PDGP recipient Christopher Hollister attends the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2013 Conference

It is a privilege to report that I was awarded a WNYLRC Professional Development Grant (PDGP) to partially fund my attendance at the ACRL 2013 Conference on April 10-13, in Indianapolis. My conference experience was somewhat unique in terms of participation; I was part of a competitively selected ensemble presentation on the topic of one-shot instruction, and I was also invited to participate in a panel discussion about professional library and information science (LIS) writing. As a result, my conference experience was largely devoted to relative preparations and actual presentations.

My first presentation—“The One-Shot Mixtape: Lessons for Planning, Delivering, and Integrating Instruction”—was given to an audience of 200+ attendees. As noted, this was an ensemble presentation; it included input from library instruction luminaries, Megan Oakleaf, Debra Gilchrist, Randy Hensley, and others. The purpose of the presentation was to provide practical advice and professional insight for newer library instructors, but also some refreshers for those who commonly experience instructional fatigue. My particular contribution was the proposition that library instructors should consider using elements of the case study teaching method in one-shot instruction, and I provided some relevant examples. Since a full description of the case method and its various uses required more time than I was afforded, I presented the idea as yet another example of active student engagement; our collection assertion as a group of presenters was that students must be actively involved in the process of their own learning in order for them to gain anything meaningful from the experience.

My panel presentation and discussion—“The Publishing Rollercoaster: Writers Sound Off”—was part of the ACRL Virtual Conference Webcast. I was honored to be included on a panel that included eminent LIS authors Barbara Fister, Angela, Courtney, and Kim Leeder. The purpose of the panel was to illuminate various aspects of professional writing and publishing—open access, peer review, research processes, selecting appropriate publishers, submissions, and the actual writing process. My particular contribution was solicited because of my forthcoming book, Handbook of Academic Writing for Librarians (ACRL, 2013), which is scheduled for release later this year. This webcast was attended by over 200 online conference registrants, and it resulted in an invitation for the panel to develop an ACRL e-Learning Course on the same subject matter.

Attending the ACRL 2013 Conference was beneficial in many ways; this biannual conference is widely regarded as a premier professional event for academic librarians. As a result, the conference attracts the most skilled and innovative LIS practitioners. Although I was unable to attend as many of the professional development opportunities as I would have liked, I was privileged to be able to present to the greater community of academic librarians, and by extension, to contribute to the professional discourse. I encourage my colleagues in the academic library community to find ways in which to attend future ACRL conferences, whether in-person or online. Furthermore, I encourage my colleagues to support WNYLRC; I would not have been able to attend ACRL 2013 without their generous support.

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