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.
- Tuesday 29th March, Cambridge #camlibtm / @camlibtm
- Wednesday 4th May, Newcastle #toonlibtm / @hblanchett
- Thursday 26th May, Liverpool #livlibtm / @LibraryEmma
- Tuesday 14th June, Leicester #imeetdmu
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to find out more:
- Our website, http://www.camlibtm.info, for information about the Cambridge events, as well as our LibTeachMeet YouTube videos
- On Twitter: #LibTeachM to find your local LibTeachMeet or #camlibtm / @camlibtm for Cambridge events
- Katie Birkwood and I will be speaking about TeachMeet at the upcoming LILAC conference (Monday 18th April, 3pm)
- Email the Cambridge TeachMeet team at email@example.com