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Connect & Communicate: Connecting PA’s Academic Librarians

April 18, 2014

As a student in a library science master’s degree program, I had never actually worked in a library. I was in banking, and in insurance before that, and in banking before that. Never a library. Having no experience, and knowing that without it I was unlikely to find a job, I felt fortunate to have found an opportunity to volunteer in an academic library, and I viewed the library director who gave me that opportunity as a mentor. I will never forget her telling me what a small world academic librarianship was, and that it was important to cultivate positive relationships with our peers in that small world.

In a few short years, I have learned just how accurate her words were; at every professional development event I attend, I meet people whose names I recognize from somewhere—a blog, an email list, a book, an article, a conference presentation—all of them sharing their knowledge and experience in one form or another.

But I don’t want to wait until I’m at the PaLA Annual Conference, or at a regional Chapter or Round Table workshop to make these kinds of connections. I want them to happen all the time.

When CRD’s Connect & Communicate Series launched in 2012, its founding member, Amy Deuink, envisioned it as a way to provide academic librarians across Pennsylvania with a way to make those connections using technology to close the geographical gap. She saw it (and still does) as a way to create a strong sense of community among academic librarians, a forum for sharing our ideas, interests, and knowledge. It’s an opportunity for teaching and for learning, for professional growth, and for expanding our peer networks.

I see Connect & Communicate as a way to make those connections—the ones that usually happen in those few-and far-between face-to-face settings—happen all the time.

I hope you’ll join this year’s planning committee—Ryan Sittler, Diane Porterfield, Sara Pike, and myself—for some of the discussions we have scheduled for 2014. We encourage you to let us know what you would like to discuss (there is no reason we can’t add MORE discussions for this year!), and to contact us if you want to share something with your community.

Upcoming discussions:
Friday, April 25th, 11:00AM-12:00PM – Outreach in the Academic Library
June 6th (time to be determined) – Digital learning objects/materials; open educational materials
July 25th (time TBD) – RDA: Best practices, problems and work-arounds
August 29th (time TBD) – Managing student assistants
October 31st (time TBD) – Assessment of library instruction
November 21st (time TBD) – Collection development

Have a great presentation or discussion idea? We’d love to hear from you! Please let us know at

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