Planning to not plan too much.

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Image from THATCamp Penn, by Weigle Information Commons on Flickr.

We are quickly nearing conference time, and are very excited to have THATCamp be a part of ACRL this year. In case you haven’t checked the schedule yet, THATCamp ACRL will be held on Friday, April 12 from 8am-5pm.

Since we’ll be unconferencing at the same time as much conferencing is going on, we’ll be using a modified schedule: typically, THATCamp’s begin with a planning session to organize the day’s breakout sessions. As we expect many folks will be coming and going throughout the day, we plan to have two mini-camps. We’ll meet in the morning, plan and schedule morning sessions, then reconvene after lunch and do the same.

Here’s the basic idea:

  • Show up on day of the event. Volunteers will coordinate check-ins at the door, hopefully there will be t-shirts, name tags, goodie bags, info sheets, whatever the coordinating committee can put together.
  • 8:30-9:30 – Planning the Morning Sessions
    • Organizer hooks up laptop to the screen so all can see and then sessions are grouped, combined, separated, scheduled and organized in about an hour by all attendees using a shared Google spreadsheet updated live on screen. (Often there will be “tracks” that come out of the planning, grouping sessions around areas like technical, discussions, projects).
  • 9:30-10:30 – Morning Session # 1
    • People break out into groups based on which session they want to attend. In this case, since we’ll only have one large room, we’ll grab chairs and tables and floor space, spread out and go. Whomever proposed the session is the unofficial leader. So, if John Jackson proposes a discussion on text mining in Religious Studies, he will introduce the topic, manage discussion themes/questions, start to discuss, take notes or request a note taker (in a shared Google doc), etc. etc., and generally follow through on whatever the session produces.
  • 10:30-11:00 – Break
  • 11:00-12:00 Morning Session # 2
    • (Same format as session # 1) People break out into groups based on which session they want to attend. Whomever proposed the session is the unofficial leader. So, if John proposed a Omeka hack session, he will introduce the topic, show the tool(s), start to hack, take notes or request a note taker (in a shared Google doc), etc. etc., and generally follow through on whatever the session produces.
  • 12:00-1:30 Lunch
  • 1:30-2:30 Planning the Afternoon Sessions
    • Organizer hooks up laptop to the screen so all can see and then sessions are grouped, combined, separated, scheduled and organized in about an hour by all attendees using a shared Google spreadsheet updated live onscreen.
  • 2:30-3:30 Afternoon Session # 1
    • Same as above. Break-out groups. Session proposer leads. Talk, discuss, hack, share, do, make.
  • 3:30 – 4:00 Break
  • 4:00 – 5:00 Afternoon Session # 2 
    • Here we have some leeway. We could do another break-out session, or we could come back together as one whole group, and have each “Session facilitator” describe their session, what came out of it, etc. in 5 minutes or less. Sort of like mix of wrap-up, Plenary, Dork-shorts, etc. A good way to wind down and see what THATCamp ACRL is/was.

That’s the plan for the time being. But, since we’re trying to put the “Un-” in the unconference, who know’s what could happen!

Registrations will open in late February. Start to think up your proposals for sessions now! 

Categories: Administrative | Tags: , |

About Micah Vandegrift

I’m the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Florida State University. I like BBQ, movies, and hiking/camping. Mostly, I like digital scholarshipping.