INDIANAPOLIS — NPR’s Maria Hinojosa brought ACRL 2013 to a close, as more than 4,800 library staff, exhibitors, speakers and guests from 50 states and 19 countries met from April 10 – 13 at the Indiana Convention Center to discuss the changing role of academic libraries.
Themed “Imagine, Innovate, Inspire,” the conference offered more than 300 programs that featured a wide range of content curated by academic librarians, addressing the value of academic libraries and librarians. Attendees had access to cutting-edge content and opportunities to engage in conversations on the value of academic libraries as partners in the higher education community, trends in technology, scholarly communication, information literacy instruction, space planning and design and recruitment.
“What impressed me most about ACRL 2013 was the abundant evidence of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that infuses academic librarianship,” said Association of College Research Libraries (ACRL) President Steven Bell. “It speaks to our capacity to help our institutions reinvent themselves in these uncertain times.
“That so many of those who came were first-time attendees encourages me that the outlook for our association and its future conferences is robustly promising.”
ACRL 2013 featured a line-up of distinguished keynote speakers, with social justice as a reoccurring theme. Education reform advocate Geoffrey Canada, described as “inspiring” and “thought provoking,” discussed the need to invest in education as an alternative to a cradle-to-prison pipeline. “Our nation’s current social policy is a national disaster,” stated Canada. “Our society would rather pay $30,000 per inmate, opposed to $5,000 per student.” Canada stressed that one person can make a difference.
Punk rock icon Henry Rollins’ keynote address focused on how social change and human progress is fueled by preservation and free access to information. “It is information that will make or break America in this century,” said Rollins. After his program Rollins met with attendees for more than two hours, sharing stories, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
Hinojos aclosed ACRL 2013 with remarks that touched on the changing narrative of multiculturalism in the United States and academic librarians’ role in empowering youth through access to information. “You are on the real frontlines of seeing this changing America,” stated Hinojosa. “You have the capacity of using your powers in ways that will transform our nation. We need to prepare a new generation of Americans to own their own voices and stories.”
ACRL continued its focus on innovative programming, offering such programs as IdeaPower Unconference, Powers of Ten Dialogue and THATCamp, among others.
The exhibit floor was buzzing with activity as a record breaking number of exhibitors showcased the latest products and services available for academic libraries and their users. It was the largest exhibition in ACRL conference history
More than 500 academic and research librarians unable to make the trip to Indianapolis attended the conference virtually. The ACRL 2013 Virtual Conference provided 12 webcasts, as well as asynchronous activities, allowing for convenient scheduling and flexibility. Attendees who missed sessions can now log on to the Virtual Conference archive, which provides access to slidecasts of invited paper and panel sessions along with Cyber Zed Shed presentations. Access to 130 contributed papers is also freely available to all online at http://www.ala.org/acrl/acrl/conferences/2013/papers .
The next ACRL Conference, themed “Creating Sustainable Community,” will take place in 2015 in Portland, Ore. from March 25-28 and will be one of the premiere events highlighting ACRL’s 75th anniversary.
ACRL is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (the largest division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community.
For more information on ACRL 2013, please visit www.acrl.org/acrlconference
*** CONFERENCE TOTALS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
"Imagine, Innovate, Inspire"
Registrants (Face-to-face - full and daily): 2,984
Registrants (Virtual Conference): 561 (calculated w/group participation)
“A Declaration of Interdependence”
Registrants (Face-to-face - full and daily): 3,087
Participants (Virtual Conference): 446
“Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend”
Registrants (Face-to-face): 2,908
Participants (Virtual Conference): 355