By Amanda Gantchev
At the ACRL/NY 2015 Symposium I was exposed to mind-opening and lively (to put it lightly) discussion about inclusivity in the library and archive. From the moment I arrived to the event’s conclusion, I felt an enormous sense of inclusion in a conversation, and support within a profession that, as I write, I have only been a part of for a mere three months.
As a first semester LIS graduate student, I wanted to attend this event in order to learn about, and be inspired by the ways academic-library professionals are using the field as a critical platform to examine, address, and encourage resolutions to societal problems. I left the Symposium more informed about how I can, through my professional activity, enact the social responsibilities I feel are my obligation as an informed citizen. Overall, the symposium far exceeded my learning expectations.
On the ride back to Detroit, I thought about my agenda. What had been missing from it, and what it may become with more experiences like the ones the Symposium provided me with. Now, as both a student and emerging professional, I am choosing to view the spaces I interact with as “locations of possibility,” as Bell Hooks writes in Teaching to Transgress—a book that, thanks to ACRL/NY’s generous Strand Book Store gift, I can carry with me as I work toward realizing the values of social responsibility, democracy, and education as a future academic librarian.
Amanda Gantchev is an MLIS student at Wayne State University’s (WSU) School of Library and Information Science in Detroit. She is specializing in academic libraries and user experience, and currently serving as President of WSU’s ALA Student Chapter. Before beginning her graduate studies, she completed a year of national service as an AmeriCorps member and was appointed to Michigan’s LeaderCorps.