Each year hundreds of librarians, vendors, and publishers make a pilgrimage to the Holy City. They are not headed to the Mediterranean, but to the southeast coast of the U S — to Charleston, SC.
The Charleston Conference is an informal annual gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials in Charleston, SC, in November, to discuss issues of importance to them all. It is designed to be a collegial gathering of individuals from different areas who discuss the same issues in a non-threatening, friendly, and highly informal environment. Presidents of companies discuss and debate with library directors, acquisitions librarians, reference librarians, serials librarians, collection development librarians, and many, many others. Begun in 1980, the Charleston Conference has grown from 20 participants in 1980 to thousands in 2021.
Due to the amount of growth we have experienced, the Conference was held in two hotels for the first time in 2005: the Francis Marion and the Embassy Suites, both in downtown Charleston. We are now in three hotels (the Francis Marion, the Embassy Suites Historic, and the Courtyard Marriott Historic) plus the brand new Gaillard Center Charleston!
The Conference does not have exhibits and is not attached to any professional organization, although a separately managed Vendor Showcase and Juried Product Development Forums take place at the Conference.
Can librarians and vendors create a mutually satisfying environment where libraries can afford to buy the materials they need and vendors can still maintain a healthy profit? Can publishers keep prices down while costs escalate? How is the market being impacted by the Internet and electronic publishing? What are the rights and responsibilities of each of the parties involved? Who is maintaining the electronic archive?
From the librarian of a small library to the CEO of a major corporation, they all stand and make their voices heard. The tone is casual, the talk irreverent, and the answers are far from simple. But together, we can find solutions.
Here is what some librarians have said about the Charleston Conference —
“The best library gathering around. I look forward to it.”
“The Charleston Conference is an incredibly stimulating venue. I am tired afterwards, but get so many great ideas, network with my colleagues, and learn what is going on. I recommend it highly.”
“Charleston is the only conference that is worth attending.”
NOVEMBER 1, 2022
NOVEMBER 1, 2022
NOVEMBER 2 – 4, 2022
Press Release: 2022 Charleston Conference Plenary Videos Now Openly Available
The Charleston Hub is excited to announce that the Plenary Session videos from this year’s Charleston Library Conference are now available on our YouTube channel. The 2022 conference was a fantastic gathering of in person and virtual speakers from across the fields of librarianship and publishing. These plenary sessions were highlights from a week of powerful presentations and great discussions.
Come Back Next Year
Sunrise on Long Beach Island, NJ (photo by Donald T. Hawkins) The photo above is appropriate for the final posting of this year's blog. It shows sunrise, not sunset, because it provides an optimistic view of future Charleston Conference. Everyone agreed that this...
Closing session and Poll-A-Palooza
The closing session is always entertaining. Derek Law, Emeritus Professor, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland summed up the conference. He noted how thoughtful the organizers have been. During the COVID lockdown he spent time dreaming of Charleston, studying...
Conference Attendance Data
I thank Leah Hinds, Executive Director of the conference for giving these slides to me.
long arm of the Law
This highly popular session, now in its 13th year, followed its previous format: a rendition of The Long Arm of the Law, followed by 2 presentations that were moderated by Anne Okerson, Senior Advisor on Electronic Strategies for the Center for Research Libraries....