Conference Summary: Punk Rock Librarianship at ACRL

In April, I drove down with a colleague to Indianapolis for ACRL, the biennial national academic librarian conference. While not as large as ALA, it was definitely as overwhelming.  Since this was my first ACRL, I put together my schedule for the conference online to keep me in check and because the official mobile app was terrible.

At conferences like this, I do a lot of my best learning, sharing, and connecting while networking in social and impromptu situations over sitting in conference rooms listening to a presenter drone on.  Because there is so much over simulation, I’m going to wrap-up a few key pieces for me.

Session: Planning Programs for Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys Bookshelf

GRCC Library is a proud recipient of the MJB grant and by the time the conference was approaching, we already had one event planned, Muslim Journeys Poetry Night, which turned out to be a huge success. The MJB round table was the chance to connect with other institutions who were also awarded the grant and find out what they were doing for MJB, how they are doing it, how they were marketing/promoting it, as well as outreach, and everything else in between.  I got a lot out of this round table, and also a  lot of great resources to use for future planning of events for the rest of the academic career.

Keynote: Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins is a punk rock icon, writer, publisher, traveler, musician, actor, and activist. And that does not even cover half of his interests. Rollins was selected as one of the primary keynotes for ACRL 2013, and he is the main reason I decided to attend. Henry’s passion for protection, curation, and preserving information is contagious. He spent his much of his keynote regaling the audience with stories of his own preservation works, starting when he was younger by collecting flyers and promotions for bands he knew, saw, or played in and his love for and about archives and librarianship. Rollins’ is immensely quotable, but one of his most accurate statements in this keynote is, “Life is short. Show up and do stuff.”

Session: THATCamp ACRL

The Humanities and Technology (THATCamp) is an all day (sometimes multiple days) unconference in which the sessions are collaborative, participatory, and most importantly, small. Having attended other unconferences in the past, this type of learning and sharing is definitely on par with my literacy style over say a structured lecture or something else along those lines. Since everyone in the unconference is participating, almost everyone involved is passionate about the topic, which makes sharing of ideas much more fun. The informality of the conference allows for flexibility and spontaneity that one normally wouldn’t find at a regular conference session, which also helps stimulate the projects and allows for growth that wouldn’t necessarily come.

I participated in the MOOC sessions, which was a small (less than a dozen people) group. The idea was to create an information literacy MOOC that would or could be dropped into instructors sessions and could be completely modular. So instead of creating a MOOC that is geared for say one class or say one college, this would be a general enough MOOC that could be dropped in a community college in Vermont or a big state college in California. While we were not able to complete the MOOC by the end of the day, there was a lot of interest to continue the work long after ACRL was finished.

Below is links to tweets, Google docs, and other materials for the MOOC as well as other links of interest for ACRL.

Interesting links of note about ACRL 2013