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What is a LITA Camp

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Saved by David
on July 22, 2010 at 2:54:35 pm

A Camp:


A camp resembles an unconference, which is a facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose. The term "unconference" has been applied to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as high fees and sponsored presentations.  "It is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants who are the main actors of the event." (http://www.barcamp.org)


There is no pre-determined session topics or presenters, other than the daily keynote sessions. The participants create and lead most of the sessions! They determine the topic and format for the session, sign up for a time slot, and pitch the session idea to the group. The exact schedule is created as you go. The purpose of this format is to encourage collaboration, interaction, discussion, and real-time innovation.


The procedural framework consists of sessions proposed and scheduled each day by attendees, mostly on-site, typically using white boards or paper taped to the wall. Camps  rely on the passion and the responsibility of the participants, putting them into the driver's seat.  While loosely structured, there are rules. All attendees are encouraged to present or facilitate a session. Everyone is also asked to share information and experiences of the event, both live and after the fact, via public web channels.  This open encouragement to share everything about the event is in deliberate contrast to the "off the record by default" and "no recordings" rules at many traditional conferences (Barcamp).


The basics:

  • facilitated
  • participant-driven
  • centered around a theme or purpose
  • discussions, demos and interaction


Designing local outcomes (different audiences)


The first BarCamps focused on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies, social protocols, and open data formats. The format has also been used for a variety of other topics, including public transit, health care, and political organizing.  LITACamp is a library technology un-conference for anyone interested in libraries using all types and implementations of technology to continually improve services and access for patrons. It features an egalitarian, community-driven format in which most presentations are designed and delivered by attendees.


A camp can focus on a variety of audiences.  When considering local outcomes, it is important to think in advance the focus and participants.  The discussions, demos and interaction may vary depending on different audiences.  It can be a model for user-generated conferences in other fields or for more specialized applications.



How is it different?


Camps are organized and evangelized largely through the web.  Unlike conferences, in which the topics tend to be chosen by the sponsors, topics are participant and audience driven.  Camps allow for more networking, more personal support and more fun!  It keeps the planning and production process public and allows the beneficiaries to be a part of it .

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