Short But Sweet: The BCALA-NCAAL 8th Annual Conference, Covington, Kentucky
by Nichole L. Manlove
Diversity Graduate Student Assistant
School of Library and Information Science
On August 9, 2013, I participated in a poster session for the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (See link to image below). The session, which lasted for about 45 minutes, allowed me to discuss the inception of the Diversity Graduate Student Assistantship, how, why and when it was initiated, the past, present and future goals of this position and some of the undertakings on and off campus. Whilst there I had the opportunity to meet with Latisha Reynolds a Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian with the University of Louisville, who was one of the program’s coordinators. In addition I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Mark Puente the director of Diversity and Leadership Programs at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in which we briefly discussed the purpose and recruitment initiatives for the ARL/SAA Mosaic Scholarship Program as well as the ARL/Music Library Association Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. Our meeting was brief but the connection I made was priceless. For me one of the highlights of the evening was discovering that my presence alone was much anticipated by several conference attendees. One person in particular, Kenneth Despertt, a Washington, DC librarian, was interested in discussing ways to recruit more male participation within the LIS field. Unfortunately I do not have much experience yet in the area of recruiting underrepresented male populations. However speaking with him helped to shed light on an issue that seriously needs to be addressed within our field, our discussion even prompted me to consider ways in which I can promote our SLIS program and Library and Information Science to the underrepresented male population.
Because of time restraints I was not able to participate in the remaining part of the conference; nevertheless it was a valuable experience for me. It once again allowed me to further develop my presentation skills and more importantly, this experience allowed me to network with other professionals on a more personal level, exchange information and ideas, and hopefully apply what I have learned in my daily activities as the DGSA.
I can’t stress enough the value in participating in such events. The connections one makes and the information obtained is difficult to come by in our everyday lives. That is what makes these experiences absolutely priceless! Again I stress the importance of placing oneself in the limelight, making the right connections, learning and accepting new ideas and applying them in order to make a difference and promote a more diverse library universe!
View the poster: BCALA-2013 DGSA Poster Presentation