By Miranda Montez
Attending the 2018 ACRL/NY Symposium held a special significance for me as an online student. I valued the opportunity to meet many professionals in my field in person, connecting and discussing with them during the break times. The energy in the room was palpable and contagious as panelist discussed topics related to Libraries in Direct Action. I particularly enjoyed the back and forth that followed “Can We Reach the White Tower,” in which panelists shared their experience and advice for paraprofessionals hoping to advance to full-time staff. Not only were the questions engaging, but the material itself was helpful. I myself am currently an Assistant Librarian, hoping to be a Librarian following graduation.
The idea of libraries in action is something that is discussed quite a bit in my classes. As places of inclusion and acceptance, libraries must continually strive to be an example for and representative of the community. The presentations did not disappoint in this aspect. I was heartened to hear first-hand stories of librarians analyzing and changing the classification system in order to be more inclusive and representative. Similarly, it was intriguing to learn about the efforts being made at Arizona University to open up the world of archiving to everyday patrons. LaGuardia Community College’s poster on their MoneyBoss Workshops, which instructed students on financial literacy, was yet another very interesting subject. These presentations addressed real concerns that libraries have, and it was fascinating to see the solutions presented by real-world librarians! I am grateful to have been able to attend such a relevant and interesting event.
Miranda Montez is a second year MLIS graduate student at the University of Washington. She is currently a graduate assistant at the Long Island University Brooklyn Library and has previously interned at the Whitney Museum of American Art Library and worked at the Katherine A. Martin Library in Duluth, Minnesota. She hopes to continue working with academic and research libraries after graduation.