Even if you won't be attending Access 2003, you can still help make
it a great event by suggesting
project ideas, or interacting with participants during the event
(we'll be blogging here at /u/l/i, natch).
In case you're wondering, here's what the Hackfest is all about, in
What's a Hackfest?
A loosely coordinated gathering of professionals with similar interests
(in our case, interests in library services), hanging out together and
with a bunch of computing gear, discussing contemporary issues in
libraries and, typically, dividing up into groups to design and build prototypes of solutions (in our case, probably software or web sites)
to problems of mutual interest. This
slide from last year's Hackfest report attempts a more formal
Why Would I Want to Participate?
Mostly, because it's a lot of fun! One of the best things about the
annual Access conferences is the wide range of experiences and talents
that attendees bring. Attendees also range from very senior types to
folks fresh out of library school, so there's a wonderful blend of
knowledge about both "what's possible" and "what works". So working
together on a Hackfest project gives you a chance to work with some of
these people on new ideas with little of the pressure of the real
workplace, but with all the benefits of cooperative problem-solving.
In other words, you get a chance to see how other people approach
problems, to learn from each others' experiences, and to see up close
how new technologies fit together. At the end of the event, you can
present your results during the last conference session, and if
appropriate, you can even choose to share
it with the rest of the world.
Forget It, I'm Not A Programmer!
No problem, join us anyway! Last year we really felt the absence of
full-time reference librarians, webmasters, library administrators,
and catalogers, as we knew there were aspects of projects we wanted
to work on but couldn't because the skills just weren't there. Even
if these don't describe you, if the Hackfest sounds like fun to you,
you'd probably have fun at the Hackfest, and the rest of us will
probably be glad you're there. :)
Cool, Where Do I Sign Up?
for the conference. Next, as you register, be sure to check
'Yes' under question #6, Hackfest!
Do I Need to Bring My Own Laptop?
No, as the conference coordinators and sponsors have generously
arranged for us to use computing labs for the Hackfest, and remote
servers for anything we need to put online. That said, the Hackfest
lab space is separate from the main conference space (which will have
wireless), so if you bring a laptop, you can continue to work on
stuff throughout later conference days. So bring it if you want,
but don't worry if you don't have one or can't.
How Can I Participate if I Can't Attend?
Sorry you can't join us, but we'd still like to hear from you:
- If you have project ideas you'd like to see an eclectic group
of librarians consider at this event, please
suggest it using this form.
- If you've been to one of these before, and have suggestions about
maximizing fun/productivity, please let us know about it;
- If you'll be online during Access, you can check /u/l/i for reports
from Hackfest participants, and comment on the proceedings! We'll do
our best to report out what's going on, and we'll have a few days
of conference after the full-day fest before we report on it at the
end of the conference, so that'll give us time to tweak and update