On Monday 30th November (it's taken a while for me to find time to blog about this!) Mashed Libraries held an unconference in Birmingham. It was called MiddleMash to reflect the Midlands location and followed the successful MashOopNorth event held at the University of Huddersfield on July 7th.
Mashed Libraries is a group for anyone interested in doing new and cool stuff with libraries and technology. It is a particularly relevant group to today's changing Information Profession, and brings to light the range of possibilities for libraries when people with technical skills and people with library skills are actually, the same people.
Middlemash, whilst held in Birmingham, was accessible to all (assuming they had an internet connection) and the follow up work going on now is also accessible, even if you weren't there. Many attendees of the unconference tweeted live through out the day using the hash tag #middlemash, and a quick search on Twitter for that hash tag brings back pages and pages of results (the most recent one when I searched for it just now was posted by ostephens just 17 hours ago - so you can see the conversation is still active).
Not only was there tweeting, but Middlemash has it's own blog which holds details of the event including links to the presentations on slideshare.
The Mashed Library wiki is also being updated by Middlemash attendees to contain discussion and tips on how the technology discussed could be applied in practical terms in libraries. My personal interest was caught by the idea of using Google Maps to create Library floor plans (interactive floor plans are something I am currently working on). But other topics covered at Middlemash were equally relevant and impressive, such as the use of Yahoo Pipes to create custom RSS feeds (something I have previously touched on in this blog, but never used to the extent that was being discussed at Middlemash).
Even though I couldn't attend on the day I felt like I gained a lot from just having a feed of #middlemash tweets available to me as I sat at my desk. I was even able to ask questions and get answers from people who were there in person - which was great.
If you would like to view the tweets from the day they have been archived using Twapper Keeper.
Mashed Libraries is a great group to be part of, or to be watching if you cant actually get to the events (you still feel like part of it because you don't have to be there to take part). This is a model more groups should follow, and I hope this is where CILIP are heading following the Web 2 Open Session they had earlier on the year, and with the switch over to their new content management system.
Did anyone else find benefit from Middlemash even though they couldn't actually attend?