Thursday, 17 March 2011

LibTeachMeets on the CILIP Update Blog

This post was originally written for the CILIP Update blog.  This version has been edited for clarity and to include information about other LibTeachMeets I've heard about since then.  Thanks again to Matthew Mezey for accepting the original and for giving the go-ahead to republish it here.

Last summer while browsing through 23 Things blogs I came across a post by Isla Kuhn talking about a certain format that school teachers use to share teaching advice and experience in an informal setting.  Isla wondered aloud whether this 'TeachMeet' idea would work for librarians too, and got immediate enthusiastic responses from several Cambridge librarians.  We held our first LibTeachMeet back in September, are now planning our second one, and other similar events have been popping up around the UK.

What are they?
TeachMeets are relatively small, informal events - we've had 50-60 attending ours.  Attendees sign up using a wiki or bookings form to give 2 Minute Nanopresentations, 5 Minute Micropresentations or to attend as an Enthusiastic Lurker. Talks are two or five minutes long and the order is usually randomly selected on the night.  These talks may be complemented by networking activities - the recent Huddersfield TeachMeet included a speed networking session.  The bite-sized talks mean that librarians can get lots of ideas in a short space of time, and the informal approach makes it a less daunting format for new presenters.

Upcoming LibTeachMeets

Huddersfield Librarian TeachMeet (#hudteachmeet) took place last month and there are plans to organise TeachMeets in London (@_moo_), Oxford (@gallagherliz), Bournemouth (@CarolineCooke) and Bristol (@tomroper/@wigglesweets).

What's involved in planning a TeachMeet?
TeachMeet planning can be as formal or informal as you choose.  For our first one we took a very casual approach and we were booking up before even announcing a venue!  Second time around we've been much more organised.  We announced date and venue details well in advance through mailing lists, blogs and Twitter and were booked out within hours of opening bookings.  For more advice on organising your own TeachMeet please visit our blog or contact us directly, info@camlibtm.info.

How to find out more:
edited to add Bristol 19/3/11

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