Monday, June 17, 2013

Association of Christian Librarians Annual Conference 2013

Last week the Association of Christian Librarians annual conference met at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Our Reference and Instruction Librarian, Terri Bogan, presented a Poster Session on our innovative reference-desk-less reference services. And I participated in a panel of directors sharing our tales of significant changes in our libraries. (My part had to do with moving library services into the cloud.)

We were challenged to bring fresh perspectives back to our libraries. Pre-conference workshops, keynote speakers, and fellow ACL members gave presentations on common goals. For instance, all academic libraries have seen promoting information literacy as a central goal for some time. But now assessing the efficacy of our information literacy programs has become a mandate of accrediting agencies. Parent institutions are looking for a new level of accountability.

Add to this the challenges of redefining Information Literacy on a fairly routine basis and considering our loftier goals as Christian institutions of higher learning to equip graduates for pursuing "perfect knowledge" (not just information). It was a week which expanded our minds, challenged our assumptions, honed our professional skills, and refreshed our spirits.

Staying on campus, sharing living spaces and meals, discovering common concerns, and participating in worship with Christian librarians from all over the world (from Swazi to Saskatoon)--the silly and the spiritual--took me back to Christian summer camp of my high school years. Now, as it was then, the challenge will be to maintain the passion that was ignited to implement our creative ideas at home long after the glow of mountain top experience has faded.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Robin Hartman is Director of Library Services at Hope International University. She is curious about how the organization and communication of information shapes society and is committed to equipping students to impact the world for Christ.

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