engaging with the profession

Last week I presented and participated in ACRL 2015, the biennial national conference of the Association for College and Research Libraries.  As always, even though I stress out for weeks about my presentations, the ACRL Conference was an incredibly stimulating experience where somehow everything comes together and I learn so much.

This time around, I gave my very first short Contributed Paper, which was about my user study for Emblematica Online:


I also presented a research poster on the Virtual Verse in the Library IMLS project I co-led with Dr. Rachel Fleming May at the University of Tennessee.

Altogether, I have to admit that ACRL conference often ends up as a “mountaintop” experience: I get excited about others’ inspired projects and initiatives, I LOVE catching up with old friends and former students, and the keynote speakers always send our spirits soaring with messages that we academic librarians are the linchpins in the world of knowledge. And then you come back home…. a bit more refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges once again.

I actually didn’t go straight home, though, but rather flew over to Michigan for the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) UnCamp at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  There I met a host of scholars, computer programmers, and librarians who came together to learn about the HTRC’s newest tools and services for data mining content in the HathiTrust Digital Library.  It was an interesting 2 days of discussion and exploration, all with the aim of building up a community of researchers and users around the HTRC.  Hopefully the coming months will see a sustained community around the HTRC, as well as advancements in the tools put out by the HTRC.

In any case, I’m ready to take a break from traveling for the rest of the spring, and instead focus on the final stretch of P&T. . . .