Posts tagged ‘unconference’

May 2, 2013

Lib Camp London 2013

This is my reflection on the Lib Camp in London held at Senate House Library on Saturday 2nd March 2013.

Normally the idea of going to a conference fills me with the dread somehow the ‘unconference’ has a different draw. This being my second one and I knew to expect the unexpected. Basically it was an unstructured day of library professionals meeting together to share and discuss various issues relating to the library and information world. It was a great event for discovering the range of issues and areas of the libraries that would not be possible at other conferences.

Points I picked up from the talks

Hidden Collections
Session led by Katie Birkwood

  • RLUK Report highlights issues with cataloguing, collections not digitised may be ones users expect to see
  • Study days can be used to promote hidden collections and have input from stakeholders
  • Possibilities of using crowd sourcing technology
  • Suggested pilot project: catalogue a small number of items from collection and involve non special collection staff
  • Catalogue with input from users such as reviews, report errors, tags. However there may be the need to consider having tag controls
  • Talks and blogs can be good ways of explaining why material might be of interest to researchers
  • Catalogue search results can reveal the items in collections which reader are looking for but has not been catalogued
  • Arrange 1:1 sessions
  • Projects could involve museum and archives students who can discover the collections

What I learnt

  • Variety of issues with hidden collections
  • Lots of opportunities
  • Time and money are key issue

Radical Libraries
Session led by The Itinerant Poetry Librarian and Alice Corble

  • Alternative libraries brings to light the role of libraries and their purpose
  • Some examples of Radical Libraries
  • Street Books, USA

– Access to libraries provided to homeless people

– Mobile library on bike going to where the homeless people are. Provides books of interest. Follows up on progress of readers

– It was pointed out that San Francisco libraries employ social workers

  • Radical Reference

– On the street reference service at gatherings such as conventions
– Involved with the Occupy Movement
– Online presence people can ask questions and passed onto someone who knows

– Open Knowledge Foundation

  • A47 Truck Library

– Special Collection of Art to be opened and while waiting set up a mobile library in a truck.
– The mobile library can be opened up and even has a stage.

  • Mile High Reference Desk: Library on a plane

– Matches information to destination
– Online chat
– Provides reading material

  • Itinerant Poetry Library

– Special collection of lost or forgotten poetry

  • Fanzine Libraries
  • Montreal Alternative Libraries
  • Issues facing radical libraries

– Funding (Private, charity, HLF)

– Public library model
– Volunteers
– Special collections
– Community led
– Political agenda
– Self appointed librarians
– Self defining
– Mixture of professional and non-professionals
– Collaborate with other organisations such as art which do outreach projects.

What I learnt

  • How radical libraries serve the public

Cycling for libraries
Session led by Graham Seaman

  • Information about ‘Cycling for Libraries’ Tour which this year is in the Netherlands
  • Proposal to start ‘Cycling for libraries UK’

What I learnt

  • Nice way of discovering libraries and raising their profile.

Swearing in libraries
Session led by Richard Veevers

  • Discussion opened with consideration of the linguistic and historic origins of swear words
  • Understanding of swearing and the intention could help with assessing a situation

What I learnt

  • Need to have an understanding and awareness of people

Librarians and personalities types
Session led by Rosie Hare and Andrew Preater

  • Consideration for what personalities are associated with a librarians.
  • Think about the different professional roles in libraries and how personalities suited certain roles.
  • Thought about the differences between introverts and extroverts

What I learnt


  • Surprised at how many extroverts are drawn to the profession
  • People make adjustments for the their colleagues personalities in order to make it easier to get the job done.
  • There are many contradictions of the stereotypes of librarians.
  • Some of the stereotypes are positive and depends entirely on the situation.