Olivia Miller is a recent MSLS graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and winner of the ARLIS/SE 2013 Professional Development Travel Award.
The Pasadena conference was an excellent first-time experience for me with ARLIS/NA! My favorite session was probably the “Evolution of Art Reference and Instruction” on Saturday. As a future hopeful reference and instruction librarian, it was exciting to hear about how others incorporate research into their professional lives. Speakers touched on subjects such as assessing online reference, librarian and faculty collaboration for graduate courses, providing reference and instruction for Arts Management students, and various mobile technologies that can be used for reference and instruction. I would argue that one of the best elements of the conference was just the ability to see what others believe to be important enough to dedicate the time to research and share it with others.
Presenting my topic talk, “Power Up: How to Collect for Video Game Design Students,” at the Art and Design School Division was an amazing opportunity to share my research and have great conversations with others about my ideas. Even if my collection suggestions end up not working for some institutions, I hope they at least sparked more ideas and got attendees to thinking more about these students as a user group that would highly benefit from their attention.
Getting involved with the Graphic Novel SIG was a perfect end to a fun conference weekend. A personal and academic interest with this format brought me to the meeting, but the fact that it was new and everyone there seemed so excited about starting this new group made me want to try to help out. At this point in my professional career (the point where I’m on the job hunt), I had a hard time feeling like I could dedicate myself to a Division, Section, or SIG without knowing where I will be professionally in a few months or next year. The Graphic Novel SIG seems to be made up of individuals with a variety of interests in graphic novels, be it from a perspective of cataloging, collecting, reference, programming, space planning, and more. I felt very comfortable being in an unusual place in my career with the attendees (not that I didn’t in others, just this one moreso). I hope that wherever I end up starting my professional career at, I will be able to incorporate graphic novels into collections or programming.