Sunday, November 23, 2008

UnConferencing in BrisVegas


Had a few nutty busy days there, and life was pretty jam-packed. But I've had a couple of days of down time and I'm fresh and ready to tell you about something REALLY cool that happened this week.

Some of you may know that BCCLS had the Shanachies visit this week. Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van der Geer of DOK, Delft Public Library in the Netherlands have for the past couple of years travelled around the world investigating library innovations and futures. Some of you may have been fortunate enough to come along and see the guys give their workshop on Friday morning, and I'm sure you'll agree that they are not only thought provoking and inspirational, but they're lots of fun too.

I was fortunate enough to go to the State Library of Queensland UnConference on Thursday, which was a really fantastic day. Erik and Jaap opened the day with a presentation on what they do which was lots of fun. After morning tea they had concurrent sessions on topics that the attendees nominated. The first I went to was one on gaming in libraries, chaired by Erik and Jaap who have done some cool things with gaming in Delft, like getting kids to create a library themed computer game called Dark Ink, Nintendo Wii tournaments with kids and the elderly, 24 hour LAN parties and they have created the most aweseome portable gaming unit that contains a Wii, an X-box and a Sony PlayStation as well as a big LCD tv, all in one box, with one plug and it's fully transportable and lockable.

After that, the next session was about engaging librarians and library staff in Web2.0, as well as extending that out to the entire organisation (ie councils or schools). We had just sat down in the training room at SLQ when Mary K from SLQ came in and said "Who had nominated a discussion topic that fits into this one?" I was sitting right by where she was standing so I owned up that I had, and she said "Thanks, you can chair the session then." Eeeep!

I was really pleased that I had Luke from CPL on one side of me, and Nataliya from BSQ on the other, so that I felt I had some BCC buddies with me! It wasn't so bad, with us being in the thick of 23 Things, we had plenty to discuss, and other public libraries were full of fresh approaches and ideas, and were also keen to see if we had overcome any of the challenges that they were facing. It was interesting to see that the same challenges were everywhere.

After lunch David West and Anne Spelman of Moreton Bay Regional Council Library Service gave a presentation of their Mash it Up Short Film Festival, which was a really cool and simple idea for drawing a new audience into libraries as well as injecting some imagination and culture. The day was ended by volunteers from the attendees giving short presentations on what their library service is doing with Web2.0. There are some interesting bits and bobs being done out there.

All in all a really rewarding event to attend, it filled me with lots of inspiration and direction.

I will be back as soon as possible to tell you more about the Shanachies visit to BCCLS on Friday as well, but this is enough for one post!

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