By Adam Mizelle
I came because of #critlib.
Here in the early stages of my reference and instruction career, I am still teaching myself to teach. After graduate school, I joined Twitter, following a long break from social media that began during the Myspace era. Discovering the #critlib community was like a welcome-back gift. Their social justice emphasis helped to supplement my training, and the focus on pedagogy continues to be valuable.
When I learned about the symposium, I recognized friendly names and faces from this community, and guessed that their input influenced the program. Seeing social responsibility addressed directly by an organization instead of a subdivision within one was refreshing. I applied for the scholarship to do some face-to-face networking with this interesting crew while helping my library to watch its money.
After taking the Metro in from my father’s house in Yonkers, I met one of the presenters, Ione Damasco, at my table. Her session gave me needed perspective for an evaluation project I will be starting on the strength of our collection’s support for the scholarship of diversity. She had the most memorable moment of the day during her panel discussion, when she emphasized diversity as “anti-racist work, feminist work, not kumbaya multiculturalism.”
Throughout the day, many participants were glowing at the attention and discussion being given to these issues. It was great to be at a professional event nobody seemed to be coming to out of obligation. I hope to move my organizations toward sponsoring events like yours. Keep leading!
Adam Mizelle holds a B.A. in Anthropology and an M.S. in Library and Information Science. He is Humanities Librarian at Widener University in Chester, PA. Before working in libraries he worked as an organizer, bass guitar player, and union shop steward. Find him on LinkedIn, and Twitter.