Michigan Library Association Annual Conference Poster Session

A few days ago I attended the Michigan Library Association Annual Meeting as a poster presenter. I was there to showcase my special project as a Graduate Student Assistant at the Wayne State University Undergraduate Library. I am inventorying a large labor and union collection that was given to Wayne State 10-15 years ago by the Detroit Public Library who had originally received it from the John C. Crerar Library in Chicago.


Standing by my poster before the presentation

I had the opportunity to talk to fellow students and alumni of the MLIS program at WSU and librarians from across the state of Michigan. It was thrilling to talk to so many interested individuals about what I’m doing as a graduate student at Wayne State and get feedback about how this could possibly influence my future career.
I arrived in the morning to set up and get a feel for the venue. MLA was held in downtown Grand Rapids this year, at the Amway Grand Plaza, where there were still pieces of the Grand Rapids ArtPrize exhibit installed.


Poster Session Set Up

My poster was set up to look like a road map with two other posters, my supervisor’s poster was about the GSA projects and another GSA’s special project poster. The other GSA’s poster was originally on the other side of the room so, naturally, it had to be moved around to fit its original design.


Before the move


After the move; looks much better

The poster presenters had to be in the ballroom from 2-3pm on Wednesday to talk about their posters and give any handouts away that they had brought with them. I was a little nervous for the first person who came to talk to me, but quickly gained my footing. It was a short hour of talking to interested library professionals from the area, which gave me, confidence in my project. I had a few interested parties give suggestions and even more people ask about my use of the ancient card catalogs for trouble shooting the project. I also was able to spend some quality time with my supervisor and fellow GSA, talking about what was going on in our lives and trading ideas for our job searches. I had an enjoyable time both presenting and walking around at the MLA Annual Conference this year. If any of my fellow ALA@Wayne members have the opportunity to apply for presenting a poster session at any of the conferences they are interested in, I would highly recommend it!

Insights from Banned Book Reading Nite

We just finished up Banned Books Week across the country and the ALA is alive with all of the various lists of banned books now and over time (http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek). ALA@Wayne joined forces with Always Brewing Detroit to have a Banned Books Reading Night. Due to a small turnout, this event quickly turned into a roundtable discussion, and several members of a book club joined us, which regularly meet at Always Brewing, as well as, a lawyer and her young daughter, whom had her own thoughts about banned books and is also was an avid reader.

We brought in Looking for Alaska, which regularly makes the list for smoking, drinking, and sexuality; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, for its trippy nature; and The Boy Who Lost His Face, for including the occult and some incredibly brief sexuality. From banned books, we discussed the teaching of literature, i.e. having discussions about difficult subject matter and how to help students value the written word. We talked about what makes books good, or have value. Does it depend on your emotional reaction or attachment to the story? Is it okay to just like something even though it’s something you read before bed and it’s not a dense novel that you can pick apart with others?

What gives something literary merit—is it how it’s written vs. subject? It’s definitely important for librarians to consider all of these factors when recommending books to people, and there is not just one area of the United States that bans books. It’s happens all over. Do your part—even if you don’t engage in conversation with others about a banned book, pick one up and read it. Consider why it was banned and if that holds true for you. Lists can be found in the above link.

Thanks to Amanda Brewington and Always Brewing Detroit for hosting us and to those who attended.

Elissa Zimmer, President

Get to Know Us

Welcome to new and returning students. We want to get to know you as much as you want to learn about us. We are a lively bunch and like meeting new people. We hold monthly meetings from September to April, so we can spend time with old friends and make new ones like you. You can conveniently meet us in person or online. We have lots to discuss from planning our groups events to deciding what speakers to invite to present to our group. We would love to have students like you join us in these discussions. The meetings aren’t too long either.

We support the mission and activities of the ALA and to that end promote librarianship. Spend time with us and learn about trends in the field, visit libraries you are not familiar with, and enhance your professional development. We’d also like to hear your perspective on the field. You will be graduating before you know it, so join us and create a network of colleagues during your graduate studies.

To learn more, join us for our September meeting in the School of Library and Information Science in the Kresge Library on the third floor. Impossible to make it to campus, then connect with us online at ALA@Wayne Webcast.

We hope to meet you at the next meeting!

Highlights of the 2014 ALA Student-to-Staff Program

I just returned from the 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Student-to-Staff (S2S) Program at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The S2S program gave me an opportunity to work with the ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO). The S2S program requires a lot of energy and a “can do” customer service attitude. I was assigned to the IRO Registration area, where I helped international librarians register for the conference. I also worked in the IRO Visitor Center and distributed conference resources to the international registrants. I enjoy helping others, so my IRO assignment was a pleasure to perform.

The conference was jam-packed with events for every type of librarian and paraprofessional. The main conference sessions and exhibits were a buzz with the glitz and showmanship for which Vegas is known. I could not have imagined there would be 700+ exhibitors on hand including book vendors of all types, not to mention software and furniture retailers, and LIS graduate schools. There were so many exhibits to visit and Elvis had not left the building when I arrived, so I took a picture with him. Plus, I unexpectedly connected with a few colleagues in the exhibit hall.

Roxanne and Elvis Impersonator

Our own WSU SLIS graduate program was on hand displaying our program materials. Networking was the biggest perk of the 2014 S2S and Annual Conference. There was an Alumni Reunion sponsored by the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), and they also provided a shared booth for the LIS graduate schools that were exhibiting. I got a chance to meet some WSU alumni who graduated in 2003 and 2009. They shared some of their experiences finding their first job after graduate school, along with their progression in the profession. This event also gave me an opportunity to meet and chat with our WSU SLIS Associate Dean, our Academic Advisor and a previous ALA@Wayne colleague at the reunion. These are the types of social interactions and experiences that conferences support. As a distance student, I would not have met my WSU and other future LIS colleagues, without my attendance and participation at this year’s ALA S2S program.

Check out the other experiences I gained through the 2014 ALA S2S program at the Annual Conference on the SLIS blog.

Roxanne Brazell

Getting Ready to Attend the ALA Annual Student-to-Staff Program

This month I will be traveling to the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas to participate in the ALA Student-to-Staff program (S2S). Each year LIS schools nominate a student to represent their school at the conference. Forty out of the 60 schools are represented at the conference, as there are only 40 positions available each year. Wayne State University students can apply for the S2S program between late October and November through our LIS program.

The S2S program provides us with an opportunity to work with ALA staff and students from other LIS schools during the conference. We will work 16 hours and may volunteer for more hours over the course of six days. Plus, we get to attend some events at the conference. It’s a great way to attend my first ALA conference and network with staff, students, and professionals in our profession.

I will be working in the ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO) with several other students. I am excited to work with the IRO as I have an interest in international librarianship. I look forward to getting a glimpse of the IRO’s goals and responsibilities and how the unit functions. I will share my experiences here in mid-July.

Join us to get the most out of your LIS studies.

Roxanne Brazell

Welcome to our New Officers

Our new officers for the 2014-15 academic year are:

President – Elissa Zimmer
Vice President – Analise Johnson
Distance Liaison – Susan Gotthelf

We have two leadership opportunities available. We are seeking a secretary and treasurer. Please checkout our WSU SLIS Organization page, if you are interested in either one of these positions email our Webmaster.

We have some exciting work ahead of us.