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ALA 2008, Conferences, Library 2.0, Web 2.0, Webinar

ALA 2008: Virtual Library 2.0 Cafe Webinar Saturday!

By Tim | June 26th, 2008 | 7 Comments

Stay tuned for a full review of the session (complete with summaries of the flipchart notes, AND video), but in the meantime, there’s an archive to the virtual portion of the session: 2.0 Cafe Archive and some good stuff collecting in the 2.0 Cafe wiki. Thanks to all for your participation and don’t forget, keep the conversation alive!

Excited about the great social interaction and learning that occurs when 30,000 librarians get together, but disappointed you’ll miss out because because you can’t attend ALA this year? WebJunction hopes to ease some of your pain by presenting our Library 2.0 Café program live via Wimba Classroom.

You can bet that the WJ team will blog, Twitter, and flickr as much ALA as humanly possible. And though the turnaround time on these sharing technologies has become faster, they are still essentially asynchronous in nature. Their speed, volume, and content richness can almost help you feel there, but watching (and interacting) as events unfold live is even better.

That’s why we are looking forward to physical/virtual blending of our 2.0 Café program, an unconference-style, facilitated, shared conversation based on the World Café model. Produced in conjunction with MaintainIT, this particular event is an opportunity to take a practical look at all the “cool,” high-potential tools we’ve all been seeing this year and together develop ways to utilize those tools to help us engage our communities.

Event Logistics

At the Anaheim portion (Sheraton Park Hotel, Palm Ballroom, Saturday 6/28 1:30-3:30, Pacific), attendees will be grouped around café tables covered in poster paper, with markers at the ready. Participants In the Wimba Classroom will have the Wimba whiteboard and chat. Table hosts in both locations will help keep the conversation moving and engaging. A glossary and café menu are provided, along with best practices that encourage participants to:

  • Use real or imagined examples.
  • Think of all stakeholders—library staff, patrons, and the entire community.
  • Suspend assumptions and welcome differences.
  • Listen to your inner voice.
  • Engage your imagination.
  • PLAY! Doodle, draw, have fun.

We expect the blending to take shape from the get-go as we designate a Wimba table in Anaheim and team that table with the participants in the online Wimba Classroom.

Physical and Virtual Get Mixed up

In Anaheim, participants will rotate from table to table; we’ll mic the Wimba table and broadcast the audio to the webinar room via VOIP. We also plan to share paper-drawn doodles and notes via webcam. From the online side we plan to project the Wimba room action on a screen at the conference, allowing Anaheim café participants to follow the chat, whiteboard drawings, and 2.0 inspiration coming directly from the Wimba online participants! If all goes according to plan, we should see some nice sharing between physical and virtual café attendees.

All that is neededto make this blending a reality is your participation! The Saturday lawn mowing can wait! Block out a couple hours and come down to the Wimba Classroom Café . It’s a perfect time to share your ideas, questions, and energy about real-world 2.0 services.

Adventures in 2.0

Since trying new things is so very 2.0, I should also admit we’re feeling a little trepidation about making the technical part of this blending work. As this is a totally low-budget, under-the-radar project, we’re highly reliant on a standard hotel net tap. Experienced virtual conference producers would probably recommend at least one backup connection, but really, what’s the fun in that?. Seriously, it’s 2008 and we’re rolling from major corporate hotel across the street from Disneyland. There’s no reason for it not to work, so expect good things.

Worst case scenario is that we have a great Wimba 2.0 Café session, a great Anaheim 2.0 session, do some great blending in the wiki, and learn a whole bunch about blended conferencing in the process. Frankly that sounds pretty good, but I have feeling we’re going to see a lot more going on (and in real time, too).

Tune in and see what happens!

Resources for the Café

Oh, one final mention: If you are airborne during the session and just happen to be on American Airlines Flight 2274 or 4049, make sure you track down Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran. She’s volunteered to be the in-flight café (seatback-tray) table host for all wayward 2.0 travelers!

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