The 15th Internet Librarian International Conference in October 2013 once again drew hundreds of information professionals from many countries (30 this time) to London UK for several days of workshops, conference sessions, and networking. Information Today Inc. provides through ILI the opportunity for a librarian from Northern Canada and one from Nigeria to discover common interests and exchange questions and experience!
It has long been my privilege to serve as session moderator; this year, an entire day was devoted to the careers of “the new information professional” – details at http://www.internet-librarian.com/2013/Wednesday.php (scroll to Track C). Attendees greatly appreciated the presenters and panelists for their varied and wise takes on what our “glittering careers” will require in future.
Of all the exciting sessions, one stood out because it so beautifully illustrated the power of simplicity. Three professionals who devote their free time – Richard Veevers, Sue Lawson, and Penny Andrews (click on the names in the program to see the biographies) – shared their involvement with the Librarycamp concept and described how it plays out in events. Briefly, Librarycamp is an unconference style meeting during which smaller groups find each other to discuss matters of mutual concern, ask questions, and share insights; attendees shape the agendas and the topics themselves.
Check out http://www.librarycamp.co.uk/ for 17 October 2013 to see what attendees missed: Richard Veevers told the vivid story how Librarycamp events dynamically evolve to produce deep learning. Sue Lawson traced the personal connections culminating in several events and achievements, illustrating the power of networks. Penny Andrews – who is now studying for her information professional credentials as a result of coming into contact with librarians through Librarycamp sessions – related how the camps transformed her life as she discovered “Librarians are my people!” and decided to organize a Librarycamp OpenCPD MOOC. We were honored to be the first to hear about that upcoming MOOC.
The Librarycamp session received rave reviews from the attendees. “Incredibly inspiring and moving” were comments made in several ways. One attendee summed it up well by saying “This … is why I attend ILI!”.
Librarycamp events take place in many locations; look for one near you or better yet, set one up!