Library Camp Kansas 2011

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend Library Camp Kansas 2011, my first library “unconference” a few weeks in Manhattan, Kansas at the Hale Library on the beautiful campus of Kansas State University.  This innovative and participatory model of learning allows participants to determine the topics for breakout sessions and focuses on conversation and discussion as the medium for learning rather than formal presenter driven presentations.  As we crowdsourced our topics, participants could volunteer to facilitate the session; each session also featured a volunteer who served as a “notetaker” in Google Documents that were set up ahead of time for each session and linked to from our agenda that was created organically in the initial morning planning/session from 9:30–10:15 while we enjoyed coffee and tasty breakfast pastries.

We cranked up our creative energies after our group planning session with a round of lightning talks in which people could volunteer to share a technology tool or resource they were finding useful.  We then attended our first breakout session and followed that with lunch; lunch was followed by a riotous Battledecks competition, which included the winning tag team of Heather Braum and Liz Rea!  The afternoon then concluded with two additional breakout sessions and a final closing gathering before we left for the day.

I attended three breakout sessions on:

  • Rethinking Lifelong Learning (facilitated by good friend and fellow librarian Heather Braum)
  • TED Talks :  how can libraries use TED Talks in programming and instructional services?  How can librarians participate in TEDx events and possibly sponsor their own through their library?
  • Book Talk:  what books are inspiring you professionally or personally?

I enjoyed all three sessions and enjoyed how the conversations all focused on supporting learning in libraries in each session.  My favorite new idea I gleaned from the day was the “Silent Library:  Using MTV Programming as Library Outreach Programming” from Heidi Blackburn.  This program focuses on cultivating relationships with students and emphasizes students getting to know librarians as people as a starting point for creating enchantment by establishing a starting point for building trust, likability, and exceptional service.  I would love to adapt this idea for The Unquiet Library!  You can read more about this fabulous and innovative idea on Heather Braum’s blog by clicking here.

Not only did I get to network with some innovative new colleagues from all areas of librarianship, but I also now have experienced a model of learning I’d love to pilot with students as well as our faculty; I’m also interested in working with other Georgia librarians to create this kind of learning experience in our state.

I’d like to give a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors who made this wonderful day of learning and fun possible for all of us who attended:  The College and University Library Section of KLA, The Public Library Section of KLA, Kansas State University Libraries, and The Northeast Kansas Library System.

Supporting Transliteracy and Transliterate Conversations Through Participatory Librarianship

The talk below is a modified version of my COMO 2010 Panel Keynote that I created for a learning event involving the Hall County School District (a sister school district here in Georgia) and Dell, Inc.   My COMO 2010 talk (see slidedeck below)  is focused more on academic, public, and school libraries while the talk below is directed more toward school libraries and K12 schools.

An alternate video version is also available here on my new Vimeo Channel.

National Listening Day 2009: Creating, Sharing, and Learning Through Conversations

As a librarian who subscribes to a philosophy of participatory librarianship, I want to alert you to the 2nd Annual National Listening Day that will be celebrated Friday, November 27, 2009!  What is National Listening Day about?

On the day after Thanksgiving, set aside one hour to record a conversation with someone important to you. You can interview anyone you choose: an older relative, a friend, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood.

What a wonderful opportunity to create conversations and to learn by listening to others!  Not only have I pledged to listen to and record my parents, but I am also pledging to continue to listen and record the conversations and stories of students and teachers in my library.    If you need some ideas or help getting started, check out the “how to” page that gives you ideas for questions and tips for participating; if you are an educator or someone who may be doing a large scale community project, this page will also provide you a resource guide you can download for free.

Here is a wonderful opportunity to connect and create through conversations and story!

Creating Conversations with Participatory School Librarianship

Not Just Another Brick in the Wall Participatory Librarianship Buffy Hamilton November 2009

Are you interested in creating conversations in your library to facilitate student learning and teacher collaboration?   Do you see your library as more than just a place of information objects?  Do you want your library to be about experiences and not just “stuff” in the library?

If so, I would like to invite you to my session, Not Just Another Brick in the Wall: Engaging 21st Century Learning Through Participatory School Librarianship, that  will take place on 11/06/09 from 2:15PM to 3:30PM. It will be located in room 213BC of the Charlotte Convention Center.   We will be engaging in our conversations about how to create conversations for formal learning and the AASL Standards for 21st Century Learners as well as creating conversations with your library community using traditional and Library 2.0 tools.

Right now, the final presentation materials are under wraps, but they will be posted by 10PM Tuesday evening, November 3, 2009 at  Once posted, you will be able to preview the slidedeck and presentation links as well as a Google Moderator session I have created as a medium for you to pose questions.

You are encouraged to bring a laptop to the session, but it is not required.  You may also want to bring your cellphone for a fun activity as well as your creative energy for some hands-on activities I hope to do with you as a guest in the session.

If you plan to Tweet my session, please use the #aasl2009 hashtag as well as this hashtag just for my session:  #plaasl2009.  I hope to see you there!

Buffy J. Hamilton