This One Time, at Library Camp…

Yesterday was the second Library Camp Kansas. We had a slightly smaller turnout than we did last year, but everyone was just as enthusiastic and engaged, and we tweaked the format a little–for the better. And while we had attendees from out of state, just as we did last year, we also had an international attendee: my Australian friend Kathryn Greenhill, who is ferociously smart and adorably energetic.

Last year, we had three breakout session, one of them being lunch. This year, we left lunch as just lunch, and had one breakout session before lunch and two sessions after. Before the first breakout session, we had a session of “lightning talks,” where attendees could come up and talk, in 5 minutes or less, about a particular computer app or website that they really liked. The lightning talks proved to be a great icebreaker, a great way to get people talking and sharing. People liked them so much, they said they want two sessions of lightning talks next year.

The breakout sessions I attended were really good. The conversations could have gone on and on. A lot of different perspectives were shared, and I learned a lot. There was one session I was supposed to moderate, but nobody showed up for it. My feelings weren’t hurt at all, though. I spent the time chatting with my pal Bobbi Newman.

Once again, I came away feeling that I get more out of unconferences than I do from formal conferences. (Although I didn’t get an ugly totebag. Is that better or worse? You make the call.) I’m really looking forward to next year’s Library Camp Kansas.