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Open Shelf: Unconference Issue

Call for submissions: July unconference issue

Open Shelf is proud to announce that our upcoming July issue will have a special theme: The Open Shelf Unconference Issue!

For those unfamiliar with the term, an “unconference” is a conference without the planning or pre-defined topics associated with a regular conference. The content of an unconference is participant-led and organized, allowing for innovative and engaging discussion and dynamic topics which are dictated by participants’ interests at any given moment.

How will this work in a published magazine, you may ask? 

In the spirit of empowering participants and attendees to determine the contents of an unconference, the Open Shelf editorial team has opted to avoid dictating the governing theme or topic of our Unconference issue. Instead, we are encouraging all of our contributors to propose topics that they are passionate about (no matter how niche or all-encompassing) and to think outside the box when it comes to the way that they contribute to this upcoming issue. 

We welcome traditional written submissions, but would also strongly encourage:

  • Video and audio recordings of “unconference speakers”
  • Transcribed or recorded conversations
  • Visual objects, such as drawings, paintings or graphics
  • Recorded or scheduled “workshops” over video call software
  • And any other creative or unique form of sharing your passion and interest as it relates to libraries and the librarian profession.

The editorial team is also interested in organizing and moderating a discussion panel, similar in format to the two successful ones we hosted last year in March, April and June. Because an unconference is intended to be participant driven, the topic of this discussion panel will be decided upon by interested participants collaboratively (and in partnership with Open Shelf editors), and will be announced in next month’s issue. While this discussion panel can deal with a binary issue such as our previous ones, it does not need to. Our goal is to create a space for critical discussion of a topic or issue that is of interest to librarians across Ontario.

We encourage anyone interested in contributing to this exciting upcoming issue, or in participating in our panel discussion, to contact us at

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