The year of conferences: #critlib & ACRL 2017

The year of conferences: #critlib & ACRL 2017

In my first nine or so months as a full-fledge library professional, I’ve had the opportunity to attend three (well, technically four) conferences: ALA Midwinter, The Collective, #critlib, and ACRL. As I reflect back on those various travels and experiences, I believe that each were helpful in building my librarian identity and connecting me with other librarians.In my first nine or so months as a full-fledge library professional, I’ve had the opportunity to attend three (well, technically four) conferences: ALA Midwinter, The Collective, #critlib, and ACRL. As I reflect back on those various travels and experiences, I believe that each were helpful in building my librarian identity and connecting me with other librarians.

The Collective Conference Recap

It has been one week since I was in Knoxville, TN for The Collective Conference. It was a fantastic conference where I got to meet lots of new people, learn new things, and take some ideas back with me to Pennsylvania.

Things I learned included:

  • How to ACTUALLY use Trello, a project management platform.
  • Tips and trick to manage social media (done in a well played Harry Potter theme)
  • The wide variety of student-advisory groups institutions have (so many!)
  • How to marry two ideas that seem to have nothing in common (it's fun!)
  • What digital humanities is (still wrapping my head around it but I've gotten a better idea)
  • Librarians know how to throw a shindig
  • Knoxville is a cool city that I'd like to visit again
  • New ideas for assessment and planning for outreach
  • How to make videos that don't suck

I am also trying to put these new skills to use. For example, I've gotten on Trello and am attempting to manage my bi-weekly newsletter on it (more on that later if I can make it work). And, I've made a video (below) that I hope doesn't suck. It's a recap of the conference, paired with some footage I took during the session on making videos. Enjoy! As usual, one of my favorite parts of making a movie is choosing the free music to play underneath.

The 25th Year: Plane Delays and Thunderstorms

I recently celebrated my 25th birthday. It seems like a milestone, even though my 2:28 PM birth time passed without me truly recognizing it. I can now successfully rent a car without any help, can proudly say I'm a quarter of a century old, and no longer can boast that I'm in my "early twenties." I got to the spend the hours leading up to my birthday and then the day itself surrounded by friends and family. My office even got decorated (see image above). As you tell, my office now is the level of cozy you can expect from me. 

To get ahead of a potential quarter-life crisis, I joked with my friends I was going to "get my act together." Which essentially meant I bought myself a lunchbox and reusable grocery bag, replaced the burnt out lightbulbs in my office lamps, and cleaned my apartment. Small steps in a much larger process of living alone in your twenties. 

My 25th year has also started off with some travel. I'm currently in Knoxville, TN, preparing to attend The Collective, a library conference designed for new professionals that pushes for user generated content at a low cost. I've only heard good things about this conference and am excited to meet new librarians and learn. 

So this morning I took off to Knoxville, thinking it would be smooth flying. However, rain in Knoxville with thick clouds and thunderstorms bunch next to each prevented us from landing in the afternoon as planned. Instead, we were diverted to Greensville, SC for a little 3 hour airport adventure. In some ways, it was sort of surreal because it was somewhat sunny at the airport and just sixty miles from us, storms prevailed for three hours. But finally we all boarded, feeling a bit closer than when we left, and survive the bumps and waves to Knoxville. 

Although it the night was falling when I arrived, Knoxville seems like a happening place. There's some vibrant downtown areas, full of interesting and unique restaurants. Had I arrived at my normal 3 PM time, I would have explored a bit and eaten dinner with some other conference participants in a little dine around town. However, my delay prevented me from meeting up so I was on my own. I've been encouraged by my older friends that it's sort of a rite of passage, to eat alone and not feel bothered by it (which clearly I'm still adjusting to). However tonight I was in my element. I ate food, did a little people watching out of the corner of my eye, and read Roxanne Gay's newest collection of short stories (which are pretty great thus far). I've slowly begun to recover my itch to write and I imagine Roxanne will continue to inspire.

Watch out for some conference recaps this week and a more active Twitter account :)