After 13 years of committee service to ACRL STS (Science & Technology Section), I was elected as ACRL STS Member-at-Large to represent approximately 1,200 ACRL STS members. So after four years of traveling to other science conferences, I returned to my 16th ALA Conference last June.
Going to the ACRL STS Membership Breakfast felt like a homecoming, and I participated in an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Focus Group sponsored by ACRL STS. I noticed during my two terms on the APALA (Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association) Executive Board that there was not much communication between the ALA divisions and the ALA organizations for librarians from underrepresented groups. I urged STS to make a more concerted effort to connect with the ALA ethnic caucuses and GLBTRT.
I was happy to see a fellow STEM librarian colleague presenting at the ACRL STS Research Form on a citation analysis on women in STEM in higher education. The next step in their research is to investigate co-authorship networks. The main STS program focused on the latest trends in STEM librarianship, most notably consultation services for systematic review methodology, or comprehensive literature review. It validated my professional vision to teach systematic review methodology in my LIB220 online course last year. It was also wonderful to catch up with longtime STS colleagues and get to know my fellow STS officers at the STS Reception at SPIN, a DC ping pong/bar.
What I have missed the most about ALA Annual is the diversity of programs that I could attend from different sections and divisions. At the jointly sponsored ACRL STS-EBSS (Education & Behavioral Sciences Section) program on Scholarly Communication, I got up to speed on Plan U(niversal) to position preprint servers as the “de facto means for disseminating scientific research” through funder mandates and Plan S to transition away from hybrid OA publishing in favor of full OA publishing. It will be interesting to see if these Plans gain traction in the U.S.
On Monday morning, I attended a LITA program on instructional technologies and privacy. The “Right to Privacy” is a core value of ALA that I have always supported, and now there are more resources that have been developed by ALA:
For those who have worked at ZSR for a while, I ran into and caught up with Elisabeth Leonard who now works at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. I also met with the new American Chemical Society Account Manager for WFU, and discussed forthcoming ACS publications and my upcoming plan to bring an ACS program on campus for chemistry students.
Since this was my third national conference during FY2019, I am thankful that the Provost Travel Fund for Faculty supported over half of my conference expenses. I stayed in Arlington, VA to save my travel budget, commuted to DC via Metro and car, and used the Spot Hero app (thanks to Roz’s suggestion at Hu’s crowdsourcing presentation on Staff Development Day). Northern Virginia is known for its many Korean restaurants (and Korean bakeries), and I was lucky to get a table at Woo Lae Oak, where a former U.S. President and Secretary of State have dined. Most importantly, I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to ALA to give back to ACRL STS and reconnect with many colleagues.