My ACRL conference badge : a story of my experience


Upon returning to work after attending acrl 2013, I am faced with the task of sharing what I learned with my colleagues. As I unpacked my bag I pondered how I might succinctly and meaningfully share my experience. Then I unpacked my badge. The name badge. That ubiquitous conference item so essential at the conference, clunky and exorbitant back at your desk. And yet I pause to part with it because it captures so much of my experience. So it will live on here in digital format.

First-Time Attendee

Going into my first ARCL conference I had a good sense of what I wanted to get out of it. Mainly, I wanted to network, meet new people, and learn from them. When deciding what to attend I made a point to select sessions that would encourage socializing and sharing. So I attended First-time Orientation/ACRL 101. It was a pleasure to be encouraged by Steve Bell to network and participate. I enjoyed hearing perspectives from acrl newbies. And I learned that almost 1/3 of the attendees this year were first-timers! And I made my first new connection which leads me to…


If you’ve ever attended a conference you know about ‘the ribbons.’ At acrl 2013 we got to self select our ribbons. In theme with the DIY Library, I met Ginger who had created her own ribbon and gave one to me after I inquired about her awesome ribbon. DIY was a theme that came out in many sessions and in the cultural of the conference. Battle Decks, a DIY, karaoke style presentation social event, was another great opportunity to network and encourage a culture for the conference. The registration area also included idea trees…

innovate … inspire … imagine

Three idea trees around the above concepts were placed near the registration area and folks were encouraged to share back with acrl and other conference attendees. If you add an idea to the tree you get a button! I couldn’t resist the beautiful trees and cute buttons.
My favorite library innovation is…Suma [ACRL session: handout, ppt]

ACRL 2013 inspires me … TO DO! I proposed a session for ACRL THATcamp on crowdsourcing a MOOC which was met with much interest and was the most valuable experience for me at ACRL. Coming together with librarians from across the nation to build something with our knowledge and skills that could be useful to many people beyond our brick and mortar libraries was truly inspiring.
In keeping with the ‘to do’ inspiration, here is my To Do List from acrl 2013:

  1. Learn more about:, code academy, digital storytelling, constant comparative method,
  2. Read Oakleaf’s LQ article, Are They Learning? Are We?
  3. Update instruction menu to better reflect concepts we teach
  4. Find out if we have access to campus assessment tool, WEAVE
  5. Incorporate workshop handouts into summer instruction camp
  6. Propose MOOC session for digital futures unconference
  7. Explore NCSU Makerspace and THATcamp makerspace session for implementation ideas

Imagine the profession in 2025 … librarians are consultants working outside the physical library. Inspired by the workshop Flip It, Flip It Good and my work at THATcamp, I see a future for librarians as consultants to professionals who need help organizing, communicating, teaching, digitizing, making things find-able in the ever expanding world of information, and more.

acrl volunteer

Knowing that I wanted to connect with others first and foremost at acrl 2013, I signed up as a volunteer. I was able to get two slots: check-in & set-up for the Flip it workshop and Resume Review. Volunteering to work a workshop guarantees you a place in the workshop! This worked out great for me because the waitlist for the Flip it workshop was over 20 people! So in addition to meeting librarians as the check in desk, I also found the workshop to be helpful to my current work- affirming our curriculum design and supplying useful handouts to incorporate into training sessions.
As a resume reviewer I had the opportunity to meet a senior librarian and a newbie librarian. These review sessions were an opportunity to reflect on what is important to future libraries and share passion for working in the profession.

Peep My Tweets @ganski1

Networking through social media is essential these days. Twitter is the place to be for professional connections. If you aren’t there and you want to be connected with others then you should really ask yourself ‘why am I not on Twitter?’ I’ve expanded my professional learning network with so many ACRL peeps and I look forward to learning more from them as we share ideas and experiences on Twitter. Here are some hashtags that I followed and contributed to: #acrl2013, #ilmooc, #acrlbattledecks, #thatcamp, #infolit, #DHMakerspace.

So as you can tell there is a lot for me to do! So thanks acrl 2013 for keeping me motivated!


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