Monday 29 July 2013


On Saturday I went along to Library Camp SW, a conference all about libraries. Not having been to one before (and there are several around the country) I really didn't know what to expect. The format of the day was an "unconvention" with people pitching ideas for sessions when we arrived. This sounded like it could be a bit chaotic but worked really well.

There were sessions that seemed a bit specific to librarians (& information professionals) but plenty of sessions that as a non-librarian I was both interested in and felt I could contribute to.

I went to a session about e-books and learned a lot, also told everyone about Bow at REACT who I've been recently speaking to about doing something for the festival of literature.

I then went to a session called "are libraries obsolete" which was fairly heated. It seems that libraries are always changing and obsolescence is pretty much always being called for things. I made the point that 20+ years ago when I did publishing at Uni the big question was "Are books dead" and yet more and more are published every year. Libraries are about so much more than books and fulfil a key place in the community I would think they'll never be obsolete. Different to what we knew them to be in say the 70's & 80's for sure but will they disappear? I hope not, and don't think they will.

The next session I was at was "What's your perfect library" where we split into teams and tried to think of all the things that would go into a perfect library if money was no option. The main thing I learned from that is that there is a lot of love from librarians for Cardiff Central library, which I now want to visit.

After a rather marvellous lunch (everyone brought stuff) we reconvened for a session on collaboration (very interesting & one that seemed the most relevant to me) and another on Apps. Which soon became a session about everyone saying what their favourite apps were, wrote a bunch of them down...

I met a bunch of interesting people, talked about some interesting stuff and came away happy even though it was bucketing it down when I left and I got very wet going home. A trip to the local Indian soon sorted me out though.
You can see pictures of the day here (I neglected to take any!!):
Also noted down the following useful/interesting websites:

and another blog about the day here:

Yesterday, in sunnier circumstances I went to the harbour festival, which seemed to have grown since last I went and is now seemingly more spread out. Lots of cider in the sun and some background music. Saw these guys: who did a great set, although the crowd was mostly indifferent.

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