By Erin Ellis
Duffy’s Irish Pub was packed on Friday evening, June 22, in Washington, DC. Over 70 new and continuing members of the ACRL Instruction Section (IS) gathered for drinks and informal conversation at the biannual IS Soiree. A chance for IS members to rejoin old friends and make new ones, the Soiree is an excellent way to begin conference. Additionally, the Soiree is a low-key, low-stress get-together where new members are welcomed and encouraged to contribute and participate in the section. New members find that current members are eager to meet them, introduce them to a few people, and engage in conversation about library and research instruction in higher education. Typically, the Soiree is held in a casual environment, such as Duffy’s Irish Pub. There is no advance fee for attending, but you are on your own for food and drink. Attendees are greeted by the Instruction Section’s membership committee and given a name tag. At this point, those new to the Soiree may choose to be introduced to or paired up with another member, or they can simply begin to mingle. Overheard at Duffy’s were conversations about job hunting and the job market, tenure status for librarians, moving into management positions, and things to see and do in DC.
The ACRL Instruction Section Soiree is held two times a year at the ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences. The Soiree provides an opportunity for present and new IS members to gather socially and exchange ideas and information.