By Michelle Nitto
The ACRL/NY 2018 Symposium was my first time attending an ACRL affiliated event and I found the connections I formed with fellow library workers through conversation and many wonderful presentations to be immensely meaningful. I am very grateful to have learned from library workers from a variety of institutions around the country through presentations, questions from audience members, and posters. The conversations and findings generated from research on topics ranging from: challenging whiteness in librarianship, community archiving workshops, re-working the DDC by young insightful library workers to much more were truly informative and inspiring. The panel presentation “Can We Reach the White Tower: Barriers to Staff Promotion and Retention in Libraries” was particularly relevant to my career trajectory within academic libraries. I greatly appreciated how the delivery format of this presentation enabled personal experiences and emotions to be at the forefront within the general topic of library workers experiences in academic libraries. During this particular presentation about staff retention in academic libraries, I recognized that certain obstacles I have experienced as an unpaid or underpaid library worker in academic libraries do not occur in isolation. I found this presentation to be a wonderful addition to the growing scholarship around emotions and academic labor, and I hope to be able to personally contribute to such scholarship and advocacy in the near future. Due to this presentation and the connections I’ve made at this symposium I am now more motivated to understand and pay attention to the working conditions of all workers within academic libraries, and expand my own knowledge of pedagogical styles for instruction sessions.
Michelle Nitto is a soon-to-be graduate of Queens College’s Library Science and Information Studies program. She is currently working as an Institutional Repository Assistant in CUNY’s Office of Library Services, where she has gained insight into different methods for creating equity within higher education. Her research interests include surveillance studies, open access and social media culture. Twitter: @chelleinthelib