By Kevin Quinn, DLIS Student
This semester, I had the opportunity to attend a handful of lectures and conferences that allowed me to immerse myself into atmospheres that embraced the field I’m working to be a part of. Two of those events were the William A. Gillard Lecture, and the Long Island Library Conference.
As a student, the Gillard Lecture, headlined by speaker Bridget Quinn-Carey, was a great opportunity to gain insight and perspective into the work that’s being done in the LIS field. The lecture featured a brief awards ceremony, where scholarships were awarded to students who had made contributions to the profession (I, along with two of my classmates, received the H.W. Wilson scholarship for a panel that we presented at this years LI PopCon). Following the awards ceremony, Mrs. Quinn-Carey spoke about her experiences serving a variety of populations, and the work that she’s undertaking at the Hartford Public Library. Her insight and experiences painted a very real picture of what’s on the horizon for LIS graduates.
On Thursday, May 5th, I volunteered my time to represent the SJU Division of Library and Information Science at the Long Island Library Conference. The conference featured exhibitions, programs, and was highlighted by a keynote address from Tad Hills, an award-winning children’s author. The exhibits section of the conference provided me an opportunity to network with likeminded individuals in the LIS field. As a SJU representative, I spoke with conference goers about the LIS program at St. John’s, met many SJU alumni, and had the chance to interact with other exhibitors from library centered companies and organizations. The programs available were great opportunities to soak in presentations that focused on positively developing libraries and communities, as well as librarians. I was lucky enough to attend the “Crowd-pleasing Memory Programs” program where I learned about how The Half-Hollow Hills Community Library connected with the Alzheimer’s Association to develop memory programs for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The keynote address, made by Tad Hills, was a great, lighthearted way to wrap up the experience. He spoke about how he’d gotten to where he was, his creative process, his work, and he had the crowd laughing throughout his whole address.
These experiences have been invaluable to my growth and development as an LIS professional. I would highly recommend students take the opportunity to get involved and participate in different lectures, symposiums, and conferences that are made available. The insight, networking, and enjoyment that can be found at events like these will most definitely be useful to LIS candidates after graduation.