75th Anniversary Scholarship Recipient: Susan C. Floyd

As part of the celebration of ACRL’s 75th Anniversary, we’ve asked the ACRL 75th Anniversary scholarship recipients to describe the impact of attending the ACRL 2015 Conference on their professional life and/or their library.

Susan C. Floyd is the Archivist at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in
Austin, Texas.

Floyd, Susan“Thank you for this opportunity to share my thanks for the ACRL scholarship once again. It was an amazing, amazing experience for me in Portland this year.

I attended ACRL for the first time in 2015, during the last semester of my MSIS program. Though focusing on archives, it was my career goal to work in a hybrid library/archives/museum environment with a major focus on public history.

At ACRL, I attended many panels that gave me greater insight into a variety of professional trends and issues that are applicable to me now, in my first job as an early-career processing archivist at the Texas State Library and Archives. Indeed, my commitment to conference attendance and early participation in professional development probably strengthened my job application–I got the first job I applied for out of school! I am also a member of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, which I expect to be important for my career development; and at ACRL, I was able to meet my RBMS mentor, Melanie Meyers, in person for the first time. She has been fantastic.

My new job includes processing primarily state agency records, manuscript collections, and photographs. The Texas State Library and Archives has an impressive building nestled right next to our state capitol, with three reading rooms for patrons: a library reference room, a genealogy room, and a state archives room. We also have a recently renovated gallery space in our lobby, and a new outreach archivist dedicated to make all of these resources more well-known and widely used. I am also responsible for some rotating hours on the reference desk in each of the reading rooms, and I work closely with our library staff, including reference, cataloging, and visually impaired services librarians.

Though I am an archivist and expect to remain one, I also plan to stay involved in ACRL and attend the annual conference regularly as my career progresses. I found that my hybrid interests were mirrored well in the organization in general and in the conference content in particular, and I know that I can learn so much by attending each year–new skills, ideas, and networks that I can then take back to the hybrid institution where I work!

Perhaps even more important than those nuts and bolts, though, was the energizing spirit I couldn’t help but absorb from the ACRL conference. Meeting so many college and research librarians, archivists, and other associated professionals (and guest keynote speakers!) from around the country, and hearing about the challenges, successes, and lessons of their work, truly inspired me. The whole experience was transformative for me as a student embarking on my first professional job search. I came home knowing that this was the right field for me. And that was invaluable. The professional photo booth was also pretty cool.

Thanks again for the opportunity to attend ACRL 2015. I hope to see you in Baltimore in 2017!”