Library unconferences and formal conferences work on different models and each have their strengths and weaknesses.
Library unconferences are superior to traditional conferences in at least two ways:
1. Currency of issues. If something important to libraryland happened that day, that hour, it would be discussed immediately.
2. Real contact and sharing by librarians across sectors. In many unconference sessions, participants just talk about the topic and everyone is encouraged to have their say. It’s different to formal conferences where during the breaks in formal sessions, librarians generally talk to those from very similar sectors or people they already know.
Here’s three recent library unconference wikis…
1. Library camp @ Syracuse. 4-5 March 2008. This was held for librarians in Upstate New York. Other materials from the day can be found by searching tag: unyunc .
The second day of the camp was a Collection Development Conference. The final unconference programme was:
|9:45 – 10:45 a.m||Metadata and cataloging|
|11:00 a.m. – 12 noon||Public 2.0|
|1:00 – 2:00 p.m.||Connecting users to resources|
|2:15 – 3:15 p.m.||Next generation catalogs|
Room: Pioneer II
|9:45 – 10:45 a.m||2.0 show and tell|
|11:00 a.m. – 12 noon||Open source|
|1:00 – 2:00 p.m.||Social networking|
|2:15 – 3:15 p.m.||Implementing and using technology|
Room: Pioneer III
|9:45 – 10:45 a.m||Security and privacy|
|11:00 a.m. – 12 noon||Funding|
|1:00 – 2:00 p.m.||Assessment|
|2:15 – 3:15 p.m.||Customer service|
|9:45 – 10:45 a.m||Keeping up/training|
|11:00 a.m. – 12 noon||Effecting change|
|1:00 – 2:00 p.m.||Balancing the new and the old|
|2:15 – 3:15 p.m.||Untapped opportunities|
2. Library Camp Kansas finished about two hours ago. Other materials from the day can be found by searching tag: libcampks08 .
The final conference schedule includes very interesting notes of the topics raised that were then condensed into the final sessions:
11 am to Noon – Session One
- Staff training – lead by Lisa
- Outreach/Marketing – lead by Sarah
- Cheap & Free Tech – lead by Michael
- 2.0 Topics – lead by Dale
- Customer Service – lead by Rhonda
- Library as Place – lead by Jeff
- Library instruction for Patrons – lead by Jill
Noon to 1:30 – Lunch Session Two
- Green Libraries – lead by Jennifer
- 2.0 Topics – lead by Royce
- Staff training – lead by Danielle
- Creative Commons – lead by Michael
- Programming – lead by Rhonna
1:30 to 2:30 – Session Three
- Library Catalogs – lead by Josh
- Library as Place – lead by Kim
- Outreach & Programming – lead by Rhondalyn
- Mentoring – lead by Nikhat
- Future of Reference – lead by Danielle
- Gaming – lead by Royce
- 2.0 – lead by David
During a twitter conversation, Jill Hurst Wall, who was involved in the Syracuse camp, suggested that we put our heads together to share what we’ve learned from organising previous unconferences.
I quickly whacked up a wiki for it, which is yet to be populated. It includes topics like:
We had a lot of fun with the Western Australian Library 2.0 on the Loose Unconference last August. Maybe it’s time to start planning another one….the last one was done in six weeks without any face to face meetings.
Interested? Leave a comment or email me: sirexkat at the gmail dot com place .