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Michael Stephens › Likes

Steele Lawman
LITACamp: How much would you pay? -
(Simonizing) Any thoughts on this, FFeeps? - Steele Lawman
Well, as a student who already has to dish out for a couple other conferences within two months of this, I might be hard-pressed to pay $150 AND more travel AND more hotel. That said, this is the event I think I would enjoy the most. - Sara Q. Thompson
Um, I'd rather pay zero... I am trying to get another free unconference set up in Denver for librarians interested in sci-tech issues ( I even thought of a catchy acronym last night, STELLA -- Science, Technology & Engineering Library Leaders in Action. How does that sound? Steve/Laura, would you want to take part? - Joe
Hosting something at OCLC isn't as cheap as it would be at your local public library. It's an ALA event being held AT OCLC... not necessarily being sponsored by OCLC (with the donation of space and other stuff). - Julian
Julain:Then why TF did they decide to host it there? The point of unconferences is to be cheap/free, local, and unstructured. If you're flying to an unconference, you're either very dedicated or missing the point. - DJF from twhirl
I went to the BarCamp / LibraryCamp at OCLC back in August. One person who helped organize that is on the LITACamp organizing committee. I drove from Maryland back in August, but I don't think I'd be nearly as inclined to drive for LITACamp. It seems to be an unconference in theme and structure only. - Julian
DJF & Julian, it's certainly possible I don't understand the economics, but I would have thought OCLC would be happy to donate the space and market OCLC like crazy to participants. - Steele Lawman
I agree with Dorothea--where is the money going? Going to LITA how? What's LITA going to do with it besides feed people scones and pay two speakers? I've done a big annual program that people drive for at my library for $500--and that included a hefty speaker fee--If OCLC is donating the space, what do you need several thousand for? - Hedgehog
I'd only do a keynote at an unconference for expenses only if people were attending for a nominal fee. If the sponsoring org is doing it for a profit, I'd want a piece of the action. Seems like it also would have made more sense to tack something like this onto an already existing conference (LITA Forum, Code4Lib, Annual, etc.) so people don't have to travel all that way JUST for this. - Meredith
@neff - I'm working to organize an unconference (with Michelle Boule) within ALA for Annual (it's one of Jim Rettig's presidential initiatives). It's going to be free for people to attend, but it's costing ALA many thousands of dollars since we have to do it in the conference ctr where every little thing costs a mint. Still, we hope to show that it's possible to do well within a big org. - Meredith
Meredith, presumably if ALA wasn't eating the cost of the unconference you and Michelle would have made different choices, though. The ALA one seems to be more on the mark than LITA though: you don't need a big organization to run an unconference, so what value can the org provide? With ALA, they'll provide a convenient venue and food at no cost. With LITA, they provide...what? - Steele Lawman
OCLC rents out its (premier?) conference facility on a regular basis to groups. Most of them are NOT related to librarianship. In a area rich with corporate campuses, OCLC seems to have the best facilities. In this case, ALA is no different than Toyota. I should also add that when I went to OCLC back in August for the BarCamp, I had to pay a relatively small fee ($25). It covered some of the costs -- most notably lunch. Food service at the OCLC conference center MUST be run through OCLC directly. - Julian
Julian, OK, so why do it there? - Steele Lawman
Because it's OCLC (name recognition)? Because they have already hosted one of these things? - Julian
I bet I could put up our library to host the dang thing on the same day for free. We're already doing a podcamp: . No reason any other library, public or otherwise couldn't do it. - ɥsıuɐʎɹ
You're right, Steve, and when I saw the prices I sort of wished that we could have done it somewhere other than the McCormick Ctr. You definitely can do it for less when you're doing it outside of an org, but even with that, I can almost guarantee that LITA is making a profit from this. - Meredith
I'd say all of the ALA divisions only see dollar signs. I'm on the virtual conference committee for ACRL's National Conference, and have been very disappointed by how much they are charging people to participate virtually. I spent my $250 on ALA, LITA and ACRL and there's very little I get for what to me is a huge chunk of money. - Meredith
Oh, there's a story here that I just can't tell quite yet. Suffice it to say this: BIGWIG wrote the initial plan for this thing, where it was ORIGINALLY going to be two-track, for techies and non-techs to get together and do project-based learning in an unconference type setting. Would have _rocked_. LITA Board shot it down. That was 2 years ago, and they are JUST NOW getting this thing going. I'm really, really disappointed in the way this got done, overall. - Jason Griffey from twhirl
I was waiting for you to weigh in, Jason. That sucks... - Jenica
It's starting to sound like the only people that will be going to this are the people who think that events need to cost money. That is, the people who would benefit most from seeing how little money events do actually cost. - DJF
Yeah, thanks for the comment, Griffey. - Steele Lawman
David Rothman (☤)
@JulieNeff: Sometimes, I think crying is like an emotional pressure valve. It relieves the heavy pressure so we can get on with coping. That's why we even cry when overwhelmed with joy.
Totally agree. This seems a wise course of action to me. - David Rothman (☤)
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