What is Online Northwest?
Online Northwest is a conference focusing on the use of technology within libraries. It was created by the Oregon University System Library Council to help librarians around Oregon learn how to use early online searching tools. As information technology and librarians have increased in sophistication over the years, so has the conference. The conference is held in late January or early February.
Online Northwest has evolved as a forum to discuss technical, social, and policy issues associated with information technology. Online Northwest regularly attracts information professionals from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and northern California. The bulk of attendees typically work in academic, public, or school libraries. However, a significant number of corporate librarians and a few systems people usually attend meetings.
Attendance is capped at between 200-225 participants.
Who Organizes Online Northwest?
Each Oregon University System institutionEastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, and Oregon Health Sciences Universitychooses a representative to serve on a committee that plans all aspects of Online Northwest.
How is the Program Determined?
Each year, the organizing committee meets to decide which topics will be covered at the conference the following year. Once the conference topics are identified, a few speakers are invited to speak on particular topics and a call for presentations is issued. Because of time, space, and programming requirements, Online Northwest is forced to reject a large number of proposals each year.
Where Does My Registration Fee Go?
The precise breakdown of how your registration dollar is spent will vary from one year to the next, however this graph demostrates roughly where that money goes:
These costs are largely a response to comments that people make on feedback forms at the end of the conference. Many people report that good food and good equipment are an important part of their experience at Online Northwest.
These things are arranged, but they come with a cost. Food is the most expensive item. About 2/3 of the food budget pays for lunch while the other 1/3 covers drinks and snacks available during breaks. The cost of renting computers and data projectors is high enough that it is not possible to provide hands on workshops without substantially raising costs for attendees.
Administrative and committee expenses are the way they are because of the costs associated with processing the many types of payment that Online Northwest accepts. Also, committee members are reimbursed for travel expenses to and from Online Northwest meetings.
Who Pays for Door Prizes?
The vendors do. Some prizes are donated by vendors while others are purchased with funds made available by vendors fees.