I’m jumping on the bandwagon to reinforce the awesomeness that was the selection of keynote speakers at ACRL 2017: David McCandless, Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist, Difficult Women and forthcoming Hunger  and How To Be Heard ), and our Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden!! Seriously, all of these speakers were inspiring (and at times, life-affirming for librarians everywhere).
As others have mentioned, the ACRL 2017 conference keynote speakers: David McCandless, Roxane Gay, and Carla Hayden, and Chair’s Choice Program speaker, Verna Myers, were all incredibly powerful and motivating to hear. Even conference chair and 2017-18 ALA President, Jim Neal, inspired us with his call to action! As with every ACRL conference I’ve attended, there are always presentations that fill me with great ideas to bring back to ZSR. Below are my top five presentations.
“Building Community and Enabling Student Success: 5 Reasons Why Graduate Students Love Thesis Boot Camp” – I cannot wait to implement a “thesis boot camp” at ZSR! These programs provide graduate students with a time and place to write, mixed in with support session from the Writing Center and the Graduate School on a wide array of topics. These boot camps are often held over semester breaks, when graduate students are still on campus and have time to write. I also learned about the upcoming “Transforming Libraries for Graduate Students” National Conference in 2018!
“Librarians are in the House: Unconventional Strategies for Outreach to your Campus Community” – Dartmouth has a new house model that creates community with programming and events. Unlike other house models where students select housing based on particular interest, this model focuses on campus partnerships, including house librarians.
Lightning Talks – These are always a safe bet! Several of the presentations touched on ideas we do at ZSR. There was one idea in particular I’m excited to explore called “Speed Geeking” (think speed dating with a focus on library orientation!) Students move from station to station learning quick hacks for using the Library. “What’s Social Justice Got To Do with Information Literacy?” – This was the last session I attended prior to Dr. Carla Hayden’s closing keynote, and rather than dash out in the middle to get a good seat, their presentation on weaving social justice issues into instruction kept me engaged right up until the end! These four medium to large, private, Catholic institutions worked together to examine the power structures that control information and created instruction materials with a social justice focus, available on an open access platform.
“Charting a New Course: New Horizons in For-credit Information Literacy Instruction in the Disciplines” – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Roz’s panel! This group of five librarians all described their varying models of for-credit info-lit for upper-level undergraduates. Roz moderated the panel and described our LIB 100-200 classes and the history behind our program. I should also mention that Mary Beth and Meghan did an amazing poster about the ZSR Library’s Boot Camp model for New Student Assistants Training, and their poster session was very well attended.
Five librarians from ZSR, and one from Elon, plus our luggage filled our 2017 Chrysler Pacifica rental van to near capacity, but with such a fun group, we had a great time traveling, filling the trip with email catch up, impromptu meetings, and fun conversation! Even the epic traffic around Washington DC didn’t slow us down (too much)! I’m already looking forward to ACRL 2019 in Cleveland!