Conference Experiences: Kendra Werst

I attended the New Member’s reception where I was able to connect with several Art Librarian and Visual Resource professionals, some of which I had only known by name. At the Welcome Reception which took place at the Seattle Art Museum, I had the opportunity to meet new and long-standing members, ask questions, and discuss topics relevant to the field and my interests. I also had the chance to reconnect with past supervisors and advisors. At first, the thought of attending this conference as a student was overwhelming but after the first day that thought never came back into my head. I felt very welcomed and accepted by the other professionals and students who were in attendance.

The ArLiSNAP + VREPS Career Development Workshop was very enlightening and provided the opportunity for me meet with other students or recent graduates. I really appreciated listening to Marie Elia, Molly Schoen, and Marsha Taichman discuss their experiences of applying for jobs and living the post-graduate life. The presentations, demonstrations, and open discussions were very encouraging and provided some basic steps to take when a building a career.

The “New Voices in the Profession” was such an amazing session. Listening to the well-developed topics presented by emerging professionals was inspirational. From that session, I thoroughly enjoyed Judith Schwartz’ presentation Visual Literacy Meets Information Literacy: Academic Libraries Address the New Challenges of the 21st Century.

Another session that I am so glad I attended was the Diversity Forum. As a person of mixed race, this topic is very important to me, especially with the lack of diversity within my Masters program. The presenters had the attendees participate in an activity that opened up a personal conversation between about the perceptions of yourself and others. Listening to people from all different backgrounds and walks of life discuss how they have faced diversity and inclusion issues within the profession and the workplace was beyond words. After that session, I walked away with tips on how to move forward with these issues. Some of my fellow peers and I have had discussions on how to incorporate what we learned into the context of library school.