May 11, 2010
My BookCamp T.O. Itinerary
This Saturday, May 15th, the University of Toronto’s iSchool will be hosting the 2nd annual Book Camp T.O., an “informal unconference” whose theme this year is “Book Publishing Is Going Digital, Now What?” At the time I signed up, only 10% of the sessions were booked, few sessions moderators had stepped forward and we weren’t quite sure what were were going to un-confer about; but nevertheless the event was sold out after only three days. Now the sessions are booked, the participants are listed and it looks like the event is going to live up to our expectations.
And yes, I will be there. Quote: “…participation and conversation is what we will strive for, rather than a more static event with formal presentations.” This suits my outspoken and eloquent (read: pushy) tastes very well. My itinerary, subject to change without notice, will probably be as follows:
9:30 eBooks in Education and Academia — the glacial revolution
This is my nod to participation. John Dupuis and Evan Leibovitch of York University will lead the session, but I will bring my three cents worth as an academic bookseller with pretty comprehensive knowledge of how academic eBooks are interfacing with their reading public.
10:30 Writing about Writing
I expect this session, led by Stuart Woods (Editor of the Quill & Quire), Amy Logan-Holmes (Executive Director of OpenBook Toronto) and Conan Tobias (of literary journal Taddle Creek) to be packed to the rafters with bloggers. Who’s with me???
11:30 Obscure Objects of Desire
Okay, I’ll be honest with you: this session is the primary reason I’m attending BookCamp. The blurb: “Before Gutenberg, books were fetish objects collected and hoarded by the elite. Are we headed back to the future? A session on all things paper, printed, bound and beautiful. A text is not a book, which is another way of saying that a book needs to be more than a “content delivery platform”. A book that is well made and sensitively designed satisfies the reader, pleases the author and reassures the archivist in ways that digital (so far) cannot.” Preach!
2:00 CBC’s Canada Reads
It’s not clear what Rosie Fernandez intends to do with this session, but I’m in. I think the bloggosphere’s contribution to Canada Reads has been singularly influential – the integration between web and radio content is likely to get even more blended. Let’s see where this goes!
3:00 The Onset of Exhaustion: Publishing in 2010
Led by Alana Wilcox of Coach House Press, I think this will address an aspect of the digital revolution that is being under examined so far: so, okay, technically we can address most aspect of the publishing trade with new media technologies, but how top-down is this model? Not every publishing house is funded by Bertelsmann. Is publishing in the global digital future feasible for everyone? Good damn question.
4:00 Building and sustaining a community of readers online
Of more interest to bloggers. Actually, neither this nor any of the other 4pm sessions excite me tremendously, so we’ll see if I even bother. Maybe this will be a good opportunity for a wind-down martini?