PA Library Association, 2017


State library associations are great small conferences, and there is usually a day focused on academic libraries or an academic library track.  The Pennsylvania Library Association in Pittsburgh this past October was no exception.  In addition to standard conference talks there are always several poster sessions, which a colleague calls a “science fair for adults.”  For new librarians, poster sessions are a great way to get some experience with public speaking and presentation skills.  For mid-career librarians who may no longer feel the pressure to pursue the speaking opportunities that tenure requires, a poster session is a way to present research in its initial phase, or simply the findings of a small evidence-based project at work.

At this conference I co-presented a poster session, “Buffy Batgirl, and ComicCons:  Organizing a Conference or a Convention.”  One side of the poster focused on scholarly conferences, not a professional development activity but a multi-day subject oriented conference.  We talked about getting funding, developing a call for papers, selecting the papers to accept, organizing them into panels.  The other side focused on hosting one day public events, like comic cons.  The middle part focused on topics relevant to both kinds of events, like logistics, publicity, and preparing a report afterwards for stakeholders.

In addition, I attended the following talks:

“The Information Pyramid:  Bridging the Formal Knowledge Gap,” by Maria R. Barefoot

“Increasing Research Competence (and Confidence!) Through Embedded Consultations,” by Lauren Reiter and Carmen Cole

Poster sessions – There were several interesting posters at the two sessions I went to; special shout out to Christopher Raab who gave me several pointers on setting up a poster, which was a big help when I was setting up.

Using PA Forward in an Academic Library:  Giving Each Literacy Its 15 Minutes of Fame,” by Barbara Eshach and Christopher Raab


About juliemstill

Julie Still is working on a dissertation in American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg. She has a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Library Science from the University of Missouri, and an M.A. in History from the University of Richmond.  Librarian by trade, writer by choice, once (and future?) Girl Scout leader and community participant, she reads history (all kinds), science fiction / fantasy (ranges from Scalzi to McKillip), mysteries (varied), and more.
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