Hello, my name is Meghan Dowell and I’m pleased to be the guest blogger for the month of October. I received my MLIS from Palmer in May of 2012. I’ve worked in all sorts of libraries [even one at a helicopter company], and currently work in operations for an STM publisher.
I recently attended my first unconference. What is an unconference? I’m so glad you asked. An unconference is a meeting where the participants submit and vote on the sessions being discussed. The sessions depend on group interactions and discussion – unlike conference sessions where topics are being presented. Voting with your feet – or moving from one session to the next is encouraged. It is not meant to be seen as rude, just getting the most out of the day.
THATCamps [The Humanities and Technology Camp] take place all over the world [Ho Chi Minh City is hosting in the spring!]. Anyone can organize a THATCamp. The schedule is here. I attended sessions on October 4th and 5th at Fordham University. Here is a link to the Google Drive folder for notes from the sessions.
Digital humanities [or DH] is a huge topic in both libraries and classrooms. The participants of this THATCamp were a 50/50 split between librarians and professors/teachers/instructors. The first session I attended was about DH and Pedagogy. The professors were explaining how they are integrating DH projects into their classes and how the students are loving it – after they understand it.
In another session a small group of us discussed the effects of Digital Humanities on traditional scholarly communication. It was an interesting conversation where we were all hopeful that one day the models will change for the humanities. One of the final sessions I attended discussed some of the data visualization products that are available. As a history nerd, I found History Pin very cool and ever better; its freely available.
THATCamp is just one of the unconferences. Coming up in November is STELLA [Science, Technology, and Engineering Library Leaders in Action]. Will I see you there?