I attended the 2019 ACRL conference in Cleveland (April 10-13). The first session I attended had a panel of three librarians who have implemented “escape rooms” as a way to introduce FYE classes to the library’s physical space. Attending this class with my colleague Pam was fortunate, as we had many conversations over the next several days about how we can adapt this idea for our library, whether it be for FYE (tour), recruiting (family day), or team building (student workers). There were several inspiring keynote speakers who were a pleasure to hear–each of whom shared personal narratives that fit with the conference’s theme of Recasting the Narrative. I attended many sessions that focused on instruction–from embedded librarianship to working with FYE students to partnering in assignment design. I feel like I got many ideas to work with here at SMSU from the sessions that talked about connecting with specific student sub groups (veterans, athletes, first-year students). My favorite session addressed critical media literacy in the era of “fake news”–the panel shared a huge amount of research and tips in shared google folders.
Another benefit to this conference are the connections I’m able to make with librarians from other states and universities of various sizes, whether they are the presenters or someone I sit next to during a session. I also appreciate the opportunity to go through the vendor exhibits. I was able to meet with three of my reps and talk to them face to face. I was able to get valuable information on a streaming service by sitting down with a rep from a vendor I don’t currently use.
Though this is a long conference, it is only scheduled every other year. The anticipation of this large event (over 3,000 academic and research librarians) leads to the excitement, and is really rejuvenating. I’m excited to start working on some of the ideas I got from the conference, and hope to make some really good changes in the way I provide instruction.