Too bad it was so muggy this year in Charleston! The conference is bigger than ever, including now the elegant Galliard Center and requiring more walking from one venue to another than ever. Nevertheless, having attended this terrific conference off and on for some 15 years, I am delighted that Charleston is growing along with it and hope it takes place in the charming historic district forever.
In our "Innovation Session" at the Charleston Conference (Saturday, November 7), David Phillips and I (Sylvia Miller) enjoyed sharing the process by which our working group came to invent the idea of a publishing-makerspace workshop. Each time our group makes a presentation, we take the opportunity to refine our ideas and the articulation of them. New to our presentation this time was an emphasis on the charrette process that David brought to us from the world of design and urban planning, and on the important difference between "brainstorming" and "visioning."
We also articulated how the varied composition of our own working group is intended as a model. Although collaborative work can be slow to move forward, we have found so far that multiple perspectives enrich our work to a surprising degree. One of our team members remarked recently that meetings in which librarians and publishers are supposed to discuss their differences are not often successful, whereas when librarians and publishers come together to work on a specific project, they appreciate each other's input and expertise.
Nevertheless, our group does not have the perfect composition for all purposes. As we prepare to workshop particular projects, we find that we need to add to the group and tailor it to the projects.
We were delighted that audience members wanted to join a listserv to hear more about Publishing Makerspace! We have not set up the listserv yet, but if you would like to join, please contact Sylvia Miller.
A publishing-makerspace workshop is a visioning meeting in which a variety of experts representing different perspectives and functions discuss an incipient multimodal scholarly project, attempting to address its multiple outcomes as parts of a potentially integrated process of production and publishing. Our hope is that such a workshop will equip scholars with information about useful tools, encouarge them to work collaboratively, and inspire them to enrich their work with meaningful connections. Our first test run of such a workshop will take place at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute on November 19.