Adrienne is currently a Science and Data Outreach Librarian at University of Rochester River Campus LIbraries. She has a B.S. and an M.S. in Environmental Studies, and worked in environmental conservation and education before returning to school for her MSLIS.
She enjoys joining her love for science education and outreach with information literacy, and is fascinated by how data is changing the science and educational landscape. She likes to hike with her dog, has planted hundreds of trees, and of course enjoys reading.
I was honored and grateful to be chosen as an Early Career Professional Forum Fellow at DLF 2018 in Las Vegas. Not only was the warmth of the sun most welcome to my northern bones, but the warmth of the welcome into this engaging and widespread community of professionals was truly delightful.
I am a new librarian, and a new data librarian, and so I have been building my skills in our digital tools and links between them. Looking back on the conference, and everything that stood out to me about it, I see how this community – we – have an inspiring focus on human connections. The thoughtful consideration to be as inclusive as possible for all was all the evidence I needed to know it can be done, and I can help make it happen where I go next. From gender inclusive bathrooms to a childcare fund to a call for tipping the housekeeping staff, I feel that in addition to our enthusiasm for the technical we have also done much to embrace the human. I am grateful for the opportunity to ‘soak’ these practices into my early career frame of mind.
One of my goals in attending this conference was to explore how the connection from human student to digital tool can be made better. DLF Forum provided me ample opportunity to learn, and I relished the variety of approaches presented on, discussed, or cited. I’m now happy to report that I have many more ideas of how to bring digital library tools into the classroom discussion alongside educational goals and keep the human perspective in place. These range from inspiration in de-colonizing the internet, as the keynote speaker called for, to keeping a discussion of citizenship alive during a digital project.
The human to human relationships, too, were emphasized and celebrated throughout the conference. Although it may be tempting to consider digital library work an endeavor that takes place at a desk to the side end of any workspace, DLF2018 was alive with relationships. This includes stories and new ideas for how to connect people to people in pursuit of a project greater than the sum of its parts and the old relationships between long-time conference goers. I feel like everywhere I turned at DLF, I saw examples of human connections thriving, either the strength of old relationships or the energy of new partnerships.
With this in mind, I have come away from DLF with a sparkle in my eye to the future. I feel like this conference has not only presented a wealth of professional development and networking to me, but also empowerment to all the attendees. The takeaways from presentations are valuable, but it was also valuable to discuss metadata standards and their influence, labor practices and associated shortfalls, and the real reactions we could each take in the future. It is a place where this important work was discussed and that space will continue to be vital to the profession’s future. So again I have to say, as an early career librarian, thank you for that opportunity.
Want to know more about the DLF Forum Fellowship Program? Check out last year’s call for applications.
If you’d like to get involved with the scholarship committee for the 2019 Forum (October 13-16, 2019 in Tampa, FL), look for the Planning Committee sign-up form later this year. More information about 2019 fellowships will be posted in late spring.