Yesterday was the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) New England Chapter Spring 2011 Conference at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. This was my first library conference and, other than having to get up extra-early to drive to Worcester, it was a great experience. I met and talked to several librarians, some of whom were Simmons GSLIS alums, all of whom were friendly and interesting.
I also especially enjoyed one of the morning breakout sessions, where Judy Montgomery and Rebecca Sandlin from Bowdoin College in Maine gave a presentation strategies for collaboration between the library and IT department. Some of their tips: collaborative strategic planning; identify core shared values; leverage positive relationships; collaborate visibly on projects; reward collaborative projects and attitudes; and have equal partnership to preserve both cultures.
Bowdoin’s LIT (Library/Information Technology) partnership would have been a great example to study in the Principles of Management class at Simmons: an organic process of real leadership, thoughtful collaboration, and internal buy-in, rather than a top-down forced merger.
Overall, the ACRL conference was a great learning experience – and a chance to get my feet wet before ALA Annual (next month!).