[Koha] Conference stuff

BWS Johnson abesottedphoenix at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 20 01:46:36 NZDT 2013


> I completely appreciate your desire to host a meeting in the DC area. 

    Thank you. I respect your mana and apologise if I've ruffled any feathers, however I feel it necessary to outline my thoughts so that you can see them before you clearly.

> Those of 
> us who spent time talking together discussed various times of year to hold a 
> meeting and came up with the later summer being the best, since springtime is 
> when most state library associations host their own conferences.

    I am trying my best not to conflict with other events, but I think I would have to draw the line at the State level since things can get quite tricky with that many moving parts. I will of course bear that in mind and try and navigate as best as might be expected so that as much of the Community can come as possible, though.

> What I'm hoping you will do is respond to our call for proposals for a 
> meeting with your own proposed dates and location rather than publicly proposing 
> your own meeting.  We'll add your proposal into the mix along with others 
> and let everyone vote on when and where they would like to go.

    I'm a bit mystified about this new process. Our International process is quite simple, and while it's had it's bumps, I think that we've been refining things over the years to try and keep things as fair and equitable while retaining as few articulations as possible. I got the distinct impression that this process would disqualify me on several counts. Please do humour me while I dissect my thinking interspersed with your initial announcement.

A group of Koha users is planning on hosting a meeting for Koha users based in the United States and Canada.  

    I was hoping to welcome the wider North American Community at my event. While the US and Canada are two of the big three (Mexican Libraries have been involved a number of years) in terms of land mass, I did not wish to forget the rich cultures of the Carribean and others in Latin America [1]. This is true in especial when citizens of some of those Nations made the long trip to our last KohaCon in Reno. 

We intend to hold this meeting next year, 2014, sometime during the month of August.

    I read this, and it processed, which was why I announced my intentions so as not to conflict, but to add to the wealth of the Community. 2015 wouldn't be a major election year here, which is a factor for me to keep in mind. When I proposed hosting the International in 2013, that was also on my mind. Things are easier logistically even if one were to back up to July.

We would like to invite proposals from agencies and libraries in the United States to host this meeting.  

    As a consultant, I do not view myself as an Agency nor a Library. While bids from just the US would be an attractive proposition in terms of my chances, I do not wish to disenfranchise others. It certainly could be that no one outside of the US wishes to host, but I would rather the gates to the process stand open.

We envision that the meeting would span 2-3 days.  Please email your proposals to me, nblake at masslibsystem.org.  Information in your proposal should include (but does not need to be limited to) the following information:

    That span is certainly amenable to me, and we've heard from others that they like it as well.

1.  The location and what kind of conference facility would be offered.  Confirm that the site would have internet and other technology available to enable presentations and general connectivity.

2.  Dates when the meeting could occur at the proposed location.

    Since this is nascent, I have several prospects in mind. In my experience with this Community and in other settings a venue was not firmly announced until after (and sometimes well after, though that is not my intent at all) one won the bid and had settled upon dates or narrowed them down sufficiently to secure quotes or provisional agreements. It was my intent to give the Community a choice of precisely where Conference was held and provide a small outline of each venue's merits and drawbacks. 
    I was rather pleasantly surprised as I poked about town looking for a home for Conference since there were many facilities willing to support Libraries and Open Source even if we didn't have proper 501c3 status or a formal structure. It was nice to have confidence that my means were sufficient enough to secure a venue regardless of sponsorship. It was my intent then and continues to be my intent to keep Conference free of a registration fee.
    I did this in my last bid by providing links on a conference site that was hooked into the Community wiki, but that's impossible to follow now, since I handed the site I used over to Reno for their use after tailoring things a little to their situation.

3.  Information about transportation -- the closest airports and train stations and how one could get from these places to the meeting site.

4.  Lodging in the area.

5.  Anything else we would need to know about the location and what makes it a great choice for this meeting.

    These would be easy enough to provide and are part of my favourite Conference trappings.

> Would you be willing to work with us and send us the info we requested in my 
> message asking for proposals?

    Of course I'm willing to work with you all, but I wanted to ensure that I am eligible under the new process and perhaps get an accurate picture of how things are meant to work. Given previous history, it is important to me not to sever our local discussion from the larger Community, much like how the New Zealand and French groups run. I respect that this might well be noise to folks beyond my ocean and would ask their pardon, but I would welcome the sight of their waka should they appear on my shore.

    If I am deemed eligible, then I would be happy to throw together another WordPress site that would contain details to my bid, as well as start a page on the Community wiki to display everyone's bid.



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