Monday, April 07, 2008

CIL2008: Library Society of the World

Four people spoke during an afternoon session on an ad hoc group called Library Society of the World (LSW).

A year ago, the challenge came to a group of librarians to make their own "ALA" and make it free to everyone. Joshua Neff created a wiki, which caught on quickly. There is also a Meebo room for LSW.

What makes LSW valuable? It's like being at a conference everyday. Both personal and professional things are happening. Diversity of librarians.

People provide personal and professional support. The support is instantaneous.

Why has it been successful? Low expectations maybe help it be successful. People didn't know what to expect.

What can other communities learn from it? Steve Lawson mentioned the book "Here Comes Everybody."
  • Promise -- show up and talk to librarians online
  • Tool -- Is the tool appropriate for what you want to do? They first used the wiki, then a Meebo Room.
  • Bargain -- What is expected of you and what will you get out of it?
You do have to show up in order to participate. You cannot be passive. Although the founders had a low expectation for what would occur, people have kept "delivering."

Tip -- When trying to do something like this, you need to find the correct tool for the group.

It's not really an alternative to ALA, but no one has said negative things about it.

Needs some minimum number of participants to be viable. Is there such a thing as too many members? Perhaps not. It may divide into smaller groups as necessary.

It can be like s 24 hour unconference.

The group brought Library Society of the World ribbons for people to put on their badges.

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