|'Ignite the moment' by viamoi on Flickr|
I was inspired to submit a talk proposal after @meimaiggio and Emma (@el399) both suggested on Twitter that it would be a great echo chamber escape if someone were to speak about libraries at the next Ignite London (Ignite events are recorded and webcast so that people who aren't there on the night can see the talks, too). I nearly didn't bother, thinking that somebody else would probably step up and offer something better than I could manage, but after hearing Ned Potter ('get out of the echo chamber') and Celine ('just do it') at the Libraries@Cambridge conference last week I decided that if I thought it should be done I ought to get on and do it myself.Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest of O’Reilly Radar and Bre Pettis of Make. Since then hundreds of five minute talks have been given across the world. Besides Seattle, there are thriving Ignite communities in Portland, Sydney, NYC and a lot more.The idea is simple: presenters are required to stick to a rigid format of 20 slides, each of which changes automatically after 15 seconds, ensuring that each presentation is exactly 5 minutes long. The format forces presenters to think long and hard about every slide.Presentation topics are diverse, and range from technology, travel, personal hobbies and passions and the arts. The only rule is that speakers cannot promote their own business ventures.
So I submitted, and had accepted, a talk under the title 'Just a room full of stuff? Why libraries are great' in which I'll try to explain the fundamental power of libraries (the organisation of knowledge/information/stuff), and their great value as places. I'm not, frankly, sure how I'm going to pack it into 20 slides in 5 minutes, but I'll do my very best!