Well, readers, the person behind the curtain writing this post is later than usual in publishing it because they were too busy enjoying a wonderful meal with friends old and new this evening…So here goes with a wrap-up of another busy conference day.
One of the more positive aspects of this year’s event has been inclusion of in-depth workshops on special topics of interest to attendees, included in the regular conference schedule and offered at no extra cost. Typically in the past, these would have been offered as preconferences at an extra charge, but we wanted to add even more value to our regular event this year. Two of them were held yesterday, and the two held this morning were equally interesting and informative: one on developing your licensing and negotiation toolbox by Claire Dygert (CDygert Solutions), and the other by Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) on privacy, user data, and library licensing.
This was followed by the Vendor Expo as well as a Poster Session featuring insights into the Accessible Hiring Conversation Guide (developed by ASERL) as well as an overview of using Alma Digital from Ex Libris. A lunch break (fabulous food, again!) was followed by our second Vision Session featuring two speakers on topics related to DEI. First up was Amy Phillips (Library of Congress) and Managing Editor of WOC+lib. (Incidentally, the WOC+lib Co-Founder and Executive Director is none other than LaQuanda T. Onyemeh, a past NASIG award winner who gave an interesting Student Snapshot Session talk at #nasig2018!) Phillips talked about her experiences in librarianship from a minority perspective as well as from the viewpoint of technical services work, which is frequently downplayed in libraries, and whose jobs are quite often being paid less than public services jobs. She highlighted especially the good work being done in metadata initiatives to address/redress problematic subject terms through SACO funnels.
Following Phillips’ thought-provoking presentation, Anthony Davis, Jr. (California State University, Fullerton) highlighted his work in building a special collection of print books via a grant to support the Male Success Initiative (MSI) at his institution. The MSI Fullerton Men of Color Collection, as it is called, has achieved great success in drawing attention to the library’s DEI work. Davis highlighted the highly collaborative nature of getting this initiative off the ground and especially called out the enthusiastic, behind-the-scenes work of technical services colleagues. He humorously and effectively talked about allyship, DEI contributions from across a spectrum of library services, and the importance of visibility to administration of these efforts.
Vendor Lightning Talks were up next in two parts, and we learned a lot from the new initiatives, products, and services our many sponsors presented on. In between part 1 and part 2 of these talks was a helpful and informative set of concurrent sessions on vendor/library collaboration to automate holdings updates, metadata quality issues across cultures, navigating career changes, and development of a Microsoft Power BI tool for collection assessment to demonstrate the value of the library to external constituents.
Thinking back on the day, it seems, to this writer at least, that there was a strong recurring theme of employing our values to drive needed change, for example moving toward Open Access as the default for scholarly communication. Another recurring theme was the wealth of opportunities for collaboration, for demonstrating value, and for achieving success and visibility for our efforts.
Now it is time to wrap things up for the day. One more (partial) day of events to come tomorrow…