Live! From Manhattan!

It’s Library Camp Kansas!

David Lee King took some video footage while at the unconference and put it together into a short video. Check it out! (I tried embedding it here, but it FUBARed my page.)

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Home from Camp

I’m home from Library Camp Kansas, my first unconference (and the first library unconference in Kansas). And how was it, you might ask? (If you wouldn’t ask that, you’re reading the wrong blog.)

It was even better than I’d hoped. It was fantastic. The sessions I attended (including one in which I led the discussion–because I was the one to suggest the discussion topic) were dynamic, educational and engaging. I had trouble getting my computer to access the free wifi…and I didn’t care, because I was so engaged in everyone and everything around me. At other conferences I’ve attended, I’ve had many moments–including during actual presentations–when all I’ve wanted was to get online to check my email and feeds. Not today. The whole day felt like the best times at formal conferences, inbetween the official presentations, when you hang out with a bunch of other library professionals and talk about the things that make you excited, enthusiastic, angry, frustrated. At the end wrap-up session, the comments heard were overwhelmingly positive, but also with lots of good, constructive criticism to learn from, and there was a majority declaration that this needs to be done again, possible even making it a yearly occurance. Best of all, the unconference was organized and executed by adhocracy and it worked brilliantly.

Two years ago, I expressed a wish for more DIY professional gatherings. It finally happened for me, and I loved it. This has been a very, very good day.

…On the Way to the Forum

In my other life in the world of tabletop role-playing games, I’ve been participating in online web forums for years. I’ve become a big fan of this form of asynchronous conversation, liking them much more than email lists or Usenet groups (even if they have approximately the same number of idiotic flamewars).

I love the Meebo chat room for the Library Society of the World, but I’ve been pretty busy at work and home lately, and I haven’t found the time to log in to chat as much as I used to. Now Tangler has appeared, a free web forum site, and I decided to try adding asynchronous conversation to the LSW mix (beyond the wiki, which is so-so for this kind of thing). I created a Library Society forum the other day and sent out some invitations, but it’s an open forum, so anyone can sign up and join in on the conversation. It’s definitely an experiment, and so far I haven’t seen an outpouring of posting on the forum. Past library forums I’ve seen haven’t really overflowed with conversation either, so maybe library folk just aren’t into forums that much (it seems to me their either heavily invested in email lists, which I pretty much detest, or stick with blogs, IMing and Twitter), but we’ll see how it goes. If it suits your fancy, go ahead and join in the forum. Add to the conversations and start your own topics.

Moving and Shaking in Kansas (& Elsewhere)

Congratulations to fellow Kansan David Lee King, who has been named as one of Library Journal‘s Movers and Shakers for 2008. David is doing amazing stuff at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (and inspiring others at the library to do amazing stuff), as well as blogging and speaking nationally about library progress. Thanks for representing Kansas progress in Libraryland, David!

Congratulations to all of the other 2008 Movers and Shakers, including the Lady of the Rebel Yell, Michelle Boule, New Jersey Transformer (more than meets the eye!) Peter Bromberg and LibraryThing mastermind Tim Spalding. Well done, all of you!

One Year In

It was one year ago today that I began working at the Johnson County Library. I blogged about my first day, saying it was “a very good day.” I’ve had many more good days since then, and it feels as if I’ve worked here for years–in the best possible sense. Sure, I have my frustrating days, my cranky days, days when I’d rather be somewhere else, doing something else. But all in all, after one year together, the attraction and support is still mutual and still going strong.

Reference Twits

Amy Kearns had an idea yesterday. I think it’s an interesting one.

What do you think of some sort of WORLDWIDE, 24/7, 365, volunteer, independent TWITBRARIAN or something like that (name can be something else)?

What I mean is – what I’m thinking is we are all on Twitter all (much) of the time. I know some of us are working – sometimes we’re not working – and I know it is also a source of “fun” and/or pleasure, socializing, etc., and not necessarily work, or a place we would want to end up getting work from…But – I can’t help but think of what an incredible social resource we are – all of us LIBRARIANS from all over the place on TWITTER…

Cindi Trainor has thought about it some more and put forward some good ideas (and possible pitfalls). I definitely think it’s an idea worth considering and brainstorming about. To that end, Amy has written more about her idea on the Library Society of the World wiki, created a wiki just for this idea, and reserved a couple of domain names (just in case). So let’s get crackin’!