Lorin Jackson: #ACRL2019 Reflections
#ACRL2019 Reflection By Lorin Jackson
Lorin Jackson is a Research and Instruction Resident Librarian at Swarthmore College. To learn more please visit our about us section.
ACRL 2019 was my first major library conference. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be amongst so many talented, well-versed librarians, other residents, and other residents of color. Often, we are located across many different institutions. Partnering with folks from far and wide, having the chance to work with them in person is a tremendous morale boost.
Here’s a brief summary of my major takeaways from the event
Having friends who provide support and encouragement by attending and taking pictures during paper and poster presentations or lightning talks help remind you that you are not alone. These friends become your chosen family and are there for you when other friends and family cannot be. It’s pretty special when you are standing up there and folks want you to pose for a picture. This was comforting and warm, for me.
A Community of Researchers!
We’re here to learn from each other. We can see that our work is academic, theoretical, critical, advanced, and impressive even if it may not have been traditionally categorized this way.
Allyship + Signal-Boosting!
Allyship was demonstrated and leveraged. My co-presenter Diana Flogel (@flogenator), a doctoral student in LIS at Rutgers University, leveraged her ACRL paper acceptance to provide an opportunity for me to collaborate on her paper and then our presentation. As an early career librarian, I am immensely grateful to her demonstration of allyship. Diana provided a link to WOC+LIB at the session!
During the amazing panel presentation for Making the Connection: Invisible Labor and Radical Self-Care for Women of Color Librarians, Alanna Aiko Moore, Annie Pho, Rose Chou shouted out WOC+Lib! Annie asked us beforehand and then provided a shoutout to our blog. It was an incredible display of allyship, especially because there were so many people at their presentation.
Jennifer Ferretti of We Here (@librarieswehere) emailed LaQuanda and me in support of the blog after the conference ended. It was a wonderful display of support and advocacy.
The folks at Libparlor (@LibParlor), also had our backs! Not only did Chelsea Heinbach support us during the conference (!!!) with some insight into how they run their operations, but she and Nimisha were super supportive the whole time regarding their excitement also over this blog. Wow!
Description: Recasting an Inclusive Narrative: Exploring Intersectional Theory By Diana Flogel and Lorin Jackson.
Description: Making the Connection: Invisible Labor and Radical Self-Care for Women of Color Librarians, Alanna Aiko Moore, Annie Pho, Rose Chou shouted out WOC+Lib!
Description: WOC+Lib’s First Social Hour at Mable’s BBQ at ACRL Conference 2019.
WOC+Lib Founders (Lorin Jackson and LaQuanda T. Onyemeh) at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Reception at ACRL 2019.
When around new folks, it helps to be yourself. Be genuine and authentic and people will connect with you. You won’t feel so alone.
Do what you can!
You have to believe you are worth self-care in order to enact self-care. I learned this from Making the Connection session referenced above. You can’t take the steps to ground yourself unless there is a...self to the ground. Put your needs first so you can be fully available and present at the conference.
In order to take in the amount of information at a large conference, you have to recognize your limits and take breaks. This helped me a lot.
Self-expression is key!
All three keynote speeches by Michele Norris, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Alison Bechdel strongly resonated with me due to the power of self-expression. Each of the speakers are honorary librarians and archivists in my book. They all creatively found ways to connect their personal stories with art, writing, and tie those processes with social justice. In the somewhat meditative practice of expressing the pain in their lives through artistic mediums, Norris, Nguyen, and Bechdel helped all of us heal. They each touched different parts of my identity and I’m still buzzing from all that they had to say; truly a gift to learn from them.
I am continuing to process all that I learned from the conference, but this is a snapshot. What were your biggest takeaways? What would you like to learn more about next time? What was difficult? These challenges tend to be the most telling about where we need to go next individually, and together