Tuesday, 10 May 2011

20x20 Working Together, Learning Together

The inaugural ALIA Sydney 20x20 Working Together event was held on Tuesday 3rd May in the Victoria Park Room at the Fisher Library at the University of Sydney Library.

It was with great excitement (and a dash of nervousness) that I coordinated and chaired this event.

The theme was 'Working Together, as a celebration of all of the wonderful collaborative projects that libraries and other organisations are working on. The presenters included a host of librarians, academics, writers, researchers, a historian and even a philosopher!
I've included a list of the presenters who presented on the night:

1. Ellen Forsyth- Read It 2011
Website: http://readit2011.wordpress.com/

2. Louise Prichard- Library Hack
Website: http://libraryhack.org/

3. Dr Lisa Murray- Dictionary of Sydney
Website: http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/

4. Kirsten Thorpe- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Archive (ATSIDA)
Website: http://www.atsida.edu.au/

5. Dr Gillian Fuller- Design and Art Australia Online (DAAO)
Website: http://www.daao.org.au/

6. Helen Chan- Read@UTS
Website: http://read.lib.uts.edu.au/

7. Oriana Acevedo- My Language
Website: http://www.mylanguage.gov.au/

8. Dr Tim Fuller- Coalition of the Willing
Website: http://cotw.cc/wiki/Coalition_of_the_Willing

People in the audience commented on the evening, how excited they were to hear such varied and diverse presentations. (We were SO pleased to have such a fabulous diversity in presenters also!)

Despite the fact that people used slightly different jargon from each other, because of this diversity, a common theme emerged on the night- the idea of trust. This involves building trust with key stakeholders by having conversations with the people or groups involved, so you all have a good understanding of what you are doing in your project. This may sound obvious in a collaborative project, but the ensuing discussion on the night focused on the building of trust that starts well before you even start on the actual project. It involves building a good relationship as a foundation. Once you've built this good relationship, it allows you to have conversations about new projects.

What also became apparent was that not only were we focusing on the theme of working together, we were also learning together on the evening. The 20x20 format of the evening meant that the presenters had a set number of slides (20) with a set number of seconds (20) to talk to each slide, hence the name 20x20. This gave them 6 minutes and 40 seconds in total, to present.

Not many of us in the room had experience working with this format before, so it was a great learning curve for us all. One of my favourite moments of the evening was seeing Ellen Forsyth, celebrated Mover and Shaker of 2011, as nominated by the Library Journal, dash from the back of the room to start her presentation, in case she missed some of her 20 seconds on the first slide! That was entirely my fault- I don't think I made it quite clear that the 20 seconds started after the initial title slide... But it was with grace and humour, that Ellen was our first successful presenter for the evening.

ALIA 20x20

ALIA 20x20

ALIA 20x20

ALIA 20x20

To see the rest of the photos from this evening, check out the ALIA Sydney Flickr stream here.

So what does everyone think of the 20x20 style format of presenting? Love it? Hate it? Ambivalent? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.

- Crystal

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