conference / library association / professional development

NCAAL9

Last week I attended the National Conference of African American Librarians.  I don’t think I’m going to be able to explain my experience adequately – in part because I want to hold on to it longer – but if you look at #NCAAL9, you can get perspectives from the other attendees if what I say here isn’t enough.

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The opening keynote speaker was Tukufu Zuberi who is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and is a host of History Detectives on PBS. He spoke about how important librarians/archivists are to preserving the past and understanding the present, the invisibility of African history, and a slew of other things. 

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One of the things I found difficult was choosing which sessions to attend. There were several that I wanted to go to but couldn’t because it was the same time as another session. I ended up focusing on the technology, diversity, and outreach tracks, like the presentation from Marin City Library’s 3D Printed Rubber Band Car Contest.

 The session that was the most memorable was on a reflection of Ferguson one year later (Mike Brown was killed August 9th, 2014), and it included members of the community, like Operation Help or Hush and Scott Bonner.  

 Getting some free swag wasn’t bad either. I have new tote bags, free books, and other assorted trinkets.

 
Plenty of exhibitors were in attendance too with bookish temptations.  

YALSA Representatives

 

Association Book Exhibit

 
I fangirl-ed  a bit at the author panels. 

Jason Reynolds author of the Boy in the Black Suit

  

Victoria C. Murray agreed to take a selfie with me. 😀

  

The one and only Patricia McKissack

  

I also took a self guided tour of the central branch of the St. Louis Public Library, which is a whole city block and utterly amazing.  And I couldn’t leave St. Louis without visiting Sweetie Pie’s.    

I had a fabulous time. My brain exploded when I saw so many Black librarians all in one place. A happy explode. It was nice not being the only one, even for just a few days. And the icing on the cake is that I found out during the end of the conference that I can officially call myself a librarian now. My new position starts in a few weeks. 😀

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