ACRL 2019 Conference

I attended the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) 2019 Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.  The conference was held from April 10th to April 13th. Thankfully, I received ACRL’s early career scholarship and the Central New York Library Resource Council (CLRC) professional development grant so that I could attend the conference. These awards allowed for my attendance at my group’s roundtable discussion, “Recasting the Narrative on Library Residency Programs: Embracing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Supporting Librarians of Color”.  My group was able to create a conversation about diversity residencies and diversity fellowships so that librarians like myself have the proper support in place before, during and after our time at academic institutions.

Since my position is unique having the necessary navigation skills is important to my success in this profession. This is one of the reasons why attending this conference is vital to my librarian trajectory. Furthermore, I am apart of the RIG’s(Residency Interest Group) program and proposal team so meeting up with current residents and fellows happened due to my attendance at the conference.  I wanted to continue recasting the narrative about diversity residencies and diversity fellowships.  Lastly, as a health sciences librarian, professional development is meaningful to myself and to others that I assist on a daily basis.

The sessions that I was able to attend:

  • Taking Charge of Your Narrative
  • The Soft Stuff is the Real Stuff: Reframing Librarianship Through a Relational-Cultural Lens
  • Recasting Your Skills to Collaborate on Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences(Poster)
  • Keynote: Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Lightning Talks 1: Going back to work: How Supervisors can Support New Mothers as They Transition Back to the Library, Are Diversity Residencies Serving Diverse Student Populations?, #CritLib in the Classroom One-Shot: Dialogues of Power and Privilege, Cultivating Cultural Competence in Teaching, The Quiet Solidarity of National Coming out Day Through Queer Storytelling and Coffee, Encouraging Racial Justice Activism on a Predominantly White Campus, The Beauty and Power of Student Voices: Inclusive Imagination in Library Programming, Accessibility for All(including your fellow librarians): How to Build Accessible Conference Materials, #randomcoffee=#betterorgculture, and Discussing the Impossible: mental illness narratives where bias rules.
  • Recasting the Parentative: Seeking Balance Amidst the Busyness
  • Reframing the Residency Narrative: Creating, Sustaining and Reinventing the Profession through Library Residency Programs
  • Moving Beyond Race 101: Speculative Futuring for Equity
  • Becoming a Proud “Bad Librarian”: Dismantling Vocational Awe in Librarianship
  • Women as Leaders: Explorations in Authenticity, Breaking from Toxicity, and Feminist Ideals
  • Keynote: Alison Bechdel

The details of each session can be found on ACRL 2019 Conference Schedule

Final thoughts:

  • I was able to find other mothers that wished that conferences would consider having childcare available.  This made me wonder, how do single parents stay active in this profession?  I was happy to see that on the ACRL conference survey that childcare was mentioned.  Hopefully, this will be an option for the parents.
  • I did not realize my need for a professional high five from other librarians of color.  This was the inspiration that I needed to continue on this odyssey.  It was so nice to step out of my bubble and meet other librarians that were stylish, intelligent and cool.  I truly believe we are building a lasting network.  Also, I was so happy to see two of the fellow diversity residents that I met at the Diversity Institute to launch their professional platform.  Check them out: WOC + lib
  • Alexia Hudson-Ward’s tips on creating my professional narrative were so wise.  She told us at our pre-conference session that knowing what makes us sing, cry and dream is what should shape our professional narrative.  This advice will help me with this journey of “who I be” in this profession.  For sure I know that I want to stay a health sciences librarian.  My previous work experience and my passion for our health as a society matter to me.
  • Meeting Elaine Westbrooks again was a delight.  I hope to stay in contact with her since I have family in North Carolina.
  • The diversity residents and the diversity fellows rock! My fellow colleagues were doing so much at ACRL that a spreadsheet was created so that we could support each other.
  • Many of the sessions that I attended, I was inspired to see that many of my colleagues will genuinely take back to their institutions what we learned.
  • I crashed a dinner with a friend and I am glad that I did.  The librarians that I met were from everywhere and the conversations were so honest.  I felt like this was a purposeful moment in our meeting with each other. The food was amazing! The hostess complimented us on our style. Spice Kitchen & Bar

I am glad that I attended the ACRL Conference 2019!    Furthermore, to see my librarians of color leading the way in every session or event that I attended was a delight.  I was able to learn so much from my colleagues. Additionally, I was inspired, supported and encouraged by fellow librarians of color.  The information that I learned will continue to help me thrive as a librarian.  For instance, self-care and work-life balance are important for me to establish early in my career, the tips that were given I will utilize so that I will not experience burn out.  The conference reception happened at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which was a great time with everyone.  This was a wonderful way that ACRL reminded us, librarians, to enjoy life and to enjoy each other.

I look forward to attending ACRL 2021 Conference in Seattle, Washington.













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