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.
I'm planning on attending the Ann Arbor District Library Camp — and Code4Lib in Portland, Oregon, this year (if I get off the waiting list) — with two big thoughts in mind. First is to soak up and contribute to the meeting. Second is to watch how the meeting is done in anticipation of replicating it in Ohio with a focus on academic library technology. For those in Ohio, do you think you would find something like this useful? We have a large number of skilled developers in the state, and based on what I heard of the experiences of Kent State and Miami from a meeting in the spring of last year, there is a strong desire to share experiences.
The text was modified to update a link from http://www.libraryjournal.com/blog/1090000309/post/1770020177.html to http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2008/01/roy-tennant-digital-libraries/the-code4lib-conference-comes-of-age/ on November 8th, 2012.