Sunday, 27 October 2013

Library Camp Glasgow #libcampgla

Yesterday, Sat 26th Oct, I went to Library Camp in Glasgow at the Mitchell Library. It's an impressive building with an interesting history. I hadn't been there before and don't know much at all about Glasgow. Coincidentally I went in through the entrance to the old part then walked through to the more modern part.

I didn't take any notes or tweet very much at the time which is unusual for me. So this is just a brief summary of the day from my point of view and from memory.
The event was well organised with instructions on eventbrite and a wiki.
Nice goodie bag on arrival and brief outline of the day. As it was an unconference the content of sessions was not decided until people had pitched for the sessions.
The icebreaker was the bingo game when you have a sheet filled in with various attributes or experiences and you have to go round finding people who do or have done that thing. It's a tried and tested activity and works well to get people to circulate and introduce themselves.
There was an introduction by the organisers - Anabel Marsh, Myra Paterson, Lesley Thomson and Lynn Corrigan.

Then pitches for the sessions and some soapbox rants.
During the day I went to 3 sessions plus the tour of the Mitchell Library.
Sean McNamara (Cilips) led a session about what to do for National Libraries Day in February. Various ideas were discussed from collecting interesting stories from individuals about how libraries had made a difference to their lives to children's events and sleepovers to flash mobs?!?
There needs to be widespread awareness of the day and events in a joined up high profile way. It is difficult because you're probably either speaking to the converted ie people will visit libraries who already visit them or treading carefully as there are library closures. I think the important thing is to have a series of appealing events happening in order to attract people in and also make it easy and accessible.
Another session was led by Isabel Hood about End User Education. The discussion covered various points including the usual ones about how difficult it is to get students (& staff) to engage in inductions and information skills sessions and indeed staff to engage with training and CPD. If it's not mandatory, there has to be 'something in it for me' otherwise some people just won't participate. For students it's finding ways of making it relevant and available at the point of need. Building up relationships with students is important and getting recommendations and testimonials from staff and students.
After lunch I went on the tour of the library led by Myra Paterson. It was very interesting and I could have listened to her all day talking about the building and working there and how things have changed and developed over the years.
At the end of the tour we caught the end of a session led by Andrew McDougall (NLS) about youth employment in libraries and how to manage the staff demographic. I'll be interested to read write ups of this session and to find out what people think about it. It's important to get young people involved in working in libraries but there are only a limited amount of jobs and people tend to stay in the jobs they've got. My take on it is to get skills, qualifications and experience in related fields such as education and IT and move in and out of library related posts as and when the opportunities arise - but that's a personal view and for another post.
Finally there was a session led by Graeme Arnott and Ally Crockford about Wikimedia and being a wikimedian and the events that are happening to encourage people to take part. It was very interesting and I'm going to find out more about it and why and how etc. I usually just think of Wikipedia and that's it and people can edit it but nothing more than that really.
At the end of the day there was a brief summary if the sessions and prizes for the best rant and best badges. It was a great day and I enjoyed it.
I'll reflect over the next few days about unconferences, networking, libraries, CPD, sharing and collaborating etc. etc. and what it means to me.

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