Monday, September 29, 2008

L2 unconference #1

If you don' close libraries for a day a week like they did in the old days ( and some still do), how can you get the use of a lovely big space like Thomastown library for a one-day conference?
This one started curiously paper-wise for a meeting on technology and games. The get-to know-you warm-up was making paper planes. Well, my group made a plane. The distance winners were the group that screwed up their paper in a ball and threw it. And here I must raise the question : Why, when my group with only one male in it was asked to choose a 'pilot', did about half the members immediately look at him and one actually pointed? He didn't seem displeased to accept. And why, when all dozen or so pilots came to the front to throw their paper flying creations, were only one or two female in a conference with a gender balance of probably just over half male?

It's called an unconference partly 'cos there's no set program. There's a whiteboard with a grid, and four events with invited presenters. WE're all gathered around the edge of quite a large meeting room, no furniture in the miggle, and several giant pads of post-it note are laid in the center, and we're all invited to write in a topic we would like to have dicussed, with the proviso that if we put in a topic we have to be prepared to lead the discussion if its chosen. So far so good.
Then the sheets are stuck up on the windows, the facilitator reads each suggested topic out to an audience most of whom have lost interest while waiting, and we're asked to choose which topics might fit together i themes for discussion. Few contributed to this. Most could'nt see the sheets, some couldn't hear the facilitator on her portable speaker.

For me, all taht was show-democracy that didn't work an took too long. Why not canvass opinions electronically in the weeks prior the the event? People like e who don't check blogs and register really late gon't get a say. So what?

Games in libraries

First session I went to was led by a guy from Charlotte-Mecklenburg library (CMPLS) in the USA. (More later. Stop for spellcheck. My boss is readin this

in subsequent posts I'll tell what happened in the ones I went to