Getting Oriented Table-hopping Style

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by Nancy Snyder

Like many orientation sessions, the Instruction Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) was held early on the first full day of the conference.

The chair of the Instruction Section, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, welcomed about sixty of us and noted that the Instruction Section is one of the biggest sections of ACRL. After she gave a brief overview of the Section, Vice Chair Jennifer Dorner spoke about how its committees work. The Section has just reorganized its committee structure, splitting larger committee and developing new ones to create more opportunities to address topics of interest.

Each committee is responsible at a minimum for maintaining and updating a section of the Instruction Section's website, adding new information to prevent it from becoming neglected or outdated.

Each committee has about seven people.  Some committees are more popular, such as the Emerging Technologies in Instruction Committee, and thus harder to get on, whereas new committees may not be as popular yet and are a good place to get your feet wet.  Another way to get involved is to become a committee intern, which will get you an appointment to that committee the next year. As an intern, you take the minutes for the committee.

If you work in the city where the conference is held, you will probably be tapped for the Local Arrangements Committee, as current chair and San Antonio resident Michelle Millet knows from recent experience.  Michelle was responsible for organizing the Instruction Section’s social event, the Soiree, on opening night of the conference.

Most of the hour-long orientation was devoted to going around to the different committees at the different tables and spending a few minutes finding out about the work of the committee.  The Instruction Section also made it easy for people to volunteer for committee work by providing printouts of the committee form on the web. If you’re new to the Section, however, it may be better to fill out the form online, where you can elaborate more on your experience and committee interests.