book, please see our Eventbrite page.

Context

With the increasing ubiquity of emerging technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing or generative AI into the tools we use everyday, it is time to consider how this will affect our day-to-day work. As these tools become embedded into search, collection development, research, writing and more we need to think about how we should be educating ourselves and our users about them. How do these emerging technologies impact ethics, information literacy instruction, or research to name but a few? How should libraries adapt to these challenges? What initiatives and discussions could (need) to be put in place to forecast shifts in ways of working and prepare staff for novel ways of working that embed these emerging technologies? This event recognises the breadth of activities and tools that are covered by the umbrella term of emerging technologies as well as the early stage at which some of our work and initiatives might be.  

For the full call for papers including details of possible themes, and types of contribution click here

Please note: Ticket prices for presenters will be £30 (online), £75 (for both days, in-person and online) for ALN members and £45 (online), £110 (for both days, in-person and online) for non-ALN members. There is no separate ticket for in-person only, in effect, in-person attendees get a "free" space for the online day.
 

Sponsored Places

We are offering five sponsored places at this year’s conference. Sponsored places are available for both presenters and delegates and will cover attendance on both days and up to £75 contribution towards reasonable travel costs to Leeds. Additional support may be available if required - please contact us to discuss if this is the case for your needs. 

Criteria for applicants

  • Work in an ALN institution or be studying in the North of England for a relevant qualification. 
  • We would like to invite underrepresented population groups in the library community, and those who may otherwise have experienced barriers to attending to apply for a sponsored place. These may include (but are not limited to) those who identify as LGBTQIA+, those from Global Majority and UK Ethnic minority backgrounds, those with disabilities, those who are neurodivergent, students studying an information management/librarianship qualification or newly qualified professionals. 
  • The recipients of the sponsored places will be expected to produce a personal output within four weeks. This could be contributing to social media during the conference, producing a blog/vlog post summarising the sessions attended or another creative way of showcasing their experience that can be published on the ALN website. 

For more information and how to apply, please see the information here.
 

Keynote speakers

Our keynote speakers for the two days are:

  • Sue Attewell, Head of AI and co-design at Jisc will discuss Generative AI: the impact on education
    In this era of Everyday AI, we are at the beginning of a transformative period where the seamless integration of generative AI into our daily lives has become an indispensable component. This fusion of AI with our daily tools has become a tangible reality with profound implications for our work and learning environments. This keynote will delve into the transformative impact of AI technologies on education, particularly focusing on the ethical, information literacy, and educational evolution aspects necessary for adapting to these changes. By highlighting Jisc's proactive strategies, including pilots, events, information sharing, and community engagement, we'll explore how the UK's education sector is navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by AI. The keynote aims to address how education can adapt to technological changes. By sharing insights from Jisc's initiatives and the broader challenges and opportunities presented by AI, the talk will encourage a dialogue on preparing for future shifts in work practices and the importance of continuous learning and adaptation.
  • Ciaran Talbot, Associate Director for the Directorate of AI and Ideas Adoption at the University of Manchester will discuss Surfing the wave: positioning the academic library for our next era

    It is an incredible time to work in an academic library. Successive waves of change are breaking across our institutions, with many more on the horizon. Most recently the commoditisation and accessibility of Generative AI. There will be many more of these waves in the coming years. With continuous change in mind, the way we talk about and position the academic library is of increasing importance in an age of AI and emerging technology. We will explore some of the conversations and ideas around the spaces our libraries reach into and the opportunities and challenges of this. And how, at the University of Manchester Library, we have tried to take a leading role within our institution so we might better design our own future. We will look at some of the approaches taken at the University of Manchester Library in the consideration and application of AI. Highlighting opportunities for partnerships and collaboration, as we strongly believe we must be outward-looking in the objectives we set and in the actions we take. As people who care and think a lot about what we do, our goal must be to embrace, and skilfully surf these waves. And ultimately, understand, tackle and shape them if we possibly can.
     

Why should you attend the conference?

Online: 

  • Hear the latest developments on the generative AI and emerging technologies from people working in similar settings as yourself
  • Learn from a leading sector relevant expert in AI and emerging technology in the Keynote talk
  • Increase awareness of who else is working on similar issues and solutions in your field

In-person:

  • The same as online, plus...
  • Network with other library and information professionals in a central Leeds venue
  • Benefit from interactive workshops and discussions with colleagues from other institutions 
  • Meet a range of supplier representatives 
     

Call for Papers 

Our call for papers closed on 24th March 2024. Thanks to everyone who has submitted a proposal. Our team will be reviewing them shortly, after which time, we'll be in touch to discuss your submission. 
 

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