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.

Camp on Purpose

I’ve been excited about the possibilities of unconferences and other nontraditional ways to gather professionally for a couple of years now. So when two of my more brilliant library pals said to me, “We need to have an unconference here in Kansas!”…well, I did a little dance, and then offered my assistance in getting it started.

Getting an unconference set up turned out to be bigger and more complicated than I thought it would. Luckily, there’s no shortage of whipsmart people here in Kansas, and thanks to the efforts of a whole lot of inspired, dedicated library folks, Library Camp Kansas is a real event! It will be this coming March 19th, 10 am-4 pm, in the Hale Library of Kansas State University. We’re going to have free wi-fi, some laptops for those who don’t have (or can’t bring) their own, and the potential for some outstanding conversations, discussions and debates.

I’m monumentally jazzed about this! If you’re in Kansas–or can get to Manhattan, KS on March 19th–and want to participate in the first Kansas library unconference, check out the official invitation to participate, get yourself registered online, and start adding to the wiki. This is going to be fantastic!