Library Camp 2016 Review

Written by Lara Musto

Despite its name Library Camp does not imply camping in a library with a sleeping bag and a tent! It’s known as an “unconference”  – an informal gathering where experienced and new professionals alike share their ideas; or it can be seen as a springboard to your future in public speaking! The Career Development Group in collaboration with the Academic and Special Libraries group of the LAI (A&SL) have been organising library camp since 2013.

regThanks to DBS Library, this year the LAI CDG and the A&SL were able to hold library camp at Castle House in the Common Room on 21st May. The venue got the thumbs up by attendees, with bean-bags and comfy sofas widely appreciated –  according to the tweets on the day! On Twitter the event ranked fourth in Dublin for a while! Past camps used to start with a speed networking type of session to break the ice amongst participants. Instead this year a quiz was introduced with prosecco for everyone in the audience. The questions covered general knowledge and only one was about librarianship. The innovation was approved by seasoned attendees and by newcomers alike. The lucky (aka the nerdiest) team – Going Postal – won a golden ticket for a free entrance to one of next year’s LAI CDG events. After 3 rounds there was only half mark of difference between the first two teams. A combination of prosecco and networking made the game highly competitive amongst the 8 teams!P1060804B

Then being slightly chirpy but still focused, it was time for the first set of pitches. The marketing campaign for lib camp generally includes the theme and starts a couple of months before the date. This year the subject was a direct question: Are all librarians teacher librarians? Pitches are emailed to the LAI CDG for approval – there is no need to set up a group of slides, because a pitch is carried out with a flip chart, a marker and any other prop selected by the pitcher. Being an open space event, participants can wander in and out of a pitch as they pleased. This year there were so many pitches that it was decided to run 4 pitches at one time, to give each one an opportunity to speak. Each pitch tends to be very lively; it lasts approximately 30 minutes and if you feel lonely you could ask a colleague to co-host. In three years there have been pitches with games, with group work and some with animated discussions.

If you pitch or sit at a pitch you won’t have time to get bored at Library camp! Library camp is known for baking an interesting pitch to entertain a small group of participants and also a cake (savoury or sweet) to help fuel the hungry crowd. However, for those who are timid at showing off their baking skills, there is always the option of topping up the wide variety of food (or drink) items brought in for the occasion. The brain needs to be fed to function properly and to face the rest of the pitches lined up for the day! This year it was worth a king’s ransom sitting on a bean bag or on one of those sofas in the Common Room, sipping away at prosecco or tea/coffee, stuffing your face with so many goodies and your brain with a mammoth of useful info about teaching and librarianship. So roll on next year’s edition!pub libcamp

For more, see our Storify of the event here, our friends at SLIP’s Storify here, and the CDG Flickr account for more photos!

Lara Musto

LibCamp 2016 Programme is complete!

12 great pitches complete the programme for the afternoon with 4 happening at once!

Our amazing programme of pitches for #irelibcamp16 is now full and we are delighted with the variety and quality of the pitchers (see below)! We’ll continue to sell tickets until we’re sold out but  make sure to book your place soon to hear from all these great librarians and library advocates on how libraries can and do interact with teaching and learning in different settings!

LibCamp 2016 Programme

10 excellent reasons to drop what you’re doing and come to Library Camp

If you haven’t made up your mind yet whether to attend LibraryCamp this Saturday, read on for ten very good reasons why you should book your ticket and tell your friends to book theirs too. Apart from our crazy-bananas-good programme of pitchers talking about everything from social inclusion, tips and tools for teaching and how librarians can embrace their teaching role and gain professional recognition there’s a multitude of other good reasons to come…

#1. The venue!

#irelibcamp16 is taking place in The Student Common Room in Dublin Business School (on the 4th floor of Castle House building) on George Street. This central location is easy to get to and the Room is fitted out with with a grass floor, bean bags, sofas, various games (Jenga! darts!) and last but not least a big iPad type jukebox (5 songs for €1!)

Pitch - Katie Dickson#2. Find out how school librarians are coping with the challenges of classroom management and pedagogy in the library, as well as getting professional recognition


#3. A library-themed Quizz

Eh…who doesn’t love a good pub-quizz? this one will be a fun version based around the theme of libraries!


Pitch - Jack Hyland (1)#4. Try out a student-centred teaching tool called Peerwise that Jack Hyland is using in his classes with 3rd level students

Prosecco and cake#5. Cake and prosecco…need we say more?



#6. Hear about why Academic libraries are still a vital part of the infrastructure and support for teaching and learning in Higher Education in the age of Google with Siobhán Dunne

Pitch - Siobhan Dunne

#7. Discuss continuing professional development and pedagogy for librarians with Robert McKenna

Pitch - Rob McKenna

#8. Have your say on how libraries can fill gaps in the education system for those with special needs with Elaine Chapman

Pitch - Elaine Chapman

#9. Hear about teaching in Corporate and Legal libraries!Pitch - Niamh


Pitch - Gen#10. Catch up on what you missed or discuss what you learned at LILAC 2016 in UCD!





#11. Socialising/meeting peers/networking…the pub afterwards!

We will be following the day’s learning with a few drinks in a local bar on Georges St. (location TBA) where you can mix and mingle with the group.

Ok so that’s more than 10 – plus there’s more!

We still have a few excellent pitches up our sleeve – stay tuned to find out which brilliant librarians from public, academic and special libraries will be giving their take on the teaching role of libraries and librarians on the 21st May! Check out the pitches as they role in on our Pitches page and then head straight over to Eventbrite to book your tickets.

#irelibcamp16 FTW!







Call for Pitches

Call-for-pithces-LibCampAre all librarians teachers?

As you might have heard, Library Camp is back on the 21st May in Dublin Business School with a fun mix-up of discussions, pitches, and a library quiz! Are you new to speaking openly about your love of all things library-related and looking for a relaxed environment in which to cut your public-speaking teeth? Or perhaps you’ve been teaching for years in your library and are exasperated by the lack of recognition? Maybe you see new avenues and collaborations for librarians to exploit or have seen or heard of interesting new ways of engaging people in learning? Maybe you want to talk about how librarians can tackle a lack of formal teacher-training and still meet/exceed expectations? Maybe you just want to meet others in your field and eat cake? Now’s your chance! You have until the 16th May to be accepted but the slots are filling up so don’t miss out on this fun and valuable professional development opportunity!

You’ll have up to 25 mins, a flip-chart and some markers to lead a discussion or play a game or talk about how the worlds of teaching and librarianship combine. Maybe co-host a pitch if you’re feeling a bit lonely!

Submit a pitch (a paragraph or two) outlining your topic to and we’ll get back to you within a few days – your pitch will be added to our Pitches for 2016 page shortly after. Want examples? See our What to Pitch and How Library Camp works pages.


Library Camp is back in May – pitches at the ready!

We have great news – LAICDG Library Camp is back in May! in collaboration with the wonderful Dublin Business School  and our friends in A&SL, who’ve pitched in on the last three LibCamps (haha geddit??)  we’re bringing you hot topics, discussion, peer-to-peer learning and (of course) edible treats* !

Pencil it into your diaries – we’ll be announcing a range of exciting pitches soon. Following on from the brilliant LILAC 2016 conference in UCD (which many couldn’t make it to), this year we’re posing an open-ended (and provocative) question to get you all thinking about what you’d like to talk about: are all librarians teachers? See why you should attend and even consider pitching on our Library Camp 2016 page.


  • When: Saturday May 21st 2016, 12 noon – 4pm
  • Where: Dublin Business School
  • Booking: BOOK HERE!

This is an “unconference”, a gathering without set speakers where people come together to discuss what is most important to them about libraries. You might like to pitch about how librarians contribute to education, literacy, community engagement etc. Or you might have a strong opinion on the challenges of teaching in any number of library settings…perhaps you think there’s too much emphasis on teaching in librarianship and we should concentrate on our core librarian skills…or is teaching a core librarian skill? It’s up to you to pick your angle!

We need you to send us your pitches on the topic – for lots of ideas see our What to Pitch page. And if you need a bit of convincing that pitching at Library Camp is something you could do, or just want more info then see our How Library Camp works page.
Send us an email ( and let us know your thoughts. We’ll be adding pitches to the site (see our Pitches page) as we receive them so check back here over the next few weeks to get a taste of what you can look forward to on the 21st May!
cakes libcamp 15

*It is acceptable to come just for the treats.

Library Camp Ireland Returns

It’s back!
 Libcamp Logo Orig1
The LAI Career Development Group, along with the Academic & Special Libraries section of the LAI, are delighted to announce the details of Library Camp Ireland 2014.
Library camps emphasise the informal, and that’s where we need your input.  If you have a burning desire to talk about a particular aspect of libraries or the information world, then you can pitch your idea here.
We will be hosting the event in the Wood Quay Venue on Saturday, the 28th of June, from 1pm to 5pm.  You can get your tickets now by clicking here.  Remember: last year the tickets were snapped up very fast, so make sure you get yours early!  And just like last year, we are asking you to bring something sweet and/or savoury to the event.  We had a wonderful response at the last one!
You can keep up to date with all the information (including what a library camp is, if you’re new to all of this!) by clicking here.
Spread the word. If you’re online, don’t forget the hashtag for the event: #irelibcamp14.

Library Camp Ireland 2013: The Aftermath, or a Tale of Cake

Libcamp flyer

Happy July, everyone! It’s been some time since we last updated the CDG blog – shame on us! A lot has happened since then, including the wonderful Libcamp 2013 and all the Libcamp cake! We have finally recovered from the sugar high and want to give a huge thank you to everyone who attended. It was a fantastic day and we were delighted that so many information professionals from all over Ireland attended. The day was a success because of the people who came to mingle, discuss all things library and eat cake. Thank you all!

We won’t go into too much detail about the events of the day here as many of the Libcamp attendees have written fantastic blogs detailing the different pitches, their thoughts on our venue, The Chocolate Factory, and what they took away from the day. Links to these blogs are now available on the Libcamp 2013 event archive along with the day’s Twitter archive and photos. Head on over there for a full review of what was an informative, positive day, full of energy, ideas and lots and lots of cake.

We do, however, want to say thank you to all those who pitched: John McManus who spoke about MARC; Michelle Dalton and Jane Burns who spoke about publishing in libraries and OALIS and An Leabharlann in particular; Helen Kielt who spoke about libraries and mental health and organised the Libcamp Ireland’s first speed networking session; Laura Rooney Ferris, Aoife Connolly and Marie Cullen who spoke about professional development; Emmet Keoghan who led a discussion on library qualifications and what skills we need to succeed in the current jobs environment; and Peter Dudley, Siobhán Dunne & Paraic Elliott who spoke about augmented reality apps in libraries.

asl logoLibcamp Ireland would not have been possible without the support of the Academic and Special Libraries Section of the LAI. It was a real privilege for us to work with such an enthusiastic, hard-working and genuinely fab group of information professionals. The A&SL run some great events themselves, one of which we have detailed here, so head on over and check them out on Twitter if you have not already done so!

We hope that everyone who came had a great day, had an opportunity to talk with other like-minded people about professional issues and took away some new ideas about libraries and librarianship. This was Ireland’s first ever Library Camp and we look forward to many, many more!

Library Camp Ireland

Ireland’s first Library Camp

25th May 2013

The Chocolate Factory – King’s Inn Street, Dublin 1, from 2pm.

Libcamp Logo

asl-logo-150x150The Academic and Special Libraries Section along with the Career logoDevelopment Group of the LAI are happy to co-host Ireland’s first Library Camp on the 25th May 2013.

Library Camp is an unconference – so it’s an opportunity for all facets of the Library community and information profession within and outside of Ireland to get together.

Unconferences have no key-note speaker and do not have a running order.

Library Camps have been held all over the UK and it’s also spreading across the globe and it’s a trend that has been building for some time now. Information Professionals love communicating, networking and sharing information so unconferences provide more flexibility for that to take place.

libcampblogAt Library Camp it is the participants who lead the agenda for the day – and until you the participant make suggestions or ‘session pitches’ there is no agenda. You crazy mixed up Info Pros!

However, because this is our first Library Camp in Ireland we’ve decided to give participants the opportunity to ‘pitch’ sessions that they would like to host or co-present to ensure that we all get the most from the day.

As it’s an unconference we will be following the principles of Open Space events – frameOpenSpace-Onlineparticipants can wander in and out of sessions, we will be encouraging you to tweet, blog and take photos during Library Camp.

We’ll be launching the Eventbrite booking platform on the 3rd May and on the same date we’ll launch the online facility where you can ‘pitch’ what you would like to see happening at Library Camp.

Our online platform will also provide you with the facility to load your blog posts about your Library Camp experience, post up your images and enable us all to share the experience with the wider information professional community.

Ireland’s first Library Camp is open to all within the information profession – whether you are a student, working in the public, private or academic sectors, qualified or not, a new to the role or someone who has worked for years within the field – we want YOU!

So put your thinking caps on – consider what you would like to take place at Library Camp and get booking and posting on the 3rd of May.

Places are limited so get booking to avoid disappointment.

Book here via eventbrite.

Pitch here via our online site.

Looking forward to seeing you all on the 25th May – follow #irelibcamp for the most up to date information.

Refreshments will be provided  please bring cake to assist with the flow of ideas!

Rachael K . lw . ccc