Library Camp Sheffield #libcampsheff

On 2 February I went to Sheffield for the second time in my life. The first time was to meet a librarian working with homeless people, this time to attend a library camp. I saw people I hadn’t seen in a while which was nice, and met new colleagues who I hope to see again.

Here are some notes on the session I attended. I don’t necessarily agree with all statements that follow.

Are librarians self-obsessed? led by @shibshabs

YES! This sessions proves it. 😉

Some questions and comments that came up during the discussion:

  • There us a difference between self-obsessed and library-obsessed
  • People want info, not see you!
  • It is good to be self-obsessed because it shows you’re taking an interest in your career and take part in the “save libraries” discussion.
  • Are librarians so vocal out of fear? Self-justification! Defensiveness?
  • Should this energy be channelled into promoting the organisation you work for and which tools are useful to share with the general public?
  • Does it just feel like librarians are self-obsessed because of twitter and being in an echochamber?
  • Other professions: it’s more obvious what a nurse or soldier does than what librarians (can) do < skills needed less obvious
  • Underemployed people might have more time to navel-gaze.
  • People are more prone to be self-obsessed early on in their careers. “Role models” are not helping by being very vocal and visible and telling young librarians that they need to be the same. < high expectations
  • Which other professions give up a day for something like library camp?
  • embrace the stereotypes
  • being relevancy across
  • get involved with non-library things to show relevance, e.g. social media surgeries
  • go where users are < “library crusade”?
  • does librarianship attrcat self-reflective people?
  • can you only progress if you blog, tweet, etc?? < they are tools! Not everyone agreed that being “out there” helps progression
  • you can’t judge a personal by their social media presence – but many do
  • competitiveness: you need to “produce” yourself
  • benefits of direct contcat via social media (less hierarchical)
  • “levels of stalking” – use social media to see what people say about your organisation
  • we assume that others will be as excited as we are about our passions – different if you’re blogging etc. for an organisation rather than yourself
  • where does the pressure for social media presence come from? < celebrity culture?
  • distinguish private and professional

Leadership an d management, led by @sarahcchilds

  • good vs. bad managers
  • different skills for different management tasks, e.g. vision or people management
  • is training on management issues lacking in public libraries?
  • are managers getting to their position by default?
  • communicators!
  • “freedom within boundaries” a favoured style
  • “open door” policy vs. “back to the floor”: what works?
  • people don’t know each other on different levels/scales/floors
  • cross-site organisation can add difficulties
  • culture change needed in some places
  • lean project management

Jobseeking help in libraries, led by @shedsue

In the pub

I learned about Digital Humanities:,,

Pub photos taken by Sue: photo 1 and photo 2

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