In my memory MozFest is already a blur, as it seems to have come and gone so quickly! But it was an exciting blur, full of meetings with people from different backgrounds and with different interests and ideas, full of learning and collaboration and discussions, full of fun and inspiration and confidence-boost, all pushing me to do something to get citizens more engaged in improving not just the Internet – as the theme of the week-end proposed – but our own knowledge and society.

On the Friday night was the “science fair”, with stalls presenting projects and the opportunity to start talking to some of the sessions’ facilitators. But MozFest officially started on the Saturday morning, with an opening speech by Mark Surman, the chief executive of the Mozilla Foundation – obviously talking about the open movement. Two of the things Mark Surman said really struck a chord with me:
“All of us has a chance to be leaders in this movement.”
“Coding is a way to be an activist, to build to change the future” – alongside other ways: to campaign for copyright reform, for the right to privacy, through art…

I thought both of those statements can also apply to UK public library staff: we can each do our bit and be a leader when it comes to what we do; plus in a way we are also activists, as we build to change the future. It is up to us to position ourselves to better defend the rights of our communities, and we can do that in many different ways.

Over the Saturday and Sunday I attended sessions related to: copyright reform, privacy and encryption of communications, remix of public domain images, open data policy and literacy – all topics I have a particular interest in, that are already part of my work and on which I intend to do more in the future. For example, I discovered a training on open data presented by the Mozilla Science Lab; I will now be testing out this course with colleagues at Newcastle Libraries next month and giving feedback to the course creators, possibly also participating in the development of the next module.

I did go to one “techy” session which was an introduction to GitHub and to a more creative session on “unleashing the creator in you”, where the facilitator made us work in teams to brainstorm and prototype a product idea (it was great fun and not just because Play-Doh and post-its were involved!)

Aude Charillon, SCL MozFest bursary recipient 
Newcastle Library and Information Officer
Business, Intellectual property and Digital