How to Propose a Session

To propose a session for THATCamp Libraries, log in with the user name and password emailed to you when your registration was approved. If you have forgotten your password, click “Lost your password?” on the login page. Go to Posts –> Add New and write a blog post describing what you want to discuss or do at THATCamp. When you click Publish, it will be published to this site.

As a participant-generated unconference, THATCamp is very informal, so although you should plan to lead the session you propose, you need not prepare. In fact, we prefer that you *don’t* prepare, since we are looking for honest conversation and productive work rather than presentations. Here are some examples of THATCamp session proposals — you can also browse through the websites of past THATCamps to see the kind of things that people propose to do.

Types of Sessions:

General discussion — Sometimes people just want to get together and talk informally, with no agenda, about something they’re all interested in. Nothing wrong with that; it’s certainly a much better way of meeting people than addressing them from behind a podium. Propose a session on a topic that interests you, and if other people are interested, they’ll show up to talk about it with you.

Hacking session — Several coders gather in a room to work on a particular project. These should usually take more than an hour or even two; if you propose such a session, you might want to ask that one room or swing space be dedicated to it for the entire day.

Writing session — A group of people get together to start writing something. Writing can be collaborative or parallel: everyone can work together (probably in Google Docs) or by themselves (yet with a writing vibe filling the air) to write an article, a manifesto, a book, a blog post, a plan, or what you will.

Working session — You’re working on something, and you suspect that some of the various people who come to THATCamp might be able to help you with it. You describe problems you want solved and questions you want answered, and strangers magically show up to hear about what you’re doing and to give you their perspective and advice. This is not an hour-long demo; you should come with specific questions or tasks you want to work on with others for most of the session.

Workshop — A traditional workshop session with an instructor who leads students through a short introduction to and hands-on exercise in a particular skill. (Note: the workshop series was formerly called “BootCamp,” a term we have now deprecated. Note too that as of January 2012 the Mellon fellowship program for THATCamps with workshops has ended.) Workshops may be arranged beforehand by the organizers or proposed by a participant who agrees to teach it. There will be up to three workshop sessions in the morning at THATCamp Libraries. Visit the Workshops page for more information on the workshops planned.

Grab bag — Ah, miscellany. One of our favorite categories. Indefinable by definition. It’s astonishing how creative people can be when you give them permission; performances and games are welcome.

  • David Staley, An installation, THATCamp Prime 2009.
  • Mark Sample, Zen Scavenger Hunt, THATCamp Prime 2010 (N.B.: The Zen Scavenger Hunt didn’t actually happen, but it was still a great idea).

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