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75th Anniversary Scholarship Recipient: Julie A. Shenk

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.

Shenk, JulieJulie A. Shenk is the Information Technology Librarian at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

“ACRL 2015 was an amazing experience for me. This was my first ACRL conference, and I will definitely be attending ACRL 2017 in Baltimore.

I was awarded the Early-Career Librarian Scholarship funded by ACRL University Libraries Section. My institution is a small liberal arts university. We have a limited budget on travel, so I knew getting a scholarship would help offset the cost of traveling.

My goals at the conference were to network and learn about trends in academic librarianship. I was able to network with Julie Miller, Dean of Libraries, Irwin Library at Butler University and her colleagues. Also, I signed up to have a mentoring buddy who I was able to have lunch with. Networking was the highlight of the trip because I was able to ask questions from librarians who had 25 + years of experience.  Many of them offered advice for my future. In addition, I talked to many colleagues early in their careers just like me. With trends I attended workshops and presentations on topics I wanted to know more about. Some topics included information literacy, emergency preparedness, ethnographic studies and architecture.

I now know there is an even bigger community of academic librarians that I feel I can talk to. This is helpful for me personally because my institution is so small that I felt the need before the conference to engage in the greater community of academic librarians. Thinking about the conference now I feel connected and want these connections to grow.

Without being awarded a scholarship it would have been difficult for me to attend the conference. I traveled a long distance, but it was well worth it. I loved being able to see so many librarians in one place and being so passionate about what we do. So, please continue to offer scholarships to attend conferences.

Thank you to the committee members who awarded me this opportunity to attend ACRL 2015 in Portland.”