Instant Ideas and Collaboration

Final reflections: Ka-Ming

Writing this was not an easy task. How to reflect on something that was so integral to the early start of my career? That indeed helped to partly guide my librarianship and friendships. The idea for uklibchat started when I was a student and was pitched into the real world when I presented with Lena on student activism and engagement in 2021, that is when we started picking up the team members that would join us on this online adventure.

I could talk about the excitement of seeing people joining in on discussions and then numbers increasing, and then going global, looking at the map of followers and seeing so many countries light up. I was chuffed whenever I heard how useful it was to people who worked in the field but did not have a local network to plug into. We were connecting people together, and we also inspired other groups to set up their own Twitter chats.

I could talk about specific memories I have: working on discussion write ups in CILIP HQ when they still had a physical library space and stopping for coffee and cake at a cafe on Store Street afterwards; running a live and online session at the Senate House Library (I guess we would be calling that hybrid learning in 2021); receiving in my hands the business cards we designed for uklibchat (the background from a photo I took in Beijing); picnicking at Regent’s Park for one of our anniversary get togethers (we pedalo’d!); visiting and holidaying with our team member from Ireland and unexpectedly talking about uklibchat on a library radio station

I could also talk about the effort that we put in to keep it running smoothly. A lot of work goes in the backend to produce the chats, to write up the discussions, to scout for topics and blog post writers, and to make it all happen to a deadline. I look back and wonder in disbelief how we managed to make it all happen on a fortnightly basis at the start. We all put work in to provide a consistent experience and learnt a lot about online tools on the way (suddenly remembering the Twitter Archives Google Spreadsheet).

Eventually team members moved on as life priorities shifted. For some, their career paths took them out of libraries altogether. People left; new people joined in. With fresh ideas, honest discussions, adaptations and changes, uklibchat was able to continue. A few years ago, I also moved on, stepping down from the team after six years, even then it was a difficult decision, I had put so much into it – but it was time.

Now the remaining team is calling time, drawing to an end 10 years of uklibchat, and it really does feel like the end of the era. It was a job well done, even if there was no prestige in it, even if it did not win any awards. It was there and it helped people in the professional. I hope everyone felt it was worth the time spent on it. It was for me.

Ka-Ming (@agentk23)

2 comments on “Final reflections: Ka-Ming

  1. Pingback: Final reflections: David | #uklibchat

  2. Pingback: Final reflections: Annie | #uklibchat

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This entry was posted on November 15, 2021 by in About #uklibchat and tagged , , , , , , .


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