Library Camp East

Yesterday I travelled to Ipswich to attend CILIP East’s Library Camp. The event was held in the meeting room at Ipswich Public Library, which was a really cool space with lots of different areas suitable for various activities and groups of different sizes. About twenty people attended, coming from all over the region (Cambridge, Ely, Norwich, and Bedford, as well as London and Leicester) and representing lots of different sectors.

We began with an informal discussion of upcoming and potential CILIP East events. People were keen to attend events in lots of different places (Cambridge has a tendency to dominate), and there was a lot of interest in events focusing on new technologies, LIS master’s courses, and shadowing programmes.

After this first session, we broke into two groups for a series of parallel sessions. I attended one on master’s courses, in which the group discussed their experiences and expectations of a variety of different courses. Some participants had already completed LIS courses, others were partway through, just about to start, or considering undertaking such courses in the future. It was good to hear the views of people who had done courses in different universities, and people spoke frankly about their relative merits.

Next up was a session on social media — its value, impact, and problems. People shared their own libraries’ social media usage, as well as how this was perceived by the library users. As I share responsibility for my own library’s social media usage, I was able to contribute with my own perspective. This session was a good lead in to the MmIT conference I’ll be attending next week, and left me feeling well informed of the issues surrounding this aspect of library services.

After a break for lunch, I joined a session on opportunities for working internationally. As well as various CILIP bursaries available for attending international conferences or shadowing colleagues outside the UK, I learnt about the International Librarians Network, which matches library professionals around the world in order to enable knowledge-sharing and discussion of the similarities and differences between library and information careers around the world. I’m definitely going to look into getting involved with this, as it sounds like a fantastic opportunity to gain understanding of the wider field.

The final session I attended was on mindfulness meditation, and was a fantastic way to unwind after a day packed with learning, meeting new people, and lots of food for thought.


About thelibrarianerrant

I'm a senior library assistant in one of the faculty libraries of the University of Cambridge. My posts here are in a personal capacity, and are on any topics relating to library and information services.
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