LibraryCamp Wales, 26th April 2014

I recently had the opportunity to attend the very first LibraryCamp Wales – held at the Glamorgan Building, Cardiff University. It was a brilliant day and I learned a lot about issues in library and information work within Wales (and further afield). I really like the informal tone of librarycamp events, and it’s something that would be ideal for something like the Aber LibTeachMeet. Just having the chance for a friendly chat with others really inspired me – a wide range of people were there too, from students and library assistants up to managers.

Session 1: Careers, and getting into library work at different stages of life. 

I attended this session because I know Simon, who pitched it, and am interested in the different ways people get into the profession.  His focus was transitioning into a library career if you have been doing other things for a while. There were quite a few people in the session – those who currently work in libraries as well as those interested in getting into the field. We all introduced ourselves, including what we were working in or studying. There were quite a few individuals who are managers or responsible for hiring in libraries present, which provided a good opportunity to see what was particular sought after.

Session 2: Speed Networking.

I thought this session would be interesting, because I had never met most of the attendees before – most were from Wales and I though that if I continue working in the region it would be good to know people. It was quite busy, with an inner circle of people sitting, then an outer circle of people that moved around. We had (I think) 2 or 3 minutes to talk to each other. It was very interesting to find out about people – and a good preparation for the rest of the day. The room was quite small so it got quite noisy, and I was losing my voice by the end of the session! But good practice meeting people for the first time and pretty good fun.

Library Camp Wales dragon cake

One of the many fantastic cakes at lunchtime! Photo by Gemma.

 Session 3: CILIP and Chartership.

I attended this session because I was interested in learning what resources/support CILIP could help with, and what the organisation is doing in Wales. Also to speak to people about professional development things and what chartership is about. I went to events organised by the Bibliotekarforbundet (Danish Union of Librarians) in Copenhagen, so am interested in getting more involved now am back in the UK. People shared their experiences of membership/non-membership of CILIP, and whether chartership was worth it. A quite common comment was if you are doing CPD things anyway (attending events, networking, self-reflection etc) it was quite easy to just collect them together in a chartership portfolio anyway.

Session 4: Digital tool and apps.

At the end of the day I thought it would be interesting to hear what sort of digital tools people use, in their work and daily life. I heard about Piktochart, a tool that helps you make infographics easily – now I just an excuse to make an infographic of something!  We also talked about tools like DropBox and Google Drive, especially the opportunities they provide for collaborative working by several people on the same project. The normal concerns about Google controlling the world came up – some comments were made that as long as people know about the weird stuff Google does (personalised search results etc) and don’t think for a moment that it’s impartial, it can be a useful tool. People said good things about Evernote, which I’ve tried before and didn’t stick at – but I think it’s upgraded now so I may give it another shot sometime.


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