Trez Drake

  • Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian at Pritzker Legal Research Center, Northwestern University School of Law
trezlen.drake@law.northwestern.edu

Go to ACRL, Practice Self-Care

From March 22-25, 2017, I attended the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference in Baltimore. I joined the American Library Association (ALA) and ACRL because I wanted access to their teaching resources—including this conference. Like a number of academic librarians, I learned to teach by having to teach. I hoped that this conference would help me improve.

I found ACRL to be wonderfully overwhelming. There were approximately 3500 librarians and 1500 exhibitors and vendors in the Baltimore Convention Center. The atmosphere was one of positive excitement. I was surrounded by academic librarians of all stripes, from African Studies and Arts, to Western European and Women and Gender Studies. And, each of those librarians was excited about their subject and their library.

With the opportunity to attend more than 300 workshops and roundtables in 4 days, the session that I was most eager to attend was the pre-conference workshop “Information Literacy Instruction Transformed.” This workshop focused on Universal Design for Learning, creating lessons that treat variability in learning styles as the norm rather than the exception. Its premise is that when one teaches to specific learning needs, it reduces barriers to learning, engages every student, and improves learning outcomes for all. This workshop has given me ideas on ways to teach for different learning styles and abilities, and how to engage every student in my class.

While I enjoyed all the sessions that I attended, I was overwhelmed by ACRL. There were so many opportunities to learn and so many people. Nearly every session that I attended was overflowing with attendees, especially the keynotes with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden; English professor, author, and cultural critic Roxanne Gay; and British data-journalist David McCandless. But I am glad that I attended the conference because of the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, librarians in other academic fields. I left with ideas for my next class and contacts who have tried them out.

I highly recommend the 2019 ACRL conference in Cleveland or 2021 conference in Seattle for anyone looking to develop and expand their information literacy skills or expand their librarian network. The immediacy of the conference will make you feel as if you have to attend everything, but that is not the case; ACRL records most of its sessions. You can feasibly have alone time while everyone else is in a recorded session and still get access to that information for up to a year with ACRL Virtual Conference access. So, go to ACRL, but practice self-care!

Chicago Where in the World? Map

As this is the international issue of the CALL Bulletin, it seemed appropriate to find out where our members have traveled. In September 2015, we sent out a three question survey to CALL members and plotted the answers on a map.

The responses to each of the questions are layered in different colors. “Where is the furthest you’ve traveled from home?” is in red. “What was your most memorable trip?” is plotted in blue. And, “What is your dream trip?” is green.  In total, there were 38 responses, including 4 anonymous responses and one person who answered twice (whose answers were almost exactly the same and were combined). The respondents range from retired, to law school and law firm librarians, to public law librarians and vendors (although not everyone provided demographic information).

Take a look at the map to see the results: “Where in the World?” map

2015 AALL Hackathon

This year at the 2015 Annual Meeting, I attended the AALL Hackathon: Connecting Legal Information workshop. This second annual event was held on Saturday, July 18 from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Peirce College in Philadelphia. According to the organizers, the purpose was to “bring together those with knowledge of available resources and needs, like law librarians, with those who have the technological know-how to build mobile and web applications to use those resources and meet those needs.” Continue reading 2015 AALL Hackathon