Thing 15: Away days

Chips and Mash Badger

“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin”  Thing 15 is about getting out there, learning new things, networking, presenting and organising at conferences, events and seminars.

Atttending – been to a few mashed library events, the first being Middlemash in Birmingham.  Scared stiff I’d look out of place and no one would talk to me, I packed my rusty Toshiba and set off.  It was raining as I recall and I had a nightmare trip to my hotel and cried off going back into the town centre for a pre event get together.

I needn’t have worried.  It was a great event with lots of cake.  @Damyantipatel  made me feel really welcome and I actually got my Toshiba connected to the wifi (with a bit of help from @ostephens!) and I was live tweeting with everyone else.  Sadly my aging technologically challenged Toshiba battery died shortly afterwards and I switched to my brand new Nokia E63 phone and made notes with a pen and paper.  I remember Yahoo Pipes being one of the talks I attended.  I concentrated hard, but to this day I still haven’t managed to get the damn thing to work.  Oh well!  Here’s me concentrating  I’m the one in the orange top.

image from flickr Dave Pattern

Since then I’ve been to a few more mashed library events and they get better and better.

This year I took part in the JISC Wales Summer Bytes webinars which were great fun and extremely informative.  I especially liked that they were free and that each session only lasted about 45 minutes which was a manageable time to get away from work.

And that’s the main problem for me, time and cost.  I would dearly love to attend LILAC and UMBRELLA but the cost is prohibitive.  It is doubtful I will get the fees paid for by work and equally doubtful is the time off work however much I argue that it is for Professional Development.  But I have asked for conference attending to be put on my cpd.  For now I still look out for free or inexpensive events to attend and take time off work through Annual Leave.  The next event I am attending is the Library Camp UK 2011 (Birmingham) in October.  Look me up 🙂

Presenting and Organising – We are now bordering on dangerous waters.  Although I have never presented within the Library and Information world, I have presented in my previous roles and as a Superintendent Registrar, I used to conduct weddings, often with a wedding party of 100+ people.  I would like to present more but need a push!  I hate powerpoint presentations and have yet to play with Prezi.  I do rather like the old school approach, that of using slides with a slide carousel and projector.    Or more contraversially, just talking with a group with a handy set of coloured post-its.  As far as organising an event goes, this too may come to pass.  I would like to see more events and meet ups with other librarians and information professionals near me but think the only way this is going to happen is if I organise it myself.   If you are a Librarian/Information person and you’re in the North Wales/Cheshire area, how about it?  Get in touch and let’s make it happen.


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