The unLibrarian

I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them. ~Jane Austen

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Location: Michigan, United States

Yes, that is a tattoo, and yes, it is on my person.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Library Camp

So, yesterday I went to library camp at the AADL. This was my very first "unconference". A bunch of people got together with a broad topic to discuss. At the beginning of the unconference, every got together and created a schedule, including what topics they wanted to cover, then we all went on our merry way, choosing what session to go to, etc.

Theoretically, it was a discussion and not a lecture, but in some sessions, the moderator/discussion leader had to take a more active roll than other. Overall, although there were obviously people more knowledgeable of the given topic than others, it was still an environment of peers...everyone was given an opportunity to speak, and everyone's thoughts and ideas were discussed respectfully.

The topics chosen were:
A lot of times you couldn't tell when one session ended and another began. Because of this, I must admit that I'm not totally sure which sessions I ended up attending. Some room changes took place at times as well, adding to the confusion. I also didn't know what some of the session names meant. Low Hanging OPAC Fruit? I know the session was described at the morning meeting when the sessions were chosen, but by 2:30 in the afternoon, after a wonderful lunch at Raja Rani, I had NO idea what this session would cover.

The sessions that I think I attended were:
  • Bridging the Gap - Staff
  • Bridging the Gap - Patrons
  • Current Awareness on the Web
  • Web/Library 2.0 Tools
  • What Next?
The session I learned the most at were What Next?/Web/Library 2.0 Tools. This is an example of the transitionless sessions. I'm not sure where one ended and the other began, or if the other began at all! Part of this could have to do with the wonderful lunch, or sitting on the hardest chair in the world for several hours, but my coworker couldn't figure out the end/beginning either.

Some Cool Things Discussed:
I'm glad I went. The group was not made up of your normal librarian scarf wearing crowd. There were a lot of techies in jeans and whatnot. Was it fun? I wouldn't say fun... but as my coworker said, "This was the least boring conference I've ever been to".

I agree.

In the Bridging the Gap - Staff session, there were several individuals that worked for the systems department of an institution that I spend several (almost 10) years enslaved to. These people had started working there after I had left, so had no idea who I was. They were talking about how the staff at their library hate the Systems department, don't trust them, etc. I found myself getting very...defensive, even though I hadn't worked their for 1.5 years! It was funny. I didn't know that they knew that the staff didn't trust them...I guess they're more observant than I thought...


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