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Revitalizing Communication and Professional Development Through Unconferences: The Brooklyn Public Library and Darien Public Library Experiments
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Revitalizing Communication and Professional Development Through Unconferences: The Brooklyn Public Library and Darien Public Library Experiments

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Schedule a date, book a few rooms, and you're set. This program illustrates how Brooklyn Public Library developed BPL ThinkTank, their first unconference, to provide an informal and open space for ...

Schedule a date, book a few rooms, and you're set. This program illustrates how Brooklyn Public Library developed BPL ThinkTank, their first unconference, to provide an informal and open space for creativity and innovation as well as professional development. Tap your staff's collective knowledge to improve morale and service. This program will also feature lessons from Darien Library's inaugural KidLib Camp, a regional unconference for librarians serving children in school and public libraries.

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Revitalizing Communication and Professional Development Through Unconferences: The Brooklyn Public Library and Darien Public Library Experiments Presentation Transcript

  • 1.
    • Revitalizing Communication and Professional Development Through Unconferences: The Brooklyn Public Library and Darien Public Library Experiments
    Gretchen Caserotti Head of Children's Services, Darien Library Lisa Chow Librarian, Brooklyn Public Library Mel Gooch Adult Cluster Specialist, Brooklyn Public Library
  • 2.  
  • 3. What is an Unconference?
    • Participant-driven
    • Professional development event
    • Collective knowledge of the group
    • Informal learning environment
    • Loosely based structure
  • 4. Why an Unconference?
    • Flexibility
    • Open environment
    • Increased participation
    • Every person is an active participant & contributes their ideas, knowledge, and experience.
  • 5. Principles
    • Four Principles
    • Whoever comes is the right group of people
    • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
    • Whenever it starts is the right time
    • When it’s over, it’s over
    • Law of Two Feet
    • “ Any persons neither learning
    • from nor contributing to a group
    • discussion must walk to another one”
  • 6. Setting Up an Unconference
    • Set date/time/location
    • Reserve space for discussion groups to meet
    • Technology [if available]
    • Food/supplies
    • Setting up a Wiki to help
    • prepare in advance
  • 7.  
  • 8.  
  • 9. Unconference Day Structure
    • Group meets together to vote on final schedule
    • Agenda is set
    • Information about meeting rooms distributed
    • Discussion sessions
  • 10. Creating a Schedule
  • 11. Creating a Schedule
  • 12. End of Day
    • Final session of day is a wrap up session
    • Brief summary of each discussion
    • Notes are placed on the Wiki
    • Wiki – place to continue the discussions
  • 13.  
  • 14. How did BPL ThinkTank come about? Idea proposal to management LibraryCampNYC August 2007 Idea came up in conversation with colleague about LibraryCampNYC BPL ThinkTank! May 2008 We got the green light! January 2008 Idea proposal to management Project team formed October 2007
  • 15. Idea Proposal to Management
    • Management concerns:
    • Untraditional unconference concept
    • Anxiety about this new idea
    • Unconference = negative atmosphere and unproductive
    • Benefits of doing things
    • in untraditional ways:
    • A way for management to engage staff
    • Foster skills
    • Boost staff morale
    • Flattens hierarchy
  • 16.  
  • 17. What was the day like?
    • People (75 participants)
    • Meeting space
    • Tools: Laptops, Flipcharts, markers
    • Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate
    • Food
    PM discussion sessions Wrap up session Lunch AM discussion sessions Opening session
  • 18.  
  • 19.  
  • 20. What were the discussion topics?
  • 21.  
  • 22.  
  • 23.  
  • 24.  
  • 25. The BPL ThinkTank unconference gave staff a chance to explore new ideas in librarianship freely in an open and informal environment. What were some of these ideas?
  • 26.
    • Clear and consistent communication
    • Transparency of processes
    • More training opportunities
    • Sharing accomplishments
    • Flexibility with technology
  • 27. How did it go?
    • Very positive responses from participants
    • Management hosted three follow-up sessions with participants
  • 28. What was good about BPL ThinkTank?
  • 29.  
  • 30. Did you learn anything new from BPL ThinkTank? If so, what? “ I learned that while certain issues may always remain in gridlock to an extent (stats for summer reading), it’s easy to gather together and make real and positive changes (greener libraries).” “ Yes, too many things to write down!” “ View problems from perspective of public service staff” as said by staff in technical services. “ staff thinking outside the box” “ How a wiki can be useful for exchanging ideas” “ culture of innovation”
  • 31.  
  • 32.  
  • 33. As a result…
    • More transparency and communication
    • Integration of unconference concept into regular staff trainings
  • 34. Lessons Learned
    • Have another round of votes in the opening session.
    • Perhaps shorten the AM discussion session slot.
    • Invite more experienced library staff.
    • Clarify the purpose of the event with supervisors.
  • 35. "A fun, relaxed atmosphere truly fosters creativity.” – BPL ThinkTank participant
  • 36. KidLib Camp 2009
    • Gretchen Caserotti
    • Head of Children’s Services | @gcaserotti | [email_address]
  • 37. Genesis
  • 38. Planning ~ Decide on your theme ~ Recruit key players ~ Pick a date & make arrangements ~ Promote where your audience is ~ Set up wiki
  • 39. The Day
    • Welcome & Topic Voting
    • Assignments
    • AM Sessions
    AM
  • 40.
    • Lunch
    • PM Sessions
    • Wrap Up Session
    The Day PM
  • 41. Outcomes
  • 42. Outcomes Diversity Energy Intimacy
  • 43. Lessons
  • 44.
    • Specific audience
    • Wiki sign up
    • Breaks allow more movement
    • Guide for Facilitators
    • Wrap up session more conversational
    Lessons
  • 45. Feedback “ It was a tremendously invigorating day”
  • 46.
    • “ It was fabulous - beginning to end. Professional, fun, thought-provoking and useful.”
    • “ It is a source for stimulating new ideas and approaches to common issues as we move toward service models for our kids and communities.”
    • “ In many conferences it seems like the programs focus on things like, how to set up a Facebook account. It was nice to move beyond that.”
    • “ Not only got me thinking, but got me excited about the possibilities.”
    • “ I changed my perspective on the use of computers with young children -- a direct result of the day”
    Feedback
  • 47. Flickr Photo Credits
    • Sunrise Mist - Indy Kethdy
    • Sun Worship - Maessive
    • One Sky: Here Comes the Sun - cobalt123
    • Going Home - Kuzeytac
    • Ray Working on Noboto - Raymond Brigleb
    Thank You Gretchen Caserotti Head of Children’s Services | @gcaserotti | [email_address]
  • 48. Creating and developing the “grid schedule”
  • 49. Questions? Gretchen Caserotti gcaserotti@darienlibrary.org Lisa Chow l.chow@brooklynpubliclibrary.org Mel Gooch m.gooch@brooklynpubliclibrary.org Revitalizing Communication and Professional Development Through Unconferences: The Brooklyn Public Library and Darien Public Library Experiments Presentation on Slideshare: