I would like to briefly highlight the importance of two different types of collaborative events, and the benefits they bring to the library and information profession.
Last month I attended Library Camp at Senate House library – #libcampldn. This was my third unconference experience – the first being at SLA 2011 in Philadelphia (the Legal Division ran an unconference session) and the second was Library Camp in Birmingham two years ago.
Sometimes at events there can be a certain sense of impending gloom, especially at the moment with the library world facing tough times. I was pleased to come away from the day feeling energised, content and felt I had learned quite a bit!
There have been numerous posts all over the place covering the nitty gritty of sessions (see the #libcampldn wiki for a collated list of them) so I won’t go into depth regarding anything I attended. Instead, I want to stick with a broad view about the importance of this kind of cross sector event in which anyone and everyone is encourage to contribute.
Libcampldn was open to all; library workers, information staff, knowledge workers – whatever you or your job title refers to you as. This meant views were challenged, and view points were put forward from people at all stages of their career providing a fresh outlook at the sector.
On the day though, I was surprised that I didn’t see a few more people from the “Corporate” world. There were some health librarians in attendance, and a few “unusual” library locations (librarians without libraries for instance), but the majority of attendees were from academic or public libraries. A lot of the conversation was therefore had a different approach to what is experienced in most events I go to. This was extremely refreshing, and an excellent way to reconnect to the wider profession and avoid ideas and viewpoints from becoming institutionalised! All you corporate librarians out there – we’re not so different to academic and public libraries, so come along to the next one!
2) CLSIG, BIALL and SLA Europe Graduate Open Day
My experience of the graduate open day was very different to the unconference – mainly because I was presenting, and sadly was unable to stay for the whole day. What I want to highlight from the event is the importance of seeing three professional organisations come together to put on a great day for recent graduates (or those interested in working in “special” libraries). I very much understand the problems in organising events between associations, but this was very worthwhile. If a rise in collaboration between organisations will be seen is something to watch – obviously there are a lot of challenges to overcome, but the open day is a great step forward.
The two events provide two types of collaboration – one at grass level with participants shaping and guiding the way, the other showing how organisational collaboration can run a great event. All in all, both are a reminder of what a great sector the information world is, and the excellent breadth of events out there.