DIY Library Camp

What’s the most important thing to get right in organising your own Library Camp is the cake!

Running a small Camp is easy – Leeds was around 70 people. You need –

  • Eventbright account to deal wit bookings
  • Wiki to put up directions & pre-event info, but don’t need much
  • Don’t need much funding, anyone can blag a free room
  • be prepared to write a short report for any sponsors (e,g, place that you blagged the room from)
  • Cake

You don’t need to do too much for the small ones. They can be very rewarding to both run and take part in. Can be anything you want, within your means/what you can blag.

Potential problem is with it being free as sometimes people sign up because it’s free then don’t turn up as they haven’t paid for it. This is less of a problem with smaller, more local events. This also keeps the cost down so that people such as library students and lower earners can afford to attend – the bigger events with travelling and possibly accommodation costs involved can be prohibitively expensive even with free places.

Smaller events can have impact as they are local, so you can get local links and also increase your professional network. Great point made by library school students who wanted to organise their own more practical event for experience and to talk about in job interviews. They realised even just the act of organising the event was a great practical experience. Your local CILIP branch may help with sponsorship, maybe for room and/or refreshments – it’s worth asking.

Suggested alternative to ‘Cake Camp’ – savoury ‘Pie Camp’. Heretical?! Or sensible alternative? On the question of food, for smaller local events, there was a practical suggestion that participants bring their own food, which would mean no catering hassles in advance and also no danger of over catering and associated costs. In addition, any food allergies and preferences will naturally be taken into account.

You don’t need any permission to run Library Camp. The current organisers are happy, though, to share their experiences and and advice they can give to newby organisers via Twitter.

From one organiser – “If I can do it, anyone can!” is a great thing to take away from the session.

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