Library UnConference – Melbourne

I was very priveliged and excited about attending Australia’s 1st L2 Unconference, hosted here in Melbourne by Yarra Plenty Regional Library Corporation. It was a day where the attendees (about 60) set the agenda, based on the idea of Library 2.0. There were some great conversations, exchanging of ideas, thoughts provoked, inspiration given, new connections made through networking (and old ones reestablished) and so much more.

Representatives from school, special, public and the State Library of Victoria were all in attendance with the commonality being an interest in using Library 2.0 technologies in our libraries. Knowledge of Library 2.0 ranged from an awareness to expert, but the benefit for all came in the sharing and in the ideas that came from this.

The day was split into four sessions, with a number of options in each session and the ability for one to change to another topic if the one you attended wasn’t right for you. I don’t think anyone changed. There was plenty of enthusiasm, everyone was listening as well as contributing and everyone went away wanting more.

The topics I attended were wikis – how to create one and what to use it for – OPACs and mashups – how to create a simple RSS feed mashup from multiple sources (can’t wait to try that one out), Second Life – which I facilitated (lucky me) and Tagging – uses, problems, benefits etc.

Other sessions covered Learning 2.0, literary blogging, virtual reference and reference redesign amongst others. It was an awesome day and we want another like it soon to cover the sessions we missed and anything new that comes up in the meantime.

The session I did on Second Life seemed to interest those attending, although I am not much more than a beginner myself. My presentation was greatly assisted by some demo videos from YouTube (thanks Denise for finding those), from the use of Kathryn Greenhill’s slides from her National Library presentations (a lifesaver Kathryn, thankyou!) and from the presence in Second Life of some of those attending the session, who I was able to interact with.

The L2 UnConference blog has been opened to comments, so check out what other attendees are saying for a bigger picture of the day. Can’t wait for the next one!


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    • genevieve on March 3, 2007 at 2:02 am

    Michelle, I forgot to touch base before leaving just to let you know how much I enjoyed the SL presentation – I zigzagged over to another one I’d promised to drop in on, but I would have loved to stay and watch the avatars having a chat! It was great to meet you yesterday.

    • Michelle McLean on March 3, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Thanks Genevieve, I appreciate the feedback. It was a pleasure to meet you too!

    • Sideshowmatt on March 4, 2007 at 4:06 am

    Hi Michelle,
    What kinds of uses were discussed for Wikis? I’ve been thinking about how a multi-campus public library could deploy a wiki during a restructure (downsize). These stressful processes seem to happen every few years (maybe it’s particularly a Canberra thing!). A ‘change management’ wiki would not be simple if staff are critical and resistant, politicians and executives are pushing ahead anyway, and management are trying to allow democratic input. My library seems to be caught in endless rounds of focus groups, implementation groups, ‘change champion meetings’ etc.
    Enjoying your blog. I’m not really on top of 2nd Life yet but found the videos useful. Reagards, Matt

    • Michelle McLean on March 4, 2007 at 9:02 am


    Sometimes the change has to happen and everyone then has to catch up, lol. As for your question, the uses we came up with at the Unconference for libraries were: local history, reading/book clubs, intranet, website, staff manual, inter service point communication, strategy planning, project management, subject guides and research/reference (eg. how to use databases etc.) Hope this helps and good look with your changes!

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