ACRLPNW 2017

Did you know the ACRL Oregon/Washington joint conference has been held annually since 1981? A little history lesson from University of Puget Sound Science Liaison Librarian Eli Gandour-Rood, ACRL Washington chapter President:

I am happy to share that some digging into our respective chapter archives revealed that the Oregon ACRL chapter, started in 1975, held its first two day conference at Menucha in 1980, followed by the first joint conference in 1981 with the newly-formed Washington chapter (founded in 1980). All records indicate that the two chapters have been holding joint conferences in alternating years ever since; the first meeting at Pack Forest appears to have occurred in 1983.

(Received via e-mail, 25 October 2017)

My favorites from this year’s 37th (!) #acrlpnw at Pack Forest in Eatonville, WA:

Favorite session: “Contemplative Pedagogy: An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem” with Heather Newcomer (Olympic College) and Nicole Gustavsen (UW Bothell/Cascadia College). Heather and Nicole reminded me about the importance of breathing. Their session illustrated that a 1-minute breathing exercise at the beginning of an instruction session can help students feel centered and focused. I also loved learning about the Contemplative Practices Tree.

Close second: “Built to Last: Integrating OER into Your Library’s Framework” with Candice Watkins and Jennifer Snoek-Brown (Tacoma Community College). Candice and Jennifer highlighted how much labor goes into OER work, and how the Library can be a role model for other faculty on campus for integrating open practices (right down to adding open licenses to the work that librarians create).

Favorite poster: “Revealing and Concealing Information: Arising Tensions in Using Geoinformation Services for Academic Research” with Leah Airt (Seattle Pacific University). I am really excited about Leah’s research which looks at the practical and ethical implications of using Google Street View in lieu of direct observation in research, especially in the study of gentrification, disaster recovery, and urban planning.

Close second: Penelope Wood presented a poster about team-building across Library departments at UW Bothell/Cascadia College through sharing communal lunches. The unique feature of this program was that folks across departments prepared lunch for each other—rather than each person bringing their own brown bag lunch, one person made lunch for two other coworkers and brought enough to share. Feeding one another brought people closer!

Also really great: “Just in Time Assessment: Flexible peer observation during classroom instruction” by Laura Dimmit, Caitlan Maxwell, and Chelsea Nesvig (UW Bothell/Cascadia College).

Favorite mealtime conversation: Sitting across from Amy Hofer at dinner on Thursday night, I asked her how to respond to librarians whose only OER outreach is pushing resources from the Library’s collections. She shrugged. “It’s not OER,” she said. “But it’s still a good thing.”

Favorite format: The fail talks! These were quick, seven-minute lightning talks about failure. Topics included technological failure in information literacy instruction (made meta by slides not loading during the talk), assessment mishaps, student advisory groups disbanding, and the dangers of trying to get student feedback using rolling white boards.

Favorite panel that I moderated:Changing Tides: Exploring Current Trends in Information Literacy Programs” with Lizzie Brown (CWU Ellensberg), Ryan Randall (College of Western Idaho), Dani Rowland (UW Bothell/Cascadia College), and Megan Smithling (Cornish College of the Arts). These four folks graciously agreed to discuss the information literacy programs on their campuses, and their answers highlighted the varying approaches to integrating information literacy in different contexts.

You can find more information about the fabulous sessions at the ACRL WA & OR 2017 Joint Conference Program website.

Disclaimer: As of October 2017, I am the new ACRL Washington chapter Web Manager, replacing Nicholas Schiller. These views reflect my own personal opinions and are not intended to represent the ACRL Washington chapter Board in any capacity. I would also like to clarify that I was not involved in the selection of sessions or the planning of the 2017 conference.