Metrolina Library Association: 7th Annual Information Literacy Conference

Last Thursday June 14th I had the pleasure of attending the Metrolina Library Association’s 7th Annual Information Literacy Conference in uptown Charlotte. I attended the conference with three other colleges, Mary Susan Lucas, Cory Lenz, and Betty Thomas. (Our other colleague, Susan Catterall, found herself as Cinderella back in the library on the Reference desk.)

This conference was a very enriching and informative experience. It was my first time attending so I made sure to leave the house early enough to allow for the expected lost-in-uptown 10 minute diversion before locating the Johnson & Wales University Charlotte campus where the conference was to be held. Thankfully, parking was only a short walk from the campus so my feathers weren’t too ruffled by the time I walked in doors.

After a pleasant few minutes of coffee and chat with other local librarians where I had the pleasure of meeting the famous reference Svengali Dr. Moniz, I attended the panel “Remodel – No Train, No Gain: Instituting an Information Literacy Professional Development Program” presented by Jenny Dale and Amy Harris Houk from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Following this panel everyone mingled outside in the great hall for a “poster session” where we all had the opportunity to review and speak with the various librarians who had created information literacy themed posters.

After looking at all of the posters I scurried off to the second panel titled “Sharpen – The Feedback Loop: Student Reflection on Research, Writing, and Information Literacy” presented by Jennifer Arnold of Central Piedmont Community College. I attended one more panel “Engage – QUEST: A Learning Game Information Fluency” presented by Helen Fowler of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools before joining my newfound friends and colleagues for a delicious barbeque lunch prepared by the wonderful Johnson & Wales University chefs.

The spread that they had laid out for lunch was fantastic! The pulled pork and barbeque chicken were certainly far better than much of the fare that one can find for sale around the Gateway Village area. The ice tea was refreshing and the peach cobbler was tres bien.

After lunch I (sleepily) attended the final panel  “Engage – Beyond the Basics: Effective and Engaging Information Literacy Instruction for Upper-Level Students” presented by Lynda Kellam and Jenny Dale of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Lucky for me their presentation was quite energetic, otherwise the barbeque would have worked its magic and left me as one happily sedated librarian in the back of a freezing classroom.

The whole shebang was wrapped up by a keynote presentation from Jessamyn West, an extremely entertaining woman who expounded on everything from the digital divide, adult literacy, social networking, and Vermont floods. I look forward to attending next year’s conference and will endeavor to make the Metrolina Information Literacy Conference an annual tradition.

~Leanna Fitzgerald~

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