7) FAQ

Some (un)frequently asked questions about Mashed Library UK 2009 (“Mash Oop North“), which will take place at the University of Huddersfield on 7th July 2009. If you’ve got any questions that aren’t answered here, please leave a comment!

Will this event be of interest to me?
How do I register for the event?
How do I get to Huddersfield?
What will happen at the event?
What facilities will be provided?
What do I need to bring with me?
I went to the 2008 event at Birkbeck — will this be the same format?
Who’s organising the event?
Why’s it called “Mash Oop North”?

Will this event be of interest to me? ↑↑

Mashed Library is a semi-unconference style event centred around the theme of data mash-ups in a library context (“bringing together interested people and doing interesting stuff with libraries and technology“). The first event took place at Birkbeck College in November 2008.

If you’re a developer/techie/nerd/geekette working in a library environment, a tech-savvy librarian, a student librarian, or just someone who wants a day out of the office, this is the event for you! 🙂

If you’re a developer, this is an opportunity for you to spend a day with other techies and a chance to brainstorm with librarians. To keep you going, there’ll be mountains of pizza and fountains of caffeine!

If you’re a librarian, this is a chance for you to learn how to play with web-based data (e.g. using Yahoo Pipes) and to brainstorm with techies. So, if you’ve got a cool idea for a new library service, there’ll be a room full of eager developers who can prototype it for you and turn it into a reality!

If you’re a student librarian, this is a fantastic opportunity to network and forge new contacts! Keep an eye out for sponsorship information — we’re hopeful that there’ll be the chance for you to attend for free and have your travel costs paid for 🙂

How do I register for the event? ↑↑

The registration form is available online. Unfortunately the event was fully booked up within 24 hours of the form going live. However, please feel free to submit a booking and your name will be added to the waiting list and we will contact you if there’s a cancellation.

How do I get to Huddersfield? ↑↑

See this page for more info!

Once you get to Huddersfield, a free bus provides a regular service between the Railway Station, Bus Station and the campus.

What will happen at the event? ↑↑

The majority of the event will be an unconference, so whatever you want to happen will happen! We’ll provide an environment that’ll get your creative juices flowing, to brainstorm and share ideas, and to develop prototypes. You’ll be encouraged to network and to forge new links. And, if it all gets too much for you, there’ll be some toys to play with 🙂

Throughout the day, there’ll be the opportunity to “show and tell” with short (e.g. 5 minute) presentation slots (aka “lightning talks“). If you’ve come up with a good idea, if you want to show something off, or perhaps just talk about something interesting that your library has done, then we want you to share it! These will be informal presentations/chats with a PC and projector or flipchart available for use if you need it.

We’re hoping to reward good ideas throughout the day (even if it’s just a “pound shop” prize!). We’re also hopeful that we’ll be able to persuade a handful of organisations to provide some decent prizes that will awarded at the event to the best ideas and prototypes created on the day 🙂

For those of you who are new to mash-ups, we’ll be kicking the event off with some introductory sessions that will get you familiar with easy-to-use tools such as Yahoo Pipes.

What facilities will be provided? What do I need to bring with me? ↑↑

Free wi-fi is available throughout most of the campus and you will be issued with a username/password when you arrive. The same login can also be used to log into a campus PC or Mac. We’re hoping to provide enough power sockets to recharge laptops, but you might want to ensure you’ve got a full battery before arriving just in case we don’t have enough sockets to meet demand. Unfortunately Huddersfield doesn’t currently have support for EduRoam.

Don’t worry if you don’t want to (or can’t) bring a laptop/netbook with you, as we’ll have a limited number of PC and Macs available for use (n.b. these will be student PCs, so you won’t be able to install any software). A barcode on your ID badge will also give you access to the library, although we’ll be in the middle of reburbishing two of the subject floors so things might be a little funky in there!

Food and drink will be provided throughout the day, courtesy of Talis who are the main sponsors of the event. If you’re a vegan/veggie or if you have any allergies/intolerances, we’ll chat to you before the event to ensure we’ve got something nommy just for you.

I went to the 2008 event at Birkbeck — will this be the same format? ↑↑

Many of you provided really useful feedback to Owen after the Birkbeck event and we’ve incorporated your thoughts/ideas/comments into the planning of “Mash Oop North”. After the formal opening sessions, the short “lightning talk” presentations will be entirely optional, although we’re sure many of them will be of interest to you (in fact, you’ll probably have your arm twisted to do one of them!). We’re hoping that there’ll be a more equal number of techies and librarians, and we’ll encourage everyone to network and share ideas. The large studio space we’ll be using at Huddersfield can fit around 50 people, so it’ll be about double the size of the 2008 event.

Who’s organising the event? ↑↑

Although Dave was keen for Huddersfield to host the event, he couldn’t organise a booze-up in a brewery. All-in-all, there’s seven of us (we all work at the University) throwing ideas around and trying to ensure you have a day to remember: Lisa Balman, Zoë Johnson, Iman Moradi, Dave Pattern, Bryony Ramsden, Graham Stone and Tanya Williamson. So far, all of the planning meetings for the event have taken place in local pubs (usually at Vox Bar, as they’ve got free wi-fi) which may or may not be a good thing! 😀

Why’s it called “Mash Oop North”? ↑↑

It’s a combination (mash-up?) of “mash-up” and the phrase “it’s grim oop North”. It took Dave several cups of coffee before he came up with the title and he’s reet proud o’it!

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