UMD INFO Faculty and Students Lead Presentations at the 2024 ALA LibLearnX Conference

INFO Staff - January 18, 2024

Library practitioners, leaders, and researchers from around the country will gather at this annual event

Graphic image of people in a classroom both physically and virtually

Image courtesy of ALA LibLearnX

University of Maryland College of Information Studies (INFO) faculty and PhD students will lead workshops and educational sessions at the upcoming January 19-22, 2024 LibLearnX Conference—the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual Library Learning Experience conference. LibLearnX is one of the largest library conferences in the country that invites industry and academy leaders to experience higher-level education conversation, hands-on interaction, and trend-scanning information.

Assistant Professor Ana Ndumu and Research Assistant Hayley Park will lead a workshop on co-designing librarian training for effective immigrant outreach. Since the 19th century, outreach to immigrants has encompassed a celebrated aspect of the library profession. This workshop will first present findings from several studies on immigrants’ lived experiences. Attendees will then be invited to co-design a self-paced, strengths-centered, and training for library workers. This workshop is part of a project funded by an IMLS grant aimed to build librarians’ capacities and deepen understanding of immigrant acculturation.

Assistant Professor Victoria Van Hyning, in collaboration with Tara Cox of the National Girls Collaborative Project, will lead an educational session on crowdsourcing and community engagement. This session will explore in-person as well as online modes of crowdsourcing, such as community invasive plant species monitoring and online transcription projects. Participants, whether from a small public library, a university library, a special collection, archive, or other institution, will learn about crowdsourcing tools, platforms, and strategies that can be used to connect with their users and build communities of mutual support, respect, engagement, and curiosity.

PhD students Lydia Curliss and Twanna Hodge will lead an educational session on the use of “Auntie” in library spaces, referencing Lorgia García Peña’s book “Community as a Rebellion.” The two define Aunties (a term commonly used in BIPOC communities) as individuals who provide guidance, mentorship and care inside or outside a legally defined family or biological relationship. Hodges and Curliss will examine how white, classist, heteronormative and patriarchal systems affect relationships within a library space. They will also discuss how to take on roles as Aunties to build community, center care, and move toward a more equitable library space.

INFO College faculty and students are actively engaged in LIS scholarship and research, and number among some of the most prolific scholars in LIS history. More information can be found about LibLearnX and other upcoming ALA conferences here.