Yet again another amazing experience at Library Camp. This is the third national Library Camp that I have attended and each time I have come home full of enthusiasm and hope for the profession, re-energised and glad to be a librarian. Each time is different, with people coming up with a huge variety of subjects to discuss. This morning the first session started with two children's stories and we swapped suggestions for good stories to read aloud at story-times. We talked about using picture books to help older but less secure readers to enjoy and practice their reading skills. We also thought about the stories that help children with emotional literacy. It was a session that could have gone on for hours.
I was facilitating the next one, and I wanted to publicise that open access repositories are a source of available information and data that anyone can read and use. As it turned out the people who came to the session were well aware of repositories and it turned into an interesting and illuminating discussion about getting the information onto repositories in the first place and the problems associated with young researchers wanting to make their work open, but there eventually being and establishment barrier that prevents it happening.
Lunch was great, provided mainly by the un-delegates (well, if it and un-conference than we must be un-delegates!) This year, "Cake camp" was accompanied by "Snack camp" , with savory items. I took along some home baked Pizza. I think that the concept of pizza always tasting better the morning after must be totally true. I baked the Pizza last night and by the time I got to the snack table, it had all vanished! After lunch I attended a session about digitisation because I wanted to find out more about the process and how hard or easy it is. Once again we had an in-depth conversation not merely about the process, but the consequences of putting work and images on line, and the problems of machines trying to convert characters into text.
I then diverted slightly by going to the session about the future of Cilip, and managed to say a lot of stuff, which I thought was thought provoking and interesting but seemed to give the impression that I had a negative attitude. Maybe I should have kept quiet. One phrase stayed with me, from one of the other un-delegates: "Industry Standard", and I think that Cilip as a relatively young incarnation of two older old organisations, is still trying to work out the clear cut, modern, professional weight that it should have. Finally, I went to the last session to listen, and find out about what open source software there is that can deal with library stuff, and learnt about various programmes, software and devises. There is also a rather wonderful device called Library box, which is like a portable server which you can load up with all sorts of wonderful e-documents and take it around with you for other people to access, like WiFi.
I do have two regrets, once again there were clashes of sessions going on, especially at the same time as I was doing mine, and I missed some topics that I would have loved to have attended. The other was that this year's Library Camp was in the brand new shiney Library of Birmingham, and I was so intent on the sessions and networking that I didn't get a chance to have a good look around it, or take any photos. I am a big fan of Library Camp, and the Un-conference style, it really demonstrates the intelligence, enthusiasm and range of people who work in all sorts of library sectors. Can I book for Library Camp 2014 now?