The highlights of the past week are around publishing — first with a model proposed by Eric Hellman in which consumers can pool enough money to pay publishers to “set a book free” under a Creative Commons license, then with an announcement by the University of Pittsburgh offering free hosting of open access e-journals. Since we have to be able to describe and find this content, their bibliographic descriptions are important; John Wilkin proposes a model for open access to elements of bibliographic descriptions. Rounding out this week’s topics are a report of a master’s degree program in business using Facebook, and tips for planning an unconference meeting.
Are you interested in attending a conference program where you have a hand in determining the topics discussed? Have you always wondered what really goes on at an unconference? As part of ALA President Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives, 75 conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a free unconference July 10 at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago….
I’m pleased to be able to report a successful running of a BarCamp here earlier this week. Billed as BarCampOhio/LibraryCampOhio — a mixture of .com and library technologists — we had a good turnout and a lively discussion on a variety of topics. Thanks and gratitude go out to OCLC for offering the space free-of-charge and to T-Mobile for sponsoring the event lunch.
We had about 35 people for the event, including out-of-state’rs from Pennsylvania and Maryland. Being a BarCamp, some of the most valuable conversations were the ones that weren’t organized, but among the organized topics the participants talked about Drupal, social media / marketing / community building, hardware and software management, virtualization and cloud computing, and SOLR.
What is a BarCamp?1
First and foremost: This is NOT a conference. Do not expect to be talked at by an ‘expert’ behind a podium. This is an event similar to getting together with some friends at a bar to talk. That’s the “bar” part of BarCamp. The “camp” part is a little much for us to pull off so if you do read the BarCamp page, keep in mind that you do NOT need to bring a sleeping bag.
The Columbus Metropolitan Library, OCLC, and Ohio State University and OhioLINK have put in a bid as host site for the 2009 Code4Lib meeting. Code4Lib is an informal organization of self-selected librarians and technology professionals. It exists as a volunteer organization run by consensus of interested individuals. The meeting in 2009 will be the
fifth fourth1 face-to-face meeting of this group. Details of the central Ohio host location proposal are on the web at http://roytennant.com/code4lib2009.html
Information about becoming a member of the Code4Lib community and voting in the host site selection process are included below.
Last month, Ed Vielmetti posted about the plans for the Ann Arbor District Library Camp 2008 on March 20th, 2008 in Ann Arbor, MI. For those unfamiliar with the “camp” conference format (also known as an “unconference”), it is modeled after the Open Space Technology style from Harrison Owen. It focuses on creating the right meeting for the people who attend. As such, there is not a pre-set agenda or predetermined list of speakers. Instead, the agenda is formed as the meeting starts based on the interests and skills of those that come. As Harrison says, the technique is effective when “real learning, innovation, and departure from the norm are required. When you aren’t quite sure where you are, and less than clear about where you are headed, and require the best thinking and support from all those who wish to be involved, Open Space Technology will provide the means.” For a more gentle introduction to the camp/unconference topic, see The Rules of Bar Camp.