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This article was written by Melanie Parlett-Stewart, a Blended Learning Librarian for the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. It was originally published on Melanie’s personal blog, Becoming Blended.

 

melanie.parlettestewart_1392220491_21This weekend I participated in my first Startup Weekend Education event, and this one had a Library theme to it! Not only did I get to spend time with some Dal SIM classmates, I also got to meet a lot of incredible people doing amazing things (UX, design, programming, and more). On top of that, we got to hang out at the Toronto Mozilla office, which was pretty cool!

Overall, it was a life-changing experience, and I wanted to quickly share some reasons why I think every librarian should participate in a Startup Weekend Education:

  1. This event pushed me out of my comfort zone. While I’m not a total introvert, this event got me talking and collaborating with many people I wouldn’t normally engage with in a work setting.

  1. You meet amazing people. I met tons of other library people, developers, designers… the list goes on. The knowledge and enthusiasm of the people attending and the mentors made this an amazing experience.

  1. Stuff happens. People actually make stuff! Coming from a work-world where stuff takes for.ev.er to actually happen, it was pretty incredible to see what could come together over the course of a weekend.

  1. New Ways of Working. I love collaborating and problem solving with my colleagues but I don’t get to do it enough. This was a weekend where that’s all we did and it was beautiful.

  1. Get Inspired. This was by far the most inspiring “professional development” event I’ve ever attended. While the event itself is completely exhausting, I feel more inspired about future possibilities and excited about just trying things. I think that sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the “we need evidence it’s going to work” and forget about the “if we don’t try we won’t get the evidence” part.

Want to Get Involved?

Find out which Startup Weekend Education events are coming to a city near you, or Organize one of your own! And be sure to follow Startup Weekend Education Toronto Library-Edition on Twitter and Facebook, so you can stay involved in the growing library entrepreneurship community!


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Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Mandela Schumacher-Hodge
(@MandelaSH) A former public school teacher, education policy researcher, and PhD candidate, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge co-founded Tioki, the “The LinkedIn for Educators,” in 2011. Funded by Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and Imagine K12