I wrote a post on Thursday titled ACRL2017 – Day Zero, implying to myself and you that I would be posting daily updates from the conference. HAHAHAHA. It’s always good to aspire, right?
This was my ninth ACRL – yes, ninth – and I was giving some thought to that over the course of the conference. I’m 17 years into this library adventure and I reckon that’s just a little bit less than halfway through, assuming I don’t win the lottery or have a life-changing encounter and open that goat farm that’s previously been my post-apocalyptic Plan B, or whatever. What kind of world will we be living in? Where will libraries be at that time? Where will I be? What choices should I be making now that I’ll be happy with in 20 years? These are some of the questions that were in the back of my mind as I experienced the conference.
One indirect result of all this heavy stuff swishing around in my thoughts was a little carpe diem, or maybe carpe ACRL – I was a co-chair of the Innovations committee, and this incredible group of people put together so many cool things for the conference: team trivia on opening night, the first-timer game, the Zen room with chair yoga which I heard was wildly popular, the art lounge, introvert recovery room, volunteering / give back opportunities, lightning rounds, and that’s not even everything – 👏👏👏 Thank you all so much. So, I thought to myself, I need to build in some time to actually experience these things that we all spent so much time planning – and I’m so glad I did.
— courtney mcdonald (@xocg) March 24, 2017
I loved the art lounge! I colored a page one day, just chilled in the comfy chairs another and had some great random run-ins with friends and colleagues on another day – it was such a great downtime space. In talking with some friends last night I guess the introvert recovery room was also super welcome. Yay!
So about the programming. I’m a user experience librarian who doesn’t liaise or teach as part of her job (although my applications and systems support those who do), who has a big heart for reference, and who loves some cool edgy technology. How do you program for me? Not sure. I’ll be honest, maybe I’m on the verge of #getoffmylawn territory, or maybe it’s just been an exceptionally hectic spring semester, but I struggled to connect with the full program ahead of time via the website or app. These are things I work on in my work-life, so I know it’s a hard thing to get right, and based on the interaction people were having with the conference app, it looks like maybe I was just being kind of a fogey. Ha! Regardless, once I got onsite I found more items of interest than I’d feared I might … and every single day something I most wanted to see was in the opening time slot! I took that into account for my social schedule. 😉
Highlights this year included mostly contributed papers, lightning rounds and TechConnect sessions for me. Here are notes on just three:
- Leading from the Library Loo – you want to get real with user experience? Start systematically studying library bathrooms. Awesomely, these folks were profiled in the Chronicle as well.
- “I Don’t Know What I’mLooking at”: Understanding Student LibGuide Use with Eye-Tracking Software – I didn’t realize that for $500 you can get the equipment you need to do eye tracking studies. This was great news; that’s certainly not free, but it’s not an impossible amount of money to ask for. Turns out, LibGuides are subject to the same best practices for web design as any other web content. 😂
— courtney mcdonald (@xocg) March 24, 2017
- Scoping Out Success for Your Users: More Options, Less Confusion – another great paper! So interesting to hear how they redesigned their website to be more task-oriented, verb-y, and uncluttered for their community.
Predefined limiters on library website. Make access and use as easy as possible. #acrl2017
— Sojourna Cunningham (@TheNotoriousSJC) March 23, 2017
This post is droning on, we still have to wrap up and head to the airport, and I haven’t even talked about the panels or keynotes, or how amazing the lightning talks were, or about any of the great restaurants or bars … oh geez. I’m just going to leave you with these tweets and hope to post again as I have time to process more. I’m also working on pulling down the #acrl2017 tweets for further review later.
— Shaundra Walker, PhD (@shaundrawalker) March 25, 2017
— Lisa Hinchliffe (@lisalibrarian) March 25, 2017
So we call our students "dum dums" & speak glibly abt taking all their data, but whine abt them not using/valuing our services? 🤔 #acrl2017
— April H. (@AprilHathcock) March 25, 2017
I personally 💕 being at a desk. Even if point to printers,I feel like I'm getting the scoop on a student's life in the lib #acrl2017
— Hailley Fargo (@hailthefargoats) March 24, 2017
— courtney mcdonald (@xocg) March 23, 2017
"A messy space invites a certain kind of work." Space aesthetics set the tune for what kind of work goes on in there – love this! #acrl2017
— Vickie Karasic (@vmkarasic) March 23, 2017
Mentors have strengths but mentors don't have to have ALL of the the strengths. everyone has something worthwhile to give & share #acrl2017
— Leslie Reynolds (@leslieR) March 25, 2017
NCSU is doing fantastic work on reproducible computing environments for teaching code by making uniform environments. #acrl2017
— Jennifer Brown (@jeninthelib) March 24, 2017
Really dig the more flexible schedule than in the past. Changes to Papers, TechConnects, Posters; adding Lightning Talks. <3 you #acrl2017
— Heidi S. Burkhardt (@heidi_sb) March 23, 2017
Presenting is hard Encourage each other as colleagues Our world is small and you never know where people may land professionally. #acrl2017
— Alexia Hudson-Ward (@alexiahudson) March 24, 2017
Thanks Baltimore, and ACRL 2017! See y’all in CLEVELAND. ⚡️
— Trevor A. Dawes (@tadawes) March 25, 2017