ACPL Library Camp 2008 Part 1 – Overview


This Tuesday I attended my first Library Camp at the Allen County Public Library. No, I am not a librarian, but my husband is the head of Technology at the ACPL and I have discovered through him that libraries can be very leading edge at using and incorporating the new Web 2.0 tools and at looking for new ways to connect with their patrons and to move their libraries into the 21st century. Web 2.0, Learning 2.0, Library 2.0, these are all concepts that many libraries have embraced.

Did you know that your library very well may have a presence in Second Life, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, IM, Flickr, YouTube, wikis, FriendFeed and more? Do a search in any of these tools on libraries and see what you find. Libraries, in my experience, are quietly paving the way for institutions to have a real 2.0 presence.

I had originally planned to do some examining of some of the ideas first, so I could provide some useful, additional information but then I realized that I would never get this post out if I waited until I had explored all of them. So what I will do now is give an overview of the library camp topics and discussions and go into depth on some of the ideas in future posts. After you see the agenda, topics, discussions and ideas, you will see why! So here is how my day went. If it seems a little scattered, it is because I was frantically scribbling on a handout and am trying to translate and organize what is essentially a completely covered paper, with writing between and around every line of print. So bear with me.

This post will be a general overview to what we did and how the day was divided up. Part 2 will contain specifics from the Pecha Kuchas and discussions and if that post gets too big, Part 3 will have the afternoon sessions and a wrapup observation.

ACPL Library Camp 2008 logo

ACPL Library Camp design was based on the Unconference model, with the addition of a guest speaker and Pecha Kucha presentations.

The event started at 8am (with continental breakfast beforehand) and lasted until 5pm when several people went down to J.K. O’Donnell’s, our local Irish Pub to continue visiting and discussing.

From 8-9am, David Lee King, the featured speaker, gave a wonderful and thought-provoking presentation Managing the Digital Branch. Here is his post re: Library Camp which includes links to his presentations and to some of the other library camp resources such as the wiki that was set up for Library Camp. Here is the ACPL Library Camp on FriendFeed.

And here is a link to the ACPL Library Camp 2008 twitter feed. This was used in a very interesting way as it was being displayed on a large screen at the front of the auditorium and updated as the event proceeded. That provided an interesting mix of information on the proceedings and “backchannel” talk amongst the participants and observers. I can see this being used more and more often as the idea proliferates.

Everyone had been asked to bring 13 (I think it was) business cards with them and after David’s talk, there was a 2 minute card exchange where everyone was to meet and pass out their business cards to each other and to get to know new people. I really liked this idea and it worked really well. People got up, mingled, met, made contacts and just generally interacted with each other. I don’t have “business cards” as I am basically retired, but I really wish I would have made up some cards with my Clear Blue Dei site and my personal information on them. I got one “personal card” from someone with their own personal blog site on it and I am definitely going to go take a look. Perhaps a sign-up sheet (or site) where people could add their blogs would be nice as I always enjoy finding and read people’s blogs. I think I would even do this twice, once at the beginning and once later in the day after people got a chance to discuss and share ideas.

Then it was time for the Pecha Kucha presentations. In a nutshell, the idea behind Pecha Kucha is to keep presentations concise, the interest level up and to have many presenters sharing their ideas within the course of one day/period. Therefore the 20×20 Pecha Kucha format was created: each presenter is allowed a slideshow of 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds. This results in a total presentation time of 6 minutes 40 seconds on a stage before the next presenter is up. There were several presentations during the Pecha Kucha session, which I will list and go into in more detail in Part 2. For now, I’ll just say that this was a highly successful and invigorating format and one I think people should consider trying at their next meeting, conference, staff day or event.

Then David Lee King presented his next talk called Climbing out of the Box: Mashing up our Community.
As part of this presentation, David had everyone divide into groups of 4 or 5 and gave us 10 minutes for each group to come up with an idea of a way to reach out to the community. Again, an extremely successful session with many new and innovative ideas in just 10 minutes. See Part 2 of my Library Camp posts for the ideas and discussions.

Following this, we continued the Unconference model (An unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose) by having the participants discuss what ideas they would like to meet and discuss and an ad-hoc agenda for the afternoon was designed by the group for afternoon. There were 3 sets of 1 hour sessions, 2 per hour (in meeting rooms A and C). A facilitator from the group was designated for each session.

Everyone went to lunch after David’s presentation at various places in town (we went to Munchie’s Emporium, aka Mad Anthony’s for microbrew and good food and conversation) and then we all met back, picked up the afternoon agenda and made our choices as to which sessions we wanted to attend.

Kay Gregg (ACPL videographer and Sean’s cohort in crime for all the creative YouTube videos, etc), Sean Robinson (Head of ACPL and my husband) and David Lee King split off to videotape a Conversation with David Lee King, one of the ongoing series of “Conversation” youtube series that they are creating. This should be coming out in about a month, stay tuned.

I attended some of the sessions but had to leave so I missed the wrap-up session 4:30-5pm, but I heard that Sean did a great job wrapping up and that he put people on the spot, asking them “what one idea from this camp do YOU plan to do?” I’m sure that was interesting… :) From some of the buzz I’ve heard afterward, people really enjoyed the Library Camp and found it invigorating and inspiring. I know I did!

Stay tuned for Part 2 and Enjoy!

~Susan Mellott

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