Experiencing ACRL with Both Hats: Attendee and Exhibitor

Submitted by Su Hyeon Kang, ATLA Metadata Analyst

My experience both as an attendee and as an exhibitor at the 2017 ACRL Conference in Baltimore was fabulous.

Focusing on the topic of open access and digital humanities, the conference provided numerous sessions and learning opportunities. I wish I would have had more time to attend all the sessions, but some were concurrent. The sessions that I did attend, however, provided plentiful information and unique experiences through case studies in those topics. Through papers, posters, and panel sessions, librarians and faculty members reported on their collaboration to initiate digital humanities projects.

Takeaways from the Open Access Panel

The sessions showed me how librarians have worked hard to meet the needs of changing educational methods. One particularly interesting panel discussion session, “You Say You Want a Revolution? The Ethical Imperative of Open Access,” featured panelists who challenged listeners to consider the perspectives of publishers and that of librarians. The discussion about the ethics of open access was also interesting in that it seemed that librarians and publishers in the session never agreed entirely.

Takeaways from the World Bank Group Tour and Seminar

I attended a pre-conference event offered by the World Bank Group (WBG), which organized a Tour and Seminar at the World Bank’s Group’s Library and Archives of Development in Washington, D.C.

During the seminar, representatives of WBG shared information on several different aspects of their organization: the history of the World Bank; the new Open Archive website; the oral history program; the access to information policy; and the eLibrary, the digital product of WBG. The tour and seminar provided a good understanding of the work of WBG, and even just visiting the place was a great experience.

Exhibiting with ATLA

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ATLA giveaways

While working at the booth, it was a great joy to meet ATLA member librarians and the librarians at institutions that subscribe to ATLA products. Listening to their good experiences with ATLA made me feel proud to be part of this organization. We had a great giveaway — a phone stand and a headphone splitter that looked like a Martian — which caught visitors’ attention and brought them to the booth, enabling us to meet many librarians. These giveaways were so popular that there were none left to give away halfway through the last day.

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ATLA Reception at The National Aquarium

Attending the ATLA Reception

Like the ATLA booth, the ATLA Reception was also well-attended. The location at the National Aquarium was a great choice and the food was excellent. It provided a good time to get to know ATLA member librarians, colleagues, and friends.

My experience at the ACRL Conference wearing two hats (attendee and exhibitor) was great in that I was able to both attend the sessions and have the privilege to meet the librarians who know ATLA. I am grateful that I was given this unique opportunity.

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