SLIS Students Attend JCLC 2012

SLIS Students Attend JCLC 2012

Current SLIS students Beth Kamp and Cassandra Elton attended the Second Annual Joint Conference of Librarians of Color last month. The theme of the conference was Gathering at the Waters: Celebrating Stories, Embracing Communities.

The conference drew librarians from as far away as San Francisco and Brooklyn. Library students from a number of other institutions—including University of Missouri-Columbia, North Carolina-Greensboro, and a recent graduate from the Rutgers library program—were also well represented.

Beth Kamp appreciated the opportunity to mingle with students from other programs. "We were able to share information and learn from each other's experiences."

"This was my first library conference," added Elton. "I wasn't sure what to expect, but was happy to find that I could contribute the conversation and that my voice really did matter."

Both Kamp and Elton emphasized the importance of being prepared to network with others at the conference. "Twitter was really big among other library students, and we found out about social events and other sessions via Twitter," said Elton. "It was really a huge asset to our library conference experience."

"I would definitely recommend bringing business cards with you when you attend a conference," Kamp added. "I was glad to have them: they facilitated communication and enabled easy follow up with others from the conference."

Some of their favorite sessions included "Promoting Early Literacy in Immigrant and Refugee Communities: Challenges and Solutions" and "Reaching Teenagers of Color in the Public Library through Non-Traditional Forms of Expression."

Adriana McCleer, Ph. D. student at the University of Wisconsin-Milkwaukee, and Denise Adkins, Associate Professor at the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri-Columbia and president of REFORMA, designed a Freedom to Read event on Friday night at the conference.

"It was a great for people to come together to participate and support a cause so important to librarians: censorship and intellectual freedom," said Kamp.

"I liked seeing librarian activism in action and in person," added Elton. "Plus, it was cool because we had met Adriana and Denise earlier in the conference so we had that added personal connection."

Both Kamp and Elton look forward to attending other LIS conferences. "We'll be at YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium in November. Look for us there." said Elton.

You can follow Elton and Kamp on Twitter at @CassandraElton and @onlyeverbeth and find out more about JCLC by visiting the official website: jclc-conference.org.