By Elizabeth Jardine
I thank ACRL/NY for the privilege of attending its Annual Symposium, Money & Power, as a recipient of the Barbara Bonous-Smit Scholarship. This was my first ACRL/NY Symposium, and I hope to attend many more. There I saw librarians I only knew from social media. I listened to the engaging roster of speakers who challenged me with new and sometimes difficult ideas such as how much free labor should we give our vendors. I learned more about the history of our profession in the presentation that included the backstory of area studies collection acquisitions that resulted from the U.S. Food for Peace program.
I love it when, at professional events, I keep saying to myself, “I’ve never thought of that.” But the presentation that resonated most with me was on data literacy. Having recently taught a lesson for my internet research class on searching statistical resources such as American FactFinder and Social Explorer, I saw how I could have added a critical perspective. For example, students could have compared different versions of U.S. Census questions over time that dealt with the evolving concepts of race, ethnicity, and gender.
This symposium has been a great introduction for me to my local ACRL chapter. As I work toward tenure, even as a very “veteran” librarian, I realize how vital the knowledge of fellow librarians is to re-energize and expand what can sometimes feel like a long and lonely road. I’m heartened to know that ACRL/NY is so close by.
Elizabeth Jardine currently works as the Metadata Librarian at LaGuardia Community College. She received her MLIS from Long Island University, an MFA in Drama from the University of Houston, and a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Cornell University. Her areas of interest include knowledge management, linked data, and open access.