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I’ve not blogged for a while, having been far too busy with the wonderful Voices for the Library project. If you haven’t seen it, go look! If you have seen it, go look again! We’re adding new content all the time – stories, blog posts, events, and forums.
A combination of thinking about forums and libraries and debating, and the recent slew of blog posts discussing the value of a professional post-grad qualification gave me a seed of an idea: wouldn’t it be great if there was somewhere we could go to thrash these things out in an ordered manner?
Now, I don’t just mean discussion forums – we have those – but something more like a formal debating society. This is where I have to admit that I’ve never done any debating, and only have the vaguest idea of how it works, but my current thinking is thus:
- Get togther some people as volunteer debators. Make a list of proposed topics, and allow people to sign up to choose a topic and a side. Teams of one.
- Have a specific place for the debates. My first thought was to have each person argue their side on thier own blog, but this a) excludes non-bloggers and b) makes it more difficult to follow the argument in one place.
- Each debator argues their side – I think simultaneous post writing, rather than advance and riposte. The post is open for comments for a set period (comments from debators as well as observers? I don’t know).
- Winner is chosen by a poll on the blog.
- Next pair step up, and the next debate begins!
Frequency would depend on how many people were interested – I think twice a month might be a good frequency, with no one person debating more than once every couple of months.
So, down to the key thing: topics! I’d love a wide range of topics, ranging from the worthy to the frivolous, from never-before-discussed to new takes on old ideas. A few suggestions plucked from the depths of my brain:
- What the library profession needs for pop culture acceptance is a librarian at the centre of a great novel vs What the library profession needs for pop culture acceptance is a reality tv show
- Within a generation, paper books will only be kept for historical research value vs Within a generation, ebooks will only be kept for curiosity value
- Ranganathan’s 5 laws have no relevance in the digital society vs Ranganathan’s 5 laws have more relevance than ever in the digital society
So, what do you think? Is this a goer? Do you want to lock minds with the finest information professionals from across the globe, and do battle on the glorious field of the Library Debating Forum? Also, anyone fancy thinking up a snappier name? ;)