Library Startup Weekend Review

Bj2fySRIMAEDotxSeveral weeks ago, I posted on what it was like to attend my very first hackathon as purely a spectator. Flash forward to last weekend and I finally got my first crack at participating myself. The general goal of the event was simple: create (or theoretically create–more on this later) some sort of application or plan that can substantially help the library. Mo and I put together an application called Sticky Bookmarks which essentially crowdsources particular scenes from books, allowing others users to jump to the best bits. Alas, the application, while finished, failed to swing the judges into seeing how we had revolutionized the way books are perceived (perhaps that’s somewhat overdramatic but still).

Though we were pretty pleased with how our application turned out (it was fully functional by the time it came down to demo presentations), we realized that the judges weren’t actually looking for practical apps but more theoretical pitches which would then be branched out into more complete projects after the weekend. So while the weekend overall was pretty fun, this was probably the most frustrating aspect of it, especially considering that I’m not the type of person who likes to say about a project that “this might work” but rather “look at this, it does work”.

On the plus side of the weekend, we did emerge with a mini-documentary filmed with my former Bitmaker star, Barbara, who somehow created a yellow microphone out of magic, thus enabling us to take up video hosting duties once more. Check it out below:

Overall it was a grand weekend for Bitmakers. Barbara’s team ended up taking home the grand prize while David and Michael’s teams also cleaned up. I suppose my next update will be the one that follows NASA’s space hackathon!