Last week kicked off the six day library extravaganza known as ALA Annual. The conference, hosted by the American Library Association, was held in Chicago, IL to discuss, learn, and exchange ideas about libraries on the theme “Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves.” With 25,000 attendees, masses of sessions and talks, and a mountain of freebies, ALA can be an overwhelming experience — we managed to find our way, and wanted to share what we did and learned there.
One of our main goals was to present our “Halfway Remarks” poster on behalf of all of the BHL NDSR Residents. Alicia Esquivel of the Chicago Botanic Garden, and Ariadne Rehbein of the Missouri Botanical Garden attended and presented.
This post is brought to you by the BHL NDSR Cohort. I, Alicia, introduce our conference packed month of April. Next, Ariadne recaps our DPLAFest presentation followed by Pam’s overview of our NDSR Symposium panel discussion. Lastly, Marissa and Katie offer some feedback and reflections from our first round our presentations.
April was a busy month for all of us residents! We attended and presented at two conferences in two different cities: first, at the 4th annual DPLAFest in Chicago and then the NDSR Symposium in Washington D.C. the following week.
L to R: Ariadne, Pam, Marissa, Katie and Alicia at DPLAFest 2017.
DPLAFest is organized by DPLA, the Digital Public Library of America, which provides free, digital materials from America’s libraries, archives, museums and cultural heritage institutions. The network of DPLA is established on a “hub” model which brings together digitized and born-digital content from across the country to a single access point. BHL serves as one of the content hubs for DPLA which means BHL content gets passed along to DPLA. Our work with BHL connected mainly to the DPLAFest themes of digital libraries and open access content and collaboration across types of institutions.
BHL NDSR Mentors, Residents, and Secretariat staff breaking the ice at the start of the “Bootcamp.”
About the “BHL Bootcamp”
From February 1-3, the BHL NDSR Mentors and Residents converged on the Smithsonian Libraries for “BHL Bootcamp.” In addition to the technology, administration, and mission of BHL, Residents were introduced to the culture of BHL, NDSR, and leading research institutions first-hand. Immersion workshops are a time-honored tradition among NDSR programs, though their curriculum and timeframes vary. Our workshop had the most compact timeframe to date, but we took advantage of the ample opportunities to get to know one another and ground ourselves in the history, practices, mission, and aspirations of this collaborative digital library. The workshop comprised of lecture-style instruction by BHL Secretariat staff, tours, and a networking event. Continue reading for a gauntlet of notes and commentary from each of the Residents! Carolyn Sheffield took a leading role in organizing the workshop, and has also outlined its events for the BHL blog.