By Laurel Scheinfeld
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the symposium and I am grateful for the scholarship I was awarded. I was so impressed with the program that I joined ACRL/NY as soon as I got back to my desk on Monday. I was blown away by Rachelle Monteau, Layla Ralekhetho and Khadij Tanja from Bard HS Early College. I had been looking forward to their presentation because I like innovative ideas and including high school students in a library improvement project sounded quite innovative. And these young women turned out to be more articulate, knowledgeable and passionate about their subject matter than I had anticipated. “Why is Activism not part of History?” and “Why can’t a book exist in more than one place in the catalog?” are excellent questions that deserve serious consideration. I have more hope for our country and our world knowing there are young people who have the talent and desire to work on these kinds of issues. Thank you to Jess Hinds for mentoring these students and giving us the opportunity to hear them. Through these speakers, and also the presentations by Alexandra deLuise and Yoko Ferguson, we saw that library classification systems contain inherent biases that must be rooted out and it is important for all librarians to be aware of it. If this had been a breakout session, the audience may have been limited to catalogers, so I appreciate the conference committee’s decision to hold general sessions only. Everyone, in every part of our profession, can share ways to make changes in order to progress towards a future of respect and fairness for all. I’m sure I will be reflecting on what I learned today for a long time to come.
Laurel Scheinfeld is a Health Sciences Librarian at Stony Brook University on Long Island, where she is library liaison to the School of Social Welfare and the Long Island State Veterans Home. She has a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the Palmer School at Long Island University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from the University of Maryland. Twitter handle: @LaurelSchein