We’ve asked the ACRL 2017 Conference scholarship recipients to describe the impact of attending the ACRL 2017 Conference on their professional life and/or their library.

A.J. MuhammadA.J. Muhammad is a librarian at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black in Culture in New York City, NY.

“I can’t begin to express my gratitude for being a recipient of an ACRL 2017 Early Career Librarian Scholarship. This was my first ACRL Conference and it was an incredible experience in ways I couldn’t have imagined. From the opening keynote speech by Roxanne Gay to the closing speech by Dr. Carla Hayden, ACRL 2017 fortified me with ideas and the information to keep me inspired, planning and engaged through the next conference in 2019! One of the highlights was attending the scholarship recipient breakfast where I got to meet my peers including LIS students who are carving out paths at their respective institutions around the country.

ACRL 2017 put the knowledge and information I needed regarding what concepts, trends and developments are taking place at libraries right at my fingertips. As one of my interests is publishing, I attended the roundtable “Adding to the Conversation: Research and Publications for New Librarians,” which was presented by Karen Doster and Jeffrey Phillips. The roundtable demystified the process of submitting to peer reviewed publications which can seem perplexing to first time authors. As the only person at the roundtable who works at a public library institution, everyone was so supportive and encouraging and I exchanged info with an editor of an LIS publication “Library Hi Tech News.” Now, I have an actual contact to whom I can reach out and a potential publication that may consider publishing an article I write. Those of us at the roundtable also received a useful handout with tips for new librarians re: getting published from the presenters and the handout contained practical knowledge and the titles of LIS publications organized by the topics they publish.

This interaction and intervention would not have been possible for me had I not been awarded the ACRL 2017 Early Librarian Scholarship.

I also got to meet a few of my fellow African American male librarians who have blazed trails for themselves, me and other Black men who may follow in their footsteps.

On Saturday, March 25, I left ACRL 2017 feeling excited and reinvigorated about what comes next for myself, my peers and the LIS profession and proud to be a librarian committed to doing my part connecting researchers to resources and knowing that research institutions are in good hands based on the brilliance that I witnessed from the librarians on staff at these libraries and archives.

I sincerely hope my experience at ACRL is proof of the opportunity that the scholarships provides to those who may not be able to attend ACRL without financial support and assistance. I am positive that the other recipients had a similar experience as I did.”

ACRL 2017 Conference Scholarship Recipient: A.J. Muhammad

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