75th Anniversary Scholarship Recipient: Gerie Ventura

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.

Ventura, GerieGerie Ventura is the Associate Director at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington.

“The 2015 ACRL Conference in Portland was a wonderful experience for me. I was thrilled to receive a Support Staff scholarship. I was able to get a headshot photograph and a librarian from UNLV gave me great feedback on my CV; she encouraged me and said that I was ready to apply for jobs now. This is an exciting thing to hear, since I haven’t graduated yet.

The poster sessions, workshops, and guest speakers were wonderful. They spoke about issues of interest to me such as assessment, outreach to international students, and revitalizing and designing library student study spaces. I saw a lot of librarians that I know from around the Pacific Northwest and met many other librarians from other places. I even ran into a new mentor from my involvement in the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) – I first met her last year at ALA Annual in Las Vegas.

We have been planning some library space changes in my library at Highline College and I was able to find notes from the 2015 ACRL Conference and show them to the Library Management Team. It’s wonderful to attend a conference and find practical information that we can use in our own libraries.

A few months after the ACRL Conference, I had the opportunity to apply for a new position within my library and I am happy to report that I will be serving as the new Associate Director at Highline College, effective September 1, 2015. I attended a roundtable session of Librarians of Color and another on transitioning from library support staff to library professional. I met amazing, supportive librarians in both of those sessions and I will be reaching out to a few them in the next year as I start my new position. It meant a lot to me to hear from others who have gone through similar experiences. The roundtables made a large, overwhelming conference more intimate and welcoming. I want to thank all the donors to the 2015 ACRL Conference. Attending it really did make a difference in my life.”