I had the best time at the Bridging Worlds conference. The speakers were excellent and gave a worldwide perspective. The food and venue was fantastic. The small number of participants – around 250 - made it easy to navigate and access. The backchannel and “unconference” elements of it – twitter, chatting in the breaks and general playfulness of a few delegates – made it the best conference I have ever attended.
The sessions were all videod and most presenters wrote a full paper to accompany their session. These will be available soon – keep watching the Bridging Worlds blog. You can also view the slide sets, collated at slideshare.net: BridgingWorlds 2008 .
Here are some ideas I came home with:
- We need to share – our data and our co-operative efforts.
- Standards – data storage, web application, metadata – are vitally important to our work. We need to know what applies in our area and work to ensure they are developed sensibly and used well.
- 3. The GLAM sector – Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums – is converging. Libraries play an essential role in preserving, collating and providing access to these collections.
- 4. We can stop debating and trying to find definitions of Library 2.0 now. A participative, user-focused, web-enabled, Open and Transparent library can exist; whatever we want to call it. It does exist in places and we need the technical and visionary skills to facilitate it if our profession can survive.
- 5. The physical library can be a Third Place- somewhere that is not home, not work, but a gathering place where citizens feel pride of ownership and “at home”.
- 6. The online library is often a Second Place. Users come to our resources after they have first tried google, and they need more depth or organisation..
- 7. Not everyone is using Web 2.0 tools – it varies a lot within library staff and library user populations.
- 8. Unintended consequences often happen when we use Web 2.0 tools – many of them full of benefits for which we did not plan.
- 9. Digital preservation is an essential service to our community. Sometimes it is easier and cheaper in staff time to just save everything in a domain, rather than be selective.
- 10. True leaders of libraries are humble, down to earth and have grasped the implications of global and technological changes. (Naming names – Penny Carnaby (National Library of New Zealand) and Dr N Varaprasad (National Library Board Singapore) – both extremely impressive and very human and nice).
- 11. Sometimes the best move is for the librarian to step back and allow users to interact with our data and each other via widgets and re-purposed library spaces.
- 12. What practical means are we taking to ensure that if google, flickr or youtube collapsed tomorrow our archives and services are isolated from this?
- 13. A quote from Peter Godwin’s Information Literacy and Web 2.0: is it just hype presentation: “We want to change their habits rather than just develop their skills”.
- Play can be incorporated to enhance a serious enterprises, like the SMARTlab‘s style of teaching PhD students (including a facility shaped like a pirate ship) or a conference presentation where you aim to mention as many animal legs as possible and SMASH the competition. (Oh Hai Cindi, Brian and Liddy).
- Lots of world-class speakers would be happy to come to Australia and just need an invitation to do so…
There was much more, I am sure…but after going non-stop for four days – including walking Little India, the Night Safari, shopping at Mustafa, buying rather too much Lego for the kids, drinking cocktails at The Raffles two nights in a row, and a three hour wallow in the kitch splendour that is Tiger Balm Gardens – I’m going to catch up on some sleep.
I’ll leave you with some images of Tiger Balm Gardens from my set of 60 photos, including a set of the Ten Courts of Hell. Check out what happens in the afterlife if you deface books.