Twas the night before Icepops…

On the day before Icepops we wanted to write a short blog post, because we’ve been planning this event now for over 6 months so we’re really excited and also a little bit nervous. The day is almost upon us, everything is booked, the catering is ordered, the evening social planned, the logistics of the day sorted and we just have to get ourselves and a lot of luggage to Liverpool safely. We’re really looking forward to sharing the day with the 70 or so people who are coming from 9 different countries.
Although we’ve really enjoyed going to events over the last couple of years, talking to people about copyright literacy, we don’t think there has been a conference quite like Icepops. It’s about copyright education, it’s bringing together people from different worlds and using a playful approach to a traditionally rather dry subject. We are deliberately trying to do something a bit different, which we hope might work and this has been our opportunity to organise an event in the way we want, almost starting from a blank canvas.
And why are we doing the conference as a satellite event of LILAC? Well of course Jane is Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group, and we both believe copyright is an important part of information literacy. We also wanted to build on the momentum from the IFLA event last August, which brought together the worlds of copyright education and information literacy and left us enthused and inspired that there were people around the world trying to do similar things to us. In addition to this, playfulness has been a part of information literacy education for many years, and the info lit community embraces innovative approaches to teaching as a way of engaging our learners as well as making it more enjoyable for us as teachers. Plus of course, there is real evidence that fun and games really do help learning. Finally, we also hoped that Icepops might bring some new people to LILAC, to bring copyright experts and information literacy people together.
So that was the idea, but would it work? As the bookings slowly started coming in, it became apparent that people really did want to come and talk about copyright education with us! But of course, it’s not just us that people have come to see. We had to have Ronan as our first keynote, because of his range from the super scholarly (his book Rethinking Copyright was a particular influence on Jane’s ALT-C keynote) to the accessible and user-friendly (his work with Bart Meletti on Copyright User and the Game is On as well as more recently the Copyright Cortex). And Alex was again an obvious choice. Because of his playful learning background and thinking about the support he gave us in creating the Publishing Trap, we knew he would be an excellent keynote. And then more people came on board: Hayleigh, who spoke to enthusiastically to us last autumn about games hacks and mindfulness and IP; and Kyle (creator of Fair Use week and Harvard’s very own Copyright Advisor) who Jane met at ACRL in Baltimore last year, with his copyright quiz show. There are plenty of other great people coming as well who we are lucky to call our friends. And of course last, but not least we should mention our sponsors: CLA, Learning on Screen, CREATe, EBLIDA, IPAN and the Intellectual Property Office.
As Hannibal said “I love it when a plan comes together”, so how did this one turn from a dream into imminent reality? Well there has been plenty of hard work, lots of planning, lots of help and support from members of the Information Literacy Group. Catherine who battled with the new events booking system. Lisa and Rosie for buying creative stuff and talking Jane down from a crisis or two. Elaine for sorting out all the payments. Anne-Lise who is coming to help out on the registration desk. Andy, for agreeing to come and be his playful self. Kath and Elizabeth at Liverpool who have helped with all the local planning and been fantastic and Jane Cooke their manager for her support. And finally Becki in the conference team at University of Liverpool.
So what’s it going to be like? Well, we don’t really know, but it’ll definitely be a big mash up event featuring copyright and games. Oh, and lollipops and Play Doh, and a karaoke shower, and an evening social with beer and curry and a Spotify playlist. And cake, there is always cake at a copyright event! Have we lost our minds? Only time will tell. See you at #Icepops2018 or follow our event on twitter!

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