Submitted by Nancy Bolt, ILEX Chair

ASCLA’s Independent Librarian’s Exchange (ILEX) will host exciting programs in New Orleans:  the last Assembling a Consulting Toolkit preconference; Consulting from Both Sides of the Fence: Why Libraries Hire Consultants and How Consultants Get Jobs, our Sunday morning program; Consultants Giving Back, a chance for a private, free, one-on-one with an experienced consultant; and an ILEX Forum, where new and not-so-new consultants can informally discuss any topic of interest to them.  Also in this article, learn about the new ALAConnect page for library consultants, chock full (soon) of helpful articles, power points, and tools for successful consulting.

 ILEX in New Orleans

Ilex will be sponsoring its last preconference on Assembling a Consulting Toolkit: What You Need to Know to Become a Successful Library Consultant.  This immensely successful all-day preconference has received glowing reviews from participants, many of whom have already received consulting contracts.  Experienced consultants (Sara Laughlin and myself) will again be teaching the workshop, complete with a notebook of useful handouts and worksheets to take home with you.  More information is on the ASCLA website at  This preconference is scheduled for Friday, June 24th from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in MCC 242.

The Sunday morning program is Consulting from Both Sides of the Fence: Why Libraries Hire Consultants and How Consultants Get Jobs scheduled for Sunday, June 26, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in MCC 339.  This program will focus on teams of a consultant and a client.  What was the client looking for when an RFP was issued?  Why did the consultant respond?  What did the consultant feel he/she could offer?  Why did the client hire this particular consultant over other possible consultants?  What worked and what were the challenges of the consultant/client experience and relationship?  This will be a truly informative program for consultants bidding on Requests for Proposals and there a lot out there now.

Consultant’s Giving Back was first held at the last annual conference and was successful enough to be repeated.  Consultants appreciate the work we receive from libraries and this is our chance to give back to the library community.  Librarians can request 30 minutes to an hour of free consultation with a consultant of their choice.  Consultants have set aside time on Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Hilton, Magnolia room.  Some consultants are also available outside that time frame.  A list of participating consultants will be available on the ILEX website soon (

ILEX will sponsor another forum for consultants to get together.  New and experienced consultants can bring their questions and experiences to this informal discussion forum. The discussion will begin with the topic of marketing and promotion by consultants, but can include many other topics.  At Midwinter we had a lively discussion that we hope to continue in New Orleans.   The ILEX Forum will be on Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the W Hotel in Studio 56 Room.

Finally, ILEX has opened a community page on ALAConnect.  All ASCLA ILEX members can visit ALAConnect for helpful tools on consulting.  We are asking ILEX members to populate this site with articles, papers, slides, etc., that they have written.  The first one up is a set of slides on Moving into Management that I prepared for a series of workshops I led.    Library consultants who work in a library may be interested in more management responsibilities or consultants may be interested in some of the research and other background materials that are included in the package.  ASCLA/ILEX members can go to this ALAConnect page for continuous information about consulting. If you are not now an ASCLA/ILEX member, by joining ASCLA  and ILEX, you automatically will have access to this wealth of information.  Membership information is also on the ASCLA website.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you in New Orleans.