I recently decided to take a hiatus from the Library Society of the World. I’ve got a lot going on in my personal life (that I don’t really feel like talking about here) (but in case anyone’s worried, let me reassure you, it’s good stuff, not bad), plus a lot going on at work, and the LSW was starting to feel like work, not play. So, I decided to step back and take a break.
We’ll see how long that break actually lasts, though, because just after I declared my hiatus, the superhuman Laura Crossett took it upon herself to upgrade the LSW site to WordPress 3.0 and install BuddyPress. The LSW site is now a fully-functioning social site! You can create your own profile, send private messages to other members, create groups, post to the forums–it’s really awfully cool! I sincerely hope people take advantage of the site in the same way they’ve taken advantage of FriendFeed, the original LSW wiki, Twitter and Meebo–to make and build professional and personal connections. And since the new site is a lot more fun, I may come back from my hiatus sooner than I’d originally thought.
I’ve written before about what a fan I am of DC Comics’ Justice Society of America and I’ve made no secret that when I came up with the name and logo for the Library Society of the World, I was heavily influenced by superhero comics, especially the JSA. Right, so…
Last Friday night, the CW showed a two-hour Smallville “movie” (it was originally going to be two connected episodes but instead was broadcast as one two-hour episode), “Absolute Justice.” The episode featured Clark, Chloe and Oliver discovering a secret group of costumed superheroes, the Justice Society of America. It’s quite possibly my favorite episode of Smallville so far. Geoff Johns wrote the episode and he really groks the JSA. The Justice Society wasn’t just portrayed as a team of superheroes, it was stressed that the team members considered each other friends and family. They didn’t just fight crime together, they socialized and celebrated together. They included their spouses and children. They considered the younger generation their students and heirs.
That’s one of the driving forces behind the Library Society of the World and, I think, the biggest reason why people continue to involve themselves in the LSW. We’re not just professional library associates, we’re friends and family. We don’t just work together, we play together. We learn from each other, we support each other, professionally and personally. We’re not a league, we’re not a professional association, we’re a society.
“Absolute Justice” has stuck with me in a way few TV show episodes do. In part because it hit a lot of my superhero fanboy buttons. But more importantly because it struck a chord regarding the Library Society of the World.
My fellow Library Society of the Word carping nerdboy Steve Lawson has done a wonderful thing. He took an offhand joke I made about an award given out by the LSW and turned it into a real thing: the Library Society of the World Shovers and Makers Award. How do you win an award? You nominate yourself! And so I have. I’ve also added an LSW S&M badge to this blog, which you can see in the sidebar.
Are you a shover and maker in the library world? Than give yourself an award!
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.
In just a little over a month, the second Library Camp Kansas unconference will take place. Last year’s was such a success, I’m really looking forward to this year’s unconference.
It’s going to be in Manhattan again (that’s Kansas, not New York, dig?) at the Hale Library. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s educational. So, if you’re a library employee in Kansas (or heck, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado or Oklahoma, if you can drag yourself here), sign up and come join us for loosely-structured learning! What are you waiting for, an invitation? Oh, OK, fine.
The drive to and from Denver was long, but not as boring as I thought it would be. Western Kansas is flat as all get out, but it’s still beautiful to drive through. Denver itself is, from what I saw, a beautiful, vibrant city. The unconference was brilliant, and I’ve written about it on the LSW blog.
I had a great time hanging out with my library pals, but it’s good to be home.
I’m leaving this morning to drive to Denver, CO to attend the one-day unconferece Library Camp of the West. I’ll get to hang out with my friends Steve Lawson and Laura Crossett, as well as some other great library folks. This will also be my first time going across western Kansas and going to Colorado in 30 years. So, I’m pretty excited. Yeeee-hah!