Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Day at Camp

Yesterday, we both got to attend the Library Camp of the West (LCOW). This was my first chance to participate in an unconference and it didn't disappoint. Aside from the low cost (the price of lunch and for those who needed it, a few bucks for parking), I love the idea of the attendees choosing the topics and having full participation. There was very little "presenting" going on from what I heard and saw. More often the breakout sessions were open discussions of the chosen topic. Just like any conference, there were some tough choices to make. With only 3 session times and 5-7 different topics per session, I couldn't make it to all the sessions that sounded interesting. Maybe they should have added the use of Time Turners to the Impractical, Unfeasable, Unfundable Ideas session.

I ended up going to Social Networking for Professional Development, Reader's Advisory, and Library 2.0. While I got something out of each session, but the Reader's Advisory session really highlighted for me what an unconference is all about. The group of approximately 15 librarians, administrators, and library school students discussed the need to get together and talk about practical advisory methods and ideas. And they actually came up with a possible solution. If all goes as planned, there will be a new group to share reader's, viewer's and listener's advisory tips and tricks. We plan regular in-person get-togethers and an online forum to build the communication between members. I'll update as things develop.

Still, the best thing about LCOW was the chance to meet others who have a passion for this profession. Hopefully next time there will be a little more networking time, so I can get to know even more great people.

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