Greetings from your guest blogger, Alyson Gamble! I am a doctoral student in LIS at Simmons University and the research associate at the Harvard Data Science Review . I am also the grateful recipient of the 2018 student NEASIST travel award.
Thanks to the generosity of NEASIST and the Simmons University SLIS PhD program, I was able to attend this year’s ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. While there, I attended presentations, presented on an initiative I’ve worked on as part of SIG-DL, participated in two business meetings, received another award, and met with other attendees. It was a busy and delightful trip that was only possible because of funding support from NEASIST and my educational institution.
Each day of the annual meeting, I was able to attend presentations. These included the opening plenary, “Data Practices and Digital Curation,” “What Does the Future Hold for the information Professions?,” “Data Communities and Institutions,” “Open Science,” “Scholarly Practices in Biomedical Research,” “How Does Health Happen in Public Libraries? Ethical and Emerging Issues,” and the closing plenary session. Some of the panels wove together, while others found unique foci on the annual meeting theme. It was interesting to follow different ideas and learn about people’s work.
For my own efforts, together with other members of SIG-DL, I presented “ Digital Liaisons: Connecting Diverse Voices to Support an Ethical and Sustainable Information Future in Digital Libraries .” During this panel, we discussed our work during the last year hosting the Digital Liaisons chats on Twitter, including the lessons we learned from another year of offering this opportunity. The panel session was fairly well attended and inspired group discussion among the audience, which we intended. Additionally, there were poster presentations as part of this panel; we offered an award for the best poster. The winner, doctoral student Jelina Haines, was accompanied at the meeting by one of her research subjects. I was able to talk with both Jelina and her friend at the panel, with follow up conversations later in the day. It seems rare that researchers are accompanied by the people whom they are researching, which made this quite special.
As a former ASIS&T New Leader, I was able to go to the New Leader coffee and meet new colleagues while catching up with ones from previous years. I also met NEASIST members and had lunch with my advisor and two of her colleagues. Networking is not my strong suit, which makes casual, yet structured, opportunities like these valuable for building a professional network.
I have spent several years as a leader in SIG-DL. At this year’s meeting, I was acting as past chair of SIG-DL. In this role, I attended the SIG Cabinet Meeting. There, the need for SIG member engagement was discussed. Later, during the SIG-DL business meeting, we presented the Student Engagement Award to a Simmons MLIS candidate, Alessandra Seiter. At this meeting, thanks to my colleagues, I was recognized for five years of service with the Deborah Barreau Memorial Award. The rest of the business meeting dealt with the election of new officers, discussion of this past year’s work, and preparation for 2019-2020.
I am grateful to the Simmons SLIS PhD program and NEASIST for helping fund my attendance to this annual meeting. This is a lovely opportunity for practitioners, scholars, and practitioner-scholars.