Thursday, 16 October 2014

CILIP Update

CILIP were enthusiastic enough to sponsor #LibCampUK14 and use our write up.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

5 ways to get the most out of LibraryCamp

Not long now and the fourth annual LibraryCamp UK will be kicking off in Newcastle. If you are a first timer at an unconference it can be pretty daunting. There's no agenda for a start. No keynote speakers and no timetable until you create one! But unconferences can also be exhilarating, unpredictable, life-changing events. They have been for me.

So how can you get the best from the day?

1. Remember that all sessions are welcome. If you are shy you only have to say a few words to announce your pitch and you can even ask someone else to do it for you. Although some ideas have already been posted on the wiki - these aren't set in stone. The agenda isn't set until all the attendees help create it. This is what we'll be doing for the first hour of the day. Pitching ideas and planning a schedule to fit them all in.

2. Rejoice, for LibraryCamp is a PowerPoint free zone. If you want to convene or facilitate a session you are not expected to do a presentation or run through a powerpoint slidedeck. No way José! Let's say you want to lead a discussion on abolishing library fines - you just need to give a brief introduction, go over the key points and you're off.

3. You are the expert. That's why there are no keynote speakers. It's the subject that gets the top billing not the speaker. Try and keep that in mind if you are feeling nervous about pitching a session or talking during a session. And feel free to tweet, blog and take photos all day long and please do share the results with the #libcampuk14 hashtag. (Follow this link to grab the RSS feed - thanks to Alan for creating this feed).

4. Leave your comfort zone. Go on, be brave! It does pay off. Everyone wants sessions to be interesting and that works best when people interact. Make an effort to speak up in groups and do chat to other campers during the day. You never know who you'll meet.

5. Enjoy yourself. You are travelling to Newcastle on your day off to talk about libraries! Turn what could be a busman's holiday into a day you'll remember. It will be chaotic and you will probably end up in sessions that sound nothing like the original pitch. But remember the beauty of an unconference is that the law of two feet says you can leave a session if it's not floating your boat. At the same time you might come away with new ideas, new support networks, new ways of thinking and new insights.

*6. Think of the cake!

    Lovely cake photo by lovely @calire

Do any readers have any more tips to get the most out of an unconference? Please do share them in the comments.

There's still time to get a ticket for Librarycamp. Come and join us at Newcastle City Library at 10am on Saturday 13 September.

Celebrating Public Libraries and Supporting Innovation

Public Libraries across the UK and Ireland are being given the opportunity to help future-proof their services thanks to a £200,000 funding boost from the Carnegie UK Trust.

‘Carnegie Library Lab’ will create partnerships with up to 15 public libraries to support innovative practice and show that book lending is only one of many services that libraries can deliver. We're really looking forward to talking about Library Lab at Saturday's LibraryCamp and Jenny Peachey, Policy Officer at the Carnegie UK Trust has kindly written a guest blog post to introduce the thinking behind this exciting project...

When considering the contribution public libraries make to society, it is difficult to know where to
start. Many public libraries across the UK and Ireland are refusing to stand still in an ever-changing
world and, as a result, there are many examples of good practice to choose from. The Carnegie UK
Trust seeks to support the culture of innovation that enables libraries to seek out new services and
partnerships to move ever-forward.

Many libraries are making a contribution to digital inclusion. For example, Gateshead runs digital
careers events, enabling members of the public to experience new technologies first hand, learn
new skills and have direct contact with digital sector employees. At the opposite end of England,
Devon hosts FabLab - a hack-maker space extraordinaire - a community-led workspaces where
people with common interests meet to work together and exchange ideas.
But it's not just digital endeavours (or indeed reading for pleasure) where libraries are making their

Libraries support small business start-ups, lend smart meters and run job clubs. They also act
as social, learning and cultural hubs, fostering wellbeing: consider Birmingham public libraries'
book lists for young people and adults with dyslexia; Surrey Libraries’ project to support women
experiencing domestic abuse; Northern Ireland-based run knit and natter groups (which help tackle
social isolation); Book Prescription Wales (a partnership between NHS and public libraries to help
patients with mild to moderate mental health issues); and the various partnerships between libraries
and Age Concern, Macmillan Cancer Support and Dementia UK (to name but a few).

The Carnegie UK Trust is keen to enhance libraries' flexibility to respond to the needs and wants of
communities in innovative ways. We are therefore delighted to have launched a new programme to
help support innovation in public libraries: Carnegie Library Lab. This new programme aims to add to
the mix of initiatives and support for innovation in libraries.

We will support up to 15 library staff over the next three years through providing funding, learning
materials, mentoring and the opportunity to be part of a new network of library innovators. More
information and application materials are available on our website. The deadline for applications is
30 September.

Monday, 8 September 2014

LibraryCamp 14 pitch page now open for ideas

Less than a week to go until LibraryCamp 14 and the wiki is now open for you to add your session pitches

(This isn't compulsory btw, it just helps attendees identify possible collaborators and shows non attendees the type of sessions that might happen). It's easy to add yours and there's no need to sign in, just visit the wiki and click 'Edit'. Don't forget to 'save' before you leave the page. There isn't a strict theme although we like the idea of improving library services and welcome the diverse and divergent!

So far you'll find proposals covering coding and Code Clubs, income generation & libraries, the Carnegie Library Lab, LibraryBox, libraries &  online security, storytime top tips, the Public Library Festival, open source software in libraries....

And it's not too late to bag a LibraryCamp 14 ticket. And #cakecamp is go!

This year's unconference is at Newcastle City Library and thanks to our kind sponsors - Common Libraries, CILIP, Ken Chad Consulting, Newcastle Libraries, Dawn of the Unread plus uber generous individual cash contributions - it's still FREE.

Keep up with all the LibraryCamp 14 news by following the Twitter hashtag - #libcampuk14, plus you'll find us on Facebook and we love a chat on Twitter too! We also share a lot of library related news over at our Flipboard magazine.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Aaarrgh! Dawn of the Undead sponsor LibraryCamp 2014

We're thrilled and proud and a little bit scared to announce our newest LibraryCamp 2014 sponsor - Dawn of the Unread!

Big huge thanks go out to James and Paul for their support and for bringing some undead action to Newcastle's first LibraryCamp. Here's a post from James Walker to tell you more....

Dawn of the Unread is an interactive graphic novel that is available across all media platforms (iPad, Android, iPhone, website). It aims to raise awareness of local literary history and in turn a sense of civic pride. Whether we like it or not, the nature of reading is/has changed and so we are looking at different ways to make the written word more accessible and explore the relationship between digital and print media. We like to think of this as an ‘open relationship’ rather than a happy marriage.

The narrative is a loose twist on the zombie genre: ‘When the dead go unread there’s gonna be trouble. Writers from Nottingham’s past return from the grave in search of the one thing that can keep their memories alive: boooks’.

On the 8th of each month a new comic is released and is created by different artists and writers. These include: Alison Moore, Eddie Campbell, Hunt Emerson and Nicola Monaghan. Each writer explores one iconic figure from Nottingham’s literary past that includes: The 5th Duke of Portland, Slavomir Rawicz, the fictional hybrid Byron Clough, Alma Reville (Mrs Hitchcock) Alan Sillitoe, D.H Lawrence and many more. This is literature in its most diverse sense, exploring medieval ballads, black-letter verses, poetry, philosophy, literature, and reportage.

Each comic in the serial has libraries, archives or bookshops at the heart of the narrative. This is because we believe that physical books still have an integral role to play in education and democracy. Our target audience is reluctant readers – better known as the ‘youtube generation’ - although the embedded content enables readers to go deeper into the text and address different nuances of learning.

At this point, astute readers will be wondering: what on earth has a digital graphic novel got to do with physical books and libraries? The next paragraph is for you.

Dawn of the Unread has a unique gaming function in that users have to perform four tasks at the end of each chapter. Scores are recorded on a virtual library card. The person who scores the highest features as a character in the last chapter. The tasks are: GO – visit a location. This is recorded via GPS. BWAINZ - answer multiple choice questions. READ – get a relevant book out from the library. CREATE – upload a story inspired by the chapter and view it on one of four screens (two in London, two in Nottingham).

Dawn of the Unread is an attempt to address worrying illiteracy figures that have recently seen the UK ranked as 22nd out of 24 industrialised nations for illiteracy. Our goal is to see whether a more rounded and interactive approach to reading can help improve literacy as well as drive readers to libraries. If successful it could be adapted regionally. We are writing to every school in Nottinghamshire to try and get as many 14+ readers involved and excited about books. And this is why we have decided to sponsor Library Camp because, like us, they recognise the importance of books having a visual presence in our lives and libraries as being the best place to engage readers.

So please join our digital and artistic editor Paul Fillingham on the 13 September and help us celebrate wordy goodness. And please help us spread the word. You don’t have to be from Nottingham to learn about our rebellious history.

James Walker
Bwainz and Editor, Dawn of the Unread @TheSpaceLathe

Friday, 1 August 2014

LibraryCamp 2014 Tickets Available Now!

We are pleased to announce the fourth annual LibraryCamp unconference, happening at Newcastle City Library on Saturday 13 September. The event is free and the theme is improving libraries. LibraryCamp is open to all - you don't need to work in a library and we'd urge you to come and experience an unconference if you've not been before., especially if you work in a public library. 

Please tell your colleagues about Librarycamp and share via your social networks! Tickets are available now on EventBrite.

The theme of LibraryCamp is improving libraries and at a librarycamp the participants lead the agenda – in fact, there isn’t an agenda until people make suggestions for what they’d like to talk about at the start of the day. It’s open to anyone: public/private/whatever sector and you don't have to work in a library. It’s free to attend and there are no keynotes speakers - anyone can suggest, facilitate or lead a session and sessions can take many forms - workshops, show and tell, debate, how to, collaboration, hands on. Past sessions at LibraryCamp have included:

  • How to establish a unified online presence for UK public libraries
  • Demonstrating value of college libraries
  • Are public libraries safe under local authority control?
  • DRM is rubbish - How to strip the DRM from an ebook
  • How to run a Code Club and intro to Scratch
  • LibraryBox: filesharing in the wild
  • Developing a new library advocacy model
  • Open source software for libraries

Librarycamp is run by volunteers and has been running since 2011. Any questions? Please get in touch with Richard or Sue.

Would you like to sponsor LibraryCamp. There are loads of good reasons to sponsor this annual grassroots unconference.  Please get in touch with Richard or Sue.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Sponsor LibraryCamp 2014 and feel good!

LibraryCamp 2014 takes place on Saturday 13 September in glorious Newcastle. Our  hosts - Newcastle Libraries - have generously provided the venue for free, but we would like to feed and water 200 campers so we are looking for sponsorship to help us do this.

LibraryCamp is a non profit organisation run by volunteers Sue Lawson and Richard Veevers plus a supportive network of more volunteers  across the UK. By sponsoring LibraryCamp your organisation is supporting a grass roots project with a mission to improve libraries via innovative unconferences with attendees form  across the library world and beyond.

LibraryCamp 2011 Photo credit: davepattern via photopin cc

Librarycamps are a great place to engage with a wide audience of people in the library community  from library assistants to shambrarians and heads of services to newly qualified staff. And it's not just library types that attend either; there are students, hackers, artists and enthusiasts alike - even library members! The great thing about LibraryCamp is the mix of people, all coming together to share their knowledge and to make links within their community and beyond.

LibraryCamp is one of the most exciting and innovative events in the library year, with an attendance of over 200 people in 2013. Sponsor the event and increase your organisation's reach to the UK  library communitiy and feel good for supporting a non profit, DIY event.

LibraryCamp 2013 Photo credit: Sasha Taylor via photopin cc

Owing to the success of previous LibraryCamp events, content generated via blogs, tweets, photos and word of mouth means your organisation is seen online by a large number of people, before, during and after the event. Some of our previous sponsors have included; DigiEnable, OCLC, SWETS, LibraryGame, Ken Chad Consulting, Red Quadrant and Shared Intelligence.

We'd love to add you you the list!

Photo credit: Sasha Taylor via photopin cc

Why do we need sponsorship? LibraryCamp is run by volunteers who give up their free time to put on the event. The event is entirely free to attend, but it's not free to put on. In order to keep LibraryCamp free, sponsorship is needed in order to feed and water the attendees as well as other expenses such as equipment hire. We need to raise a minimum of £1000 to put on 2014's event.

If you’re interested in sponsoring LibraryCamp, why not contact us?