How to organise a library hackathon

What role can libraries play in hosting hackfests to support student research and collaboration? Canada's York University shares the secrets of success.

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The Hackfest utilised 11 mentors through the 2-day event, pulling in the services of librarians, faculty, entrepreneurs and the university’s Computing Services. The event also used the Library collection, with a book display featuring books on the open access movement and technical handbooks as well as leisure reading.

Shujah enumerates ten steps for other libraries wanting to organise their own hackathon event. Points to consider include the overall theme of the event, the competitive parameters (if any), the involvement of sponsors and partners, logistical considerations, publicity (both online and offline), and post-event feedback and reflection.

Shujah’s presentation was well received and was named ‘best contributed paper’ at the SLA conference. It can be read in full here:

SLA members can benefit from a 25% discount at this year’s Internet Librarian International conference  (London, 21-22 October) – click on the relevant discount when prompted during the registration process:

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