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reflections on the saa 2011 annual meeting

CC photo courtesy of --Mike-- on Flickr

My very first LIS conference was last year’s SAA meeting, which took place in DC. It was before I started library school, so I really had no idea what to expect. I was too shy to reach out and meet new people since it was my first conference — and I felt like I was an imposter who had no idea what archives were really about. Additionally, since I didn’t have to travel for it, I felt more comfortable going home after a day of sessions instead of hanging out and meeting new people.

This year’s SAA conference was a lot different for me. First, I felt like I was reaching the end of a marathon — from March-June, I attended 5 (!) conferences. All of those conferences really helped me become more comfortable with the idea of “networking” — or meeting people, which is how I prefer to think of it. The best way to feel comfortable about meeting and talking with strangers is to do a lot of it. And everyone I’ve met at LIS conferences is overwhelmingly friendly and approachable. I also think attending conferences in cities outside of your home, while more expensive, really forces you to socialize more.

After finishing three semesters of library school, I no longer felt that I had no idea what people were talking about in the archives world. I certainly didn’t understand everything, but I didn’t feel like an impostor anymore. Also, I really like the size of SAA’s conference — it’s definitely not as overwhelming as ALA. I feel like at any given time, you see familiar faces along with unfamiliar ones.

Overall, my best experience at SAA was having a graduate poster. It was a great opportunity for me to meet new people and discuss my research interests in archives. Mostly, I just really enjoyed the format of individual interactions and discussions. I highly recommend doing a poster session!

It’s interesting to look back over the past year and see how far I’ve grown.  Honestly, I think that conferences and connecting online with the library/archives Twitterverse and blogworld have been far more valuable experiences for me than classes — at least in terms of personal development and growth.  Does anyone else feel the same?

(If you’re interested in reading conference session reviews, check out this collaborative wrap-up post over at Hack Library School.)

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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in conferences

 

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spontaneous scholarships for #saa11 registration

I want to draw your attention to the Spontaneous Scholarships to fund registration for the 2011 SAA Annual Meeting, an effort led by Kate Theimer of ArchivesNext.  If you’re interested in receiving a scholarship or donating to the fund, check out the blog for details!  The deadline to request funding is midnight this Friday, July 8.  So far $800 has been raised!

What’s the reasoning behind the Spontaneous Scholarships?  While conferences provide great professional development opportunities, attending conferences is expensive.  The cost of registration, travel, and lodging is prohibitive, especially if you aren’t receiving any outside funding.  This is a great idea, and I hope to see more crowdsourced scholarships in the future!

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in archives, conferences

 

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hyping links

Freedom Riders
I love PBS!  You can stream the entire Freedom Riders documentary online.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to this weekend.  The film weaves together archival footage and contemporary interviews with former riders.  If you’re not ready to commit to watching the entire film yet, check out the trailer.

ReadyResources
This blog shares resources on preserving and managing electronic records and is updated quite frequently.

Support Hyatt Workers at SAA2011: An Unofficial Resource
If you’re concerned about the labor disputes occurring at the site of this year’s SAA Annual Meeting, view this website for ways to support Hyatt workers.  Also, please contribute if you have any ideas!

 

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conference season schedule

In two weeks, I’ll be attending Computers in Libraries here in Washington, DC.  It will be the beginning of my “conference season” this year.  The last (and very first!) conference I attended was the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Annual Meeting back in August, which was conveniently located in DC as well.  It was before I started library school, so I felt like an outsider who didn’t know anything — which made me pretty shy and uneasy about reaching out to others.  Hopefully this year will be different, as I feel slightly more knowledgeable than before (though still only in my second semester) and have made connections to other LIS folks through blogging and Twitter.  At the very least, I feel as if I belong to the LIS community now.

Below are the conferences I will be going to this year, along with the dates I’ll be attending.  Please let me know if you will be there too!  And of course, I will write about my experiences after (and possibly during) the conferences.

Computers in Libraries
Washington, DC
March 21-24, 2011

Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) Spring 2011 Conference
Alexandria, VA
May 6, 2011

StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation
New York, NY
May 26-30, 2011

American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference
New Orleans, LA
June 24-27, 2011

SAA Annual Meeting
Chicago, IL
August 24-27, 2011 (tentative dates)

I will be presenting a graduate poster at SAA (and hopefully MARAC) — so if you have any tips, please share!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in conferences

 

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