Two thumbs up to my first Unconference! Library Camp Kansas was a great experience, and I feel a lovely sense of professional (re)invigoration. I am feeling a little under the weather this week and so not up to my usual exhaustive recap ;-) … but wanted to share a few highlights.
Being an Unconference, we didn’t determine the topics for discussion until the morning of — and, little surprise here, the topics trended towards the techie — Google +, what’s going to happen with ebooks, augmented reality & QR codes, mobile reference, etc. There were also a sprinkling of sessions on advocacy and (my fav topic ever) library programs show & tell.
I think it’s neat, and telling, that a fluid format like the unconference drew a lot of creative and tech savvy types, more so than I’ve perhaps seen at other recent librarian gatherings. I saw a lot of iPads! And smartphones, and a very active #libcampks11 twitter feed. And yes — even more important than the toys & gadgets — lots of great ideas & energy.
Among my fav. tools & ideas shared on Friday:
- Shuu.sh, a tool for turning down the whitenoise in your twitter feed, via Michael Sauers
- Gimlet for tracking reference Q&A, via Megan Schulz
- Scoop.it,which is a curation tool for students that reminds me a little of Tumblr, via Buffy Hamilton
- Contra Costa County Library’s Snap & Go for using QR codes to give away free ebooks on public transportation
- Augmented Reality in libraries as described by Jessamyn West in her hot librarian fantasy
- Using MTV as library outreach programming, via Heather Braum’s blog
My favorite discussion of the day might have been the last on mobile reference. I shared a few examples from Lawrence Public Library’s social media team, where we sometimes offer guerrilla-style twitter reference, tweeting reading recommendations, catalog links, and database suggestions to tweeters with random, “hey, I wonder…” style tweets; we also heard some fun stories from librarians who’ve used iPads and smartphones to “blow up” the reference desk.
Looking forward to next year’s Library Camp — thanks again to the fabulous organizers for a job well done, and their MANY great online resources housed in the Library Camp KS wiki.