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Hackfest II at Access 2003

By dchud, Section Events
Posted on Tue Sep 2nd, 2003 at 04:46:34 PM EST
You are all cordially invited to participate in the Access 2003 Hackfest, the second incarnation of what proved last year to be an exciting new highlight of an always exceptional conference.

This year's Hackfest brings a new format: the entire day (October 1, 2003) before the beginning of the main conference track will be devoted to Hackfest activities, with two entire computer labs rented nearby for twelve hours just for the occasion. Also, we're hoping to bring a broader contingent of folks into the event, including as many non-technical people as possible. There will be plenty of hacker-types around, too, but all through last year's event participants wished more people with primary responsibilities in reference, cataloging, and administrative roles (rather than systems) were present. Like last year, hackfest participants will present their projects during a session on the last day of the conference. So come one, come all!


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 FAQs:

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 definition. :)

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?

First, register 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 things.
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Access 2003
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What's a Hackfest?
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Forget It, I'm Not A Programmer!
Cool, Where Do I Sign Up?
Do I Need to Bring My Own Laptop?
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Hackfest II at Access 2003 | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 editorial, 0 pending) | Post A Comment
remote teams via irc? (none / 0) (#1)
by inkdroid on Wed Sep 3rd, 2003 at 11:36:30 AM EST
(User Info) http://www.inkdroid.org

I'd really like to attend (especially to hear Tim Bray give the keynote!). But new baby and no vacation time make it impossible for me. The hackfest sounds like it's going to be great. Is there any chance that remote folks could participate in the hackfest via an IRC channel? Perhaps there could be remote teams?

[ Reply to This ]

But new baby and no vacation (none / 0) (#3)
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Hackfest II at Access 2003 | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 editorial, 0 pending) | Post A Comment
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