Mashing

I’ve taken my own words to heart, which may be a bit of a first.  I’ve gotten out of my silo twice since the last post.  Once to talk with a senior chap at the local paper (himself coming out of his silo) to talk about our experiences of Web2.  Interesting to hear someone looking more at revenue models, since in HE we so blithely spend our time developing and offering things free at source.

But the old adage that people sometimes only value things that they have to pay for. Considering our students pay their fees these days, in essence they are paying for a service – but does that mean they appreciate what we do for them more?  I don’t know but I’m very interested if anyone has done any work in this area contrasting the before fees and the post-fees value of HEI library and information services.

Right now I’m so far out of my silo that I’m down the road and into the next town.  I’m writing this post at Mashed Libraries 09 Oop North (in Huddersfield).  It’s an unconference filled with a lot of techy people, developers and the odd librarian too (okay a lot of librarians).  There’s a real lively buzz about the place, people who don’t let the pointless rules and grinding bureaucracy of universities grind them down – they just get on and do stuff.  I love this, and hope that just maybe that they can see me as one of their fellow doers.

On the other hand it’s quite a daunting day – there’s an expectations that collaborations and new developments will spin out of this event.  I’m not sure quite what that means I’ll get involved in, but I’m ready for anything (so long as i don’t have to write too much code – my programming days are a long, long time ago).  As an unconference too there’s the fact that a certain portion of the day is just an unknown.  I might end up spending the afternoon talking to one of my weasels, or I might end up with my shirt sleeves rolled up and getting mashed in.

I hope the latter but right now I don’t know.  I’m out of my silo, I’m out of my comfort zone.  And later, I’ll be thoroughly mashed.

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