Drexel Welcomes Librarians in Philadelphia for the ALA Conference

Drexel Welcomes Librarians in Philadelphia for the ALA Conference
Jenny James Lee
February 4, 2014

The American Library Association (ALA) held its midwinter conference in Philadelphia in late January 2014, bringing over 12,000 librarians to the convention center and hotels for meetings, workshops, exhibits and networking events. Drexel’s libraries hosted six events during the week, welcoming professionals from across the country to the campus for meetings, classes and workshops.

The weather proved a challenge for the first group meeting at the Libraries on Wednesday, January 22nd. The ACRL Immersion program, which was scheduled to meet at Hahnemann Library, is a group of faculty who develop programs that provide professional development for academic librarians in the areas of teaching, learning and managing instruction programs.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) hosted a two-day forum in the Libraries, welcoming both faculty and librarians to discuss issues surrounding research data management. Five Drexel professors participated in one session, helping to identify the issues researchers face surrounding the management and sharing of their data. Although the purpose for this meeting was to help the Association identify how it may help librarians prepare for assisting with demands for such “big data” challenges, the generous contributions Drexel faculty made offered excellent insights to help shape Drexel’s services and support.

The ALA RUSA STARS Education and Training Committee held its seventh annual “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL” workshop at Drexel’s Library Learning Terrace on Friday, January 24th. Fifty-six attendees learned about the basics of interlibrary loan (ILL) including borrowing, lending, copyright, assessment and statistics from speakers Megan Gaffney, Karen Janke, Cindy Kirstof and Collette Mak.

Dean of Libraries, Danuta A. Nitecki, and Dean Fenske from the College of Computing and Informatics joined the national Libraries’ Affinity Group on Saturday, January 25th for a roundtable discussion about the future of academic libraries. The conversation focused on next generation library services, resources and staffing, and educational preparation of librarians and information professionals. The Group represents library directors from small private colleges across the country.

On January 27th, the Center for Research Libraries [CRL] convened in W. W. Hagerty Library a group of librarians to work on drafting a US Model License important for negotiating access to electronic resources. The Working Group included members of various professional organizations such as the ARL [Association of Research Libraries], CLIR [Council of Library and Information Resources] and CDL [California Digital Library].

Finally, beginning on Wednesday, January 29th at W. W. Hagerty Library, Simmons College conducted five days of its onsite classes for its cohort of librarians enrolled in the PhD program for Managerial Leadership for the Information Professions. Distinguished instructors Maureen Sullivan [past president of the ALA] and Duane Webster [Executive Director emeritus of the Association of Research Libraries] as well as the mid-career librarians attending also engaged with members of the Drexel managerial team for a discussion of leadership.