Join the Fast Pitch Competition at the 2016 Charleston Conference

The new Fast Pitch Competition at the 2016 Charleston Conference is inviting proposals that pitch a winning idea to improve service at an academic or research library.  The proposal should describe a project or venture that is innovative, useful, and better or different than what has been done in the past or is being done currentlyThe Charleston Conference, now in its 36th year, is designed to bring together librarians, publishers, and vendors to discuss issues of importance to them all. Katina Strauch, Founder and Convener of the Charleston Conference says, “The Fast Pitch Competition fits into our philosophy of giving a platform to new voices, with the added benefit of a community vote of confidence and seed money for their new ventures.”

Conference registrants with unique and implementable ideas for change and improvement at their library are encouraged to submit a proposal to present at the Fast Pitch Session.  The proposals should describe the project in fewer than 1,000 words.  The proposal deadline is September 23, 2016, with finalists notified by October 10, 2016.  Selected proposers will have five minutes to pitch their idea before a Charleston Conference audience and a panel of judges who will determine the finalists. The Goodall Family Charitable Foundation will sponsor two $2,500 awards for the finalists.

The Goodall Foundation is an independent family foundation that focuses on making grants to support educational endeavors.  When asked why the Goodall Family Foundation is sponsoring the Fast Pitch Competition, Steve Goodall, Founder and President responded, “Academic libraries are at a dramatically new frontier based on all of the advances in information technology.  Given this, we want to hear from proactive librarians who are creating change and shaping the future.  The award being sponsored is to encourage librarians to develop innovative ways of meeting user information needs in better ways than in the past.  By holding the Fast Pitch Competition, we intend to showcase the best and brightest new ideas in library information management.”

Ann Okerson, Senior Advisor at the Center for Research Libraries and one of the creators of Fast Pitch commented. “Since 1980, the Charleston Conference has been known for innovating new ideas and formats.  This time, aiming to encourage attendees to think like startups (or upstarts!), we’re experimenting with a Shark Tank-like session for a blend of creativity plus fun.  If you were just inventing your library, what cool, out-of-the-box things would you think of doing?  That’s the Charleston Challenge in 2016!”

The 36th Annual Charleston Conference meets on November 3-5, 2016.  The Fast Pitch Competition will be on the morning of Friday, November 4.  Finalists must be registered for the conference.  Review the Fast Pitch Proposal Guidelines and application at the Charleston Conference website.  Email [email protected] with questions.

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