Sunday 28 July 2013

Library Camp South West - Books, Picnics and Rhymes cool am I?  Yesterday I went to my very first library camp
Yep that's a camp/conference all about libraries - and on a Saturday.

Library Camp 'welcome campers' sign
Without wanting to sound too much like some sort of a sad "shhush" librarian cliche, the day was pretty cool.

View of Bristol city centre
Beautiful view of Bristol from our camp

There's several library camps throughout the year and they happen all across the country based on what's called 'open space technology'. They're often called an 'unconference' where, basically the idea is anyone can go to the event, people who want to can pitch an idea for discussion and then workshops and groups take place where you choose what to attend. If you feel you're not getting anything from a talk, then just up sticks and find something else to join in with.

Library Camp pitching ideas

Library Camp pitches
Plenty of ideas pitched!

I did feel a bit of a fraud compared to everyone else as I'm sure I was the one of the only people there who didn't actually work in a library, but at least I could say I have worked in one, and I am studying towards a library degree. Everyone seemed really nice though and it was great to be in the company of lots of others who are all interested in the same things as you.

Library Camp itinerary
There were lots of workshops to choose from - the ones I attended were about eBooks, social media, designing your perfect library and a very heated debate about whether libraries are obsolete! (the consensus was possibly yes in a traditional sense, but no in an ever-changing new information centre/library sense)

Library Camp sessions

Library Camp sessions
What makes a perfect library?

Everyone had brought food for a picnic; my contribution was a Nigella Lawson's Store-Cupboard Chocolate Orange Cake (can't find the recipe on Nigella's website but several other bloggers have helpfully put it online). The cake seemed to go down well and we all sat outside for lunch in a nearby park while the squirrels tried stealing our food.

Library Camp food

Library Camp food

Library Camp picnic
Last activity of the day was a Rhymetime session - complete with floaty parachute, Nile the Crocodile and Five Little Ducks!

Library Camp rhymetime

Library Camp end of day round up
All in all, I think a good day was had by all, there were lots of views shared, lots of food eaten and lots of topics to explore!

P.S. This is one of my 32 Before 32 things!

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