Instant Ideas and Collaboration
We have made a decision to say goodbye to #uklibchat and end on a high with our 10 year anniversary. We will be hosting two last chats and will close the doors at the end of 2021. As we do so, we wanted to give people an opportunity to share what they’ve appreciated and look back on our history a little.
#uklibchat began as an idea in a talk given by Ka-Ming @agentk23 and Jo @dreamingentity on Student Activism and Engagement at the CILIP Careers Development Group’s 2011 New Professional’s Conference. It very swiftly came to life and the first chat was in July of the same year. The concept was based on the Hack Library School #libchat, a Twitter chat that runs in the USA for LIS students. Initially student enthusiasm meant there were chats twice a month but eventually became once a month.
The core group of valiant volunteers has varied over the years and a wide range of people have participated in chats, partly drawn by the varied topics that have been covered. From loaning “realia” or unusual objects, 3D printing, gamification and technology, family history to classification, cataloguing and lots more. Some topics have been revisited many times, specially careers and training. Perhaps one of the most popular was ‘Librarians and personality’ – when we briefly trended!
Collaboration has been a regular feature – it’s even in our tagline. It all follows from our core principle. #uklibchat has always been directed and facilitated by group members, but it has been led by its participants. The topic and the session structure simply creates the space to discuss, well, anything! Our chats are in a sense a collaboration with those who choose to participate.
Thinking of more formal collaborations – one of the biggest was when CILIP was holding a review and collaborated with us to listen to the views of librarians. We’ve also run joint sessions with individuals from different fields, special interest groups or just different viewpoints or backgrounds.
While #uklibchat has been an almost entirely virtual entity – something that doesn’t sound so revolutionary in the current climate – it has also made some cameos in the real world. This has included picnics in the park, a group trip to Ireland to finally meet one of our team members, as well as presenting at training sessions and conferences.
We are spending the next few months wrapping up – with a joint chat in November in collaboration with CILIP’s LGBTQIA+ steering group. And we hope to have a final reflective chat at the end of the year sharing happy memories. Please do drop us a line or a tweet to tell us how #uklibchat has impacted you, and look out for posts from volunteers past and present.