Preconference "It Takes a Village" focuses on grassroots collaboration

For Immediate Release
Thu, 04/12/2018


Leighann Wood

Sr. Program Officer

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

CHICAGO--On Friday, June 22, 2018 – 12:00pm – 4:00pm, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) will host an all-day Preconference on how to foster discussion, engagement and impact throughout user communities at ALA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans. The session, called “It Takes a Village: Promoting Information Literacy Through Librarian-led Grassroots Initiatives,” will be presented by Sarah Simms, Undergraduate & Student Success Librarian at Louisiana State University and Sonnet Ireland, Reference Librarian at St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana.

In Louisiana, funding has steadily declined in the past decade, especially for academic libraries. A small group of librarians answered this call through a grassroots effort that created a day-long, cost-conscious conference for those unable to participate on a regional or national level. The group fosters discussion between librarians from all types of libraries. This session will show librarians how they can work together to spread the tenets of information literacy (and metaliteracy) to their community of users.

All librarians and library workers are welcome to attend this session. The underlying theory of this workshop is that, ultimately, successful grassroots campaigns are products of multidisciplinary collaboration; therefore, all librarians as representatives within our discipline are welcome. It takes librarians from all walks of librarianship (academic, public, special, and school) to be able to effectively teach information literacy principles to the public.

Upon completion, participants will be able to present and promote information literacy principles as described by the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education to librarians across various fields and in various types of libraries. The Framework will be unpacked with how it relates to all levels of information literacy and librarianship.

By using a “mystery box” approach to planning, implementing and promoting a grassroots initiative, there will be breakout groups where each group will receive a box with a type of conference inside.  Participants will have to plan a conference with the information provided.

Participants will be able to apply the skills they learn to teach other librarians how to effectively present information literacy to students, users, and community partners in a “train the trainer” model.

For more information and how to register, visit the 2018 ALA Annual Conference website.

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at