Mall Musings: Library Assessment Conference 2018

To kick off the beginning of December, I spent almost of week of it in a mall. Granted, that mall was connected to a hotel and a hotel convention center for a conference I was attending, but I did spend a lot of time with recycled mall air and the sounds of people shopping for holiday gifts. I was attending ARL’s Library Assessment Conference down in Houston, TX. A big reason for my attendance was to co-present on a participatory design project I helped with at Penn State (and was a parallel design project with our collaborators at Montana State). I co-presented with Scott Young and it was a great opportunity to talk about our work with Native American and first-generation students at our institutions.

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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.

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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.

ALA Midwinter: Day 1 Recap

I'm writing this blog post from warm Atlanta, Georgia. It's suppose to rain but hey, it's not freezing rain so I really can't complain. I'm in Atlanta for the American Library Association's Midwinter conference. This year, they chose a warm location (unlike Boston last year and Chicago the year before). It's a smaller conference than the well known (and massive) Annual conference that happens in June. However, I had a pretty good case to attend this year's Midwinter so volia...here I am. I've always found professional conferences to be refreshing and re-energizing so I'm happy to have the opportunity to participate this year. 

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