Whether you are a new professional in the LIS field or one well-established in the profession, #NEWLIBSYMP17 is a hashtag on Twitter you should look up and read through.
Just last week, I had the privilege of attending the second running of the New Librarians Symposium organized by Ali Versluis (@aliversluis) and Juliene McLaughlin. The symposium is free-of-charge to attendees, comprised solely of new grads or new professionals to library science.
This year's theme was "Overcoming Obstacles", which encouraged attendees to think critically about the challenges they face as those within the early years of their careers in librarianship, while engaging in meaningful networking and collaboration.
The program consisted of several lightning talks, fast chats, a Real Talk panel, and a workshop. The lightning talks very much followed the theme, as each speaker discussed an obstacle they faced, ranging from the treacherous job hunt to "whiteness" in archives to strategies for self-care. It was all information that needed to be heard by the eager group of individuals seated before them. The fast chats were structured conversations with new professionals who weren't familiar with one another, in an attempt to exercise problem solving and active listening skills. Some problems were resolved more quickly than others and some remained unchanged, reflecting the realities of the workplace. The Real Talk panel was very... real. Some slightly less new new professionals answered some big questions floating around in the minds of many new professionals and offered honest, uncensored advice. Lastly, the workshop, facilitated by Melanie Parlette-Stewart (@mparstew) and Sajni Lacey (@LaceySajni), addressed how to confront the all-too-familiar "imposter syndrome".
In addition to the full day of programming, flip chart paper was placed along a wall in the room with questions for attendees to answer via post-it. Many wrote their own post-its, while some added a +1 or checkmark to indicate their agreement with what was said. These were the results:
Photos generously provided by Mari V (@marvellings)