Hello out there to everyone enjoying the heat, storms, and relative quiet of summertime. I spent last week in a place I’d never visited before: San Francisco, California. To this Floridian, the “summer” weather seemed downright cold, but what a city! Besides New York City, San Fran had to be the most eclectic, vibrant, and tightly-packed place I’ve spent time in the U.S. From Fisherman’s Wharf to the towering coastal redwoods of Muir Woods, my colleagues and I packed a lot into one week. Lest you think we were there on vacation, we were actually representing our institution at NCORE, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education. I’ve been to plenty of library conferences over the years, but this was quite a bit larger than the largest ALA. I could write a book on the marvelous and enlightening conference, but I’ll stick with the biggest highlight for me, which was an all-day preconference on the Fundamentals of Social Justice Education. What an impactful and powerful day of gaining self-awareness, learning from others, and getting to know a room of around 40 other people on a deeper level than I ever imagined. I even attended a session held by public librarians from Kansas City, and met several other librarians attending from all over the U.S. I think somehow we manage to seek each other out… In any case, the faces of higher education are changing, and I’m more convinced than ever that libraries are poised to serve these faces and to evolve along with them.
The ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee released the annual 2016 Top Trends in Academic Libraries last week. Not surprisingly, it looks like the word of the year is DATA. What is our role in managing and educating around data at our institutions? How do we educate ourselves to be authoritative and trusted partners with faculty and researchers? Do you think the committee left anything off the list? I would suggest libraries’ support of open access publishing initiatives, for one.
Did everyone get the most important email of the year? By that I mean the news that registration is open for the Charleston Conference 2016! I hope you’re all planning to attend and stay through Saturday so you can be dazzled by the End-of-Conference Poll-a-Palooza, now in its third glorious year. Who knows what the polls might have in store for us this year (and I don’t mean the election!).