NEPA Library Camp 2009Yesterday, I attended the NEPA Library Camp 2009 at Marywood University and, first, let me say, I had the best time evar!  I had never been to a library camp before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was also serving as a moderator for one of the sessions on Archives.  gasp I ended up having a terrific time. 

First of all, I got to meet @shelitwits.  Finally, this girl and I have been talking on Twitter for like a year, which isn’t bad EXCEPT that she lives like 20 minutes away from me so you’d think I would have just hopped in the car and driven up there….  She is as funny and fabulous in “real life” as she is on Twitter.  I also got to see @elidavis and @kristenyt, two of my other favorite twitterers.  And I cannot forget @bgfulton, who proved to be incredibly funny (he acted out the words to the sing-along at the end of the day – priceless!).

I have a few pictures posted (unfortunately I haven’t learned how to work my camera very well yet so there aren’t a lot of pictures).

The camp began with registration and breakfast.  Thank you for the coffee and muffin or else I may not have been able to survive the first half of the day.  I was so nervous I couldn’t eat.  Then the keynote speakers talked about grant writing and how to build and maintain relationships with potential givers as well as established givers.  

Next we broke out into different sessions.  I attended the Web 2.0 session that was moderated by @shelitwits with the assistance of @elidavis and @kristenyt (notice how I use their Twitter nicknames  -Twitnicks- instead of their names?  I’m so goofy that way).  The discussion was lively with lots of focus on Twitter and how to manage the time workers spend on Twitter versus the time they spend doing “real” work.  There seemed to be a generational divide in the responses.  Younger librarians tended not to think in time allotments, but in terms of Twitter being a conversation that is part of the job.  People don’t go to work each day saying I’ll only allow 15 minutes for conversation today and spend the rest of the day cataloging material.  Older librarians tended to see Twitter as additional work responsibility that needed to be regulated and allotted x amount of time.  Other librarians viewed Twitter as a marketing tool only rather than as a place for dialogue.  For example, some librarians (or, rather, their institutions) have followers but they do not follow anyone.  This raised the question: Is Twitter for conversation or is it just a marketing tool?  We also talked about Facebook and @shelitwits showed everyone how to interact with and send messages to fans.  She also showed us how she uses social networking sites to develop relationships with people in her local community.  And @elidavis talked about how she has used Twitter and Facebook as a way of helping people to overcome their negative perceptions of the library by offering to be a friendly face when they walk into the library and resolve issues such as fine problems.  Last, @kristenty told everyone that she will be giving a talk on smart phones and libraries at PALA this year.  Now there’s something to look forward to, especially since many campuses are becoming laptop or computer mandatory (and many students are showing up on campus equipped with smart phones).

After lunch, we went to our next break out sessions.  I moderated the session on Archiving.  This was really an extension of @shelitwits Web 2.0 session because I wanted to focus on archives 2.0 and what archivists can do to make their material more accessible.  Ok, now, first, I have to say this was my first time participating in something like this as a moderator and my first time attending a library camp.  I had no idea what to expect, so I was overly prepared.  Yes, the instructor in me came out, I had slides and everything!  Embarrassed.  Next time, I know, treat it as a conversation amongst colleagues.

So here is the presentation that I used to facilitate our discussion:

The discussion centered on accessibility and the pros and cons of making materials available online.  The biggest positive  was visibility.  People don’t know what you have unless they see it.  Before the web, researchers had to go on a scavenger hunt to find information.  With the web, especially online finding aids, researchers can find exactly what they need without the expense of travel and time constraints.  One of the biggest negatives appeared to be unauthorized use.  How do we control who uses our information and how they use it?  It was an interesting and fun discussion, if I may say so myself.

All in all, I had a very fun time and this is definitely something I would participate in again.  However, there are a couple of things that I wish that I had done differently (you know I always sit back and critique myself, so here goes):

  • Asked the participants about themselves and where they work – made a connection
  • Been less formal – camp is supposed to be fun
  • Said thank you to everyone who showed up – gratitude means a lot (If you read this, please understand that I was not being rude yesterday, I was just so incredibly nervous and when things ended I tumbled off my adrenaline high)  So here it is….


@elidavis has posted pics