I proposed an NJ Library BarCamp some months ago, not realizing that efforts were already under way to do the same in NYC. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t do anything to get things moving; I wouldn’t have pulled things together nearly as well as the NYC folks did. The event was excellent. It was my first camp, and I’d definitely try another. A big thanks to Stephen Francoeur et al.

Here are the three sessions I attended, with links to the “official” wiki pages for summaries:

  • Solr and Lucene (session moderated by AIP's Mark Matienzo and NYU's Jason Casden) seem to be gaining momentum in the library world. Having gone to the last Code4Lib conference, my head was already chock full of relevant tidbits, but the moderators did a great job of showing examples, evangelizing, and keeping the discussion going.
  • Grid Services (session moderated by OCLC Openly Informatics' Eric Hellman) might have been very interesting if I hadn't kept receiving phone calls from an insurance company. I had to take the calls, and so this session was difficult to follow. The basic idea was to think of networked library services like the power grid. What would libraries want from the grid? What would they be willing to contribute back?
  • Semantic Web (session moderated by NYU's Corey Harper and CUNY's Sunny Yoon) was the most widely attended session I went to: standing room only! When I first added the topic to the wiki, I had no idea it would draw this many people. Odd that I would suggest this topic since I had little to offer on the topic, so I gleaned an awful lot. The discussion was spirited and, as you might expect, the RDF vs. microformats arguments flew fast and furious across the room. I'm left wondering if the RDFa/GRRDL approach might not be a good middle-road between the "everything must be represented as RDF in a triplestore" camp and the "just embed microformats in xhtml" people.

And now, the requisite name-dropping. I got to reconnect with a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in a while, like Terry Catapano, Jay Datema, Nicole Engard, Valerie Forrestal, Kevin Reiss, and Sunny Yoon. And I got to meet LibLime’s Chris Cormack, NYPL’s Josh Greenberg, Corey Harper, Mark Matienzo, Jenkins Law’s RayAna Min Park, and Steven’s Tech’s Linda Scanlon, among other people.

It was about as good as any camp without kayaks and archery can be. Check out some more summaries.