The Association of College & Research Libraries Conference

Cleveland, Ohio – April 2019

Thank you to the Central New York Resources Council for your support in sending me to the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) 2019 Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.  I attended the conference from April 10th to April 13th.  The professional development award allowed for my attendance at my group’s roundtable discussion, “Recasting the Narrative on Library Residency Programs: Embracing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Supporting Librarians of Color”.  My group was able to create a conversation about diversity residencies and diversity fellowships so that librarians like myself have the proper support in place before, during and after our time at academic institutions.

Currently, I am a Librarian and Diversity Fellow at SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Health Sciences Library.  I am an early career librarian that is grateful to be apart of ACRL’s Residency Interest Group (RIG) which gives me the support I need while being a diversity fellow.  My position is unique so having the necessary navigation skills is important to my success in this profession. This is one of the reasons why attending this conference is vital to my librarian trajectory. Furthermore, I am apart of the RIG’s program and proposal team so meeting up with current residents and fellows happened due to my attendance at the conference.  Lastly, as a health sciences librarian, professional development is meaningful to myself and to others that I assist on a daily basis.

The sessions that I was able to attend:

  • Taking Charge of Your Narrative
  • The Soft Stuff is the Real Stuff: Reframing Librarianship Through a Relational-Cultural Lens
  • Recasting Your Skills to Collaborate on Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences(Poster)
  • Keynote: Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Lightning Talks 1: Going back to work: How Supervisors can Support New Mothers as They Transition Back to the Library, Are Diversity Residencies Serving Diverse Student Populations?, #CritLib in the Classroom One-Shot: Dialogues of Power and Privilege, Cultivating Cultural Competence in Teaching, The Quiet Solidarity of National Coming out Day Through Queer Storytelling and Coffee, Encouraging Racial Justice Activism on a Predominantly White Campus, The Beauty and Power of Student Voices: Inclusive Imagination in Library Programming, Accessibility for All(including your fellow librarians): How to Build Accessible Conference Materials, #randomcoffee=#betterorgculture, and Discussing the Impossible: mental illness narratives where bias rules.
  • Recasting the Parentative: Seeking Balance Amidst the Busyness
  • Reframing the Residency Narrative: Creating, Sustaining and Reinventing the Profession through Library Residency Programs
  • Moving Beyond Race 101: Speculative Futuring for Equity
  • Becoming a Proud “Bad Librarian”: Dismantling Vocational Awe in Librarianship
  • Women as Leaders: Explorations in Authenticity, Breaking from Toxicity, and Feminist Ideals
  • Keynote: Alison Bechdel

The details of each session can be found on ACRL 2019 Conference Schedule I was able to learn so much from my colleagues. Additionally, I was inspired, supported and encouraged by fellow librarians of color.  The information that I learned will continue to help me thrive as a librarian.  For instance, self-care and work-life balance are important for me to establish early in my career, the tips that were given I will utilize so that I will not experience burn out.  The conference reception happened at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which was a great time with everyone.  This was a wonderful way that ACRL reminded us, librarians, to enjoy life and to enjoy each other.

I am so appreciative of receiving the professional development award from CLRC.  By attending this conference I was able to connect with professionals from various backgrounds, especially my colleagues who are diversity residents and diversity fellows. 


Jamia Williams

Librarian and Diversity Fellow, Upstate Medical University

Are you interested in being our next Professional Development Award recipient? Check out the award page for the rules & requirements!