newCardigan - new ways of thinking & doing
In mid 2015 a group of librarians were having a drink together and talking about what we needed to become better librarians and have more fun while we were at it. Thus was born newCardigan - a social and professional group for workers in galleries, libraries, archives, museums, records and associated industries, and anyone else who likes to hang out with nerdy types.
The ‘new’ in newCardigan doesn’t mean it’s for new graduates, although they are certainly welcome. newCardigan is about new ways of thinking about GLAM, new opportunities, new connections, and new energy. We’re trying to create something quite different from a traditional professional association. No membership fees, no position papers, and no gold pins - newCardigan is designed to connect GLAM workers and ideas rather than represent a particular profession..
Currently newCardigan has four major projects, though we are always on the lookout for new ways we can support the GLAM community.
On the second Friday of every month (or sometimes on the following Saturday) we hold a ‘Cardi Party’ in Melbourne. These are loosely based on tech industry meetups. We usually hold them in a space donated by a colleague (a library meeting room or museum space, for example), and have a guest speaker for the first hour before we move on to a nearby bar or pub for dinner and drinks. Our Cardi Parties have been very successful. Usually between 30 and 40 people (from libraries, archives, museums and, occasionally, galleries) attend, and we are regularly booked out. Last December we held a ‘GLAM walking tour’ and we enjoyed it so much we’re thinking of making it an annual event. It’s really great to see GLAM people having fun together while we all learn interesting things.
CardiCast is our monthly (ish) podcast. Usually this is a recording of the last Cardi Party, but we also occasionally broadcast interviews with interesting GLAM people. We’re always on the lookout for future guests, so let us know if you have any ideas!
AusGLAMBlogs is a webapp that monitors the RSS feeds from Australian GLAM blogs. There is a link to the latest ten posts, a search page to find posts featuring a particular keyword, and the app also tweets out each new post three times. The idea is to spread Australian GLAM ideas far and wide, and make it easier to find people doing great things.
GLAM Blog Club
Our newest project, started in January, is GLAM Blog Club. This is open to anyone around the world. On the first of each month we announce a theme, and encourage GLAMers to write at least one blog post during the month with a connection to the theme (and a tag of “GLAM Blog Club” so they’re easy to find - controlled metadata FTW). The idea is to keep GLAMers blogging regularly, and like AusGLAMBlogs, help to connect people and ideas.
Our first 20 months have been exciting, fun and to be honest a little overwhelming - we hoped others shared our vision of exploring progressive ideas in GLAM but we weren’t really sure it would catch on. Over the next year we’re looking to run more great Cardi Parties, raise some money (we run things on the cheap but there are always expenses) and possibly expand our events to other parts of Australasia - stay tuned!