ACRL New England Conference 2019: Opening Doors for Each Other

Stone art studio with open door

On May 6 I attended the Association of College & Research Libraries New England Chapter conference. The theme was Opening Doors for Each Other. Indeed the sessions spoke to the value of collaboration.

My first session concerned a cross-institutional learning community. The initial planners sought partners who were geographically close and could meet consistently. Though presenter Jasmine Woodson (Lehigh University) described a formal learning community, I think of how I meet colleagues from nearby institutions at regional conferences. Might these chance meetings spawn a more formal learning community?

Speaking of chance meetings, the second session focused on serendipity. Pamela Hayes-Bohanan and Elizabeth Spievak (Bridgewater State University) spoke of the serendipitous encounters that led to their long-term collaboration. They discussed literature on such partnerships. An important point was that each partner plays a unique role in the collaboration.

The third session concerned the use of primary sources. James Kessenides (Yale University) facilitated the discussion. Since it was an informal exchange of ideas, the session modeled some discussions we could have with potential partners.

What do partners do when a partnership is not working as it should, or no longer meets their needs? Christina Dent, Cate Schneiderman and Emily Belanger (Emerson College) used assessment data to make the case for changing a workflow.  As a takeaway they shared a sample “Dear John” letter for ending an unproductive collaboration.

I thank all of the presenters.  I thank the Holiday Inn by the Bay (the conference venue) staff as well.


Photo Credit: Annie Spratt, Retrieved from Unsplash

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