Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Conferences: NEA Spring 2024 Meeting

One of the best (and sometimes, the most intimidating!) parts of grad school is the opportunity to attend and present your work at conferences, held by the numerous academic/professional organizations that support our disciplines. Conferences give you the opportunity to hear about and learn from what academic research and on-the-job procedures and issues are being discussed, debated, reassessed, and worked on in your field, as well as grow your professional network by connecting with information professionals from many different corners of librarianship. I recently got to present at the New England Archivists’ Spring 2024 meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, and it was both an incredible learning experience and a great first step into this part of our field.

The New England Archivists (NEA) are a organization representing the New England region’s archival community, and their 2024 Spring meeting brought together archivists, students in LIS programs, other informational professionals, and people focusing on other disciplines who work in archives or do related community programming to talk about their work. (Regional LIS organizations are a great way to meet people in the field and learn about libraries/archives/museums in your area, and often have great resources/mentorship programs/continuing education classes/scholarships available to LIS students!) The meeting, whose theme was “In Pursuit of the Future,” included so many inspiring NEA member-led archival research projects and community outreach efforts. My lightning talk, “Towards Inclusive Description in Music Collections,” combined a hands-on case study from my collections management projects at the Frances Loeb Library’s archives/special collections with my academic research in ethnomusicology to provide research questions to consider when performing reparative description work with musical archival collections.

Conferences are also a great way to meet other LIS students in your region, or catch up with students in your program! Our Student Lightning Talks panel was made up completely by SLIS students, and it was a real highlight of the conference to get to represent Simmons and SLIS with my classmates. The other presenters on our panel, Kai, Sarah, Marco, and Angela are all in the Archives Management concentration, dual degree MLIS/History, or Cultural Heritage concentration programs at SLIS, and they got to speak about the projects they’ve been working on out in the field or through their LIS 438-Introduction to Archival Theory field experiences. They’re all doing amazing work, and I had a blast getting to catch up with them and hear about their personal projects. 

Kai, Sarah, Marco, myself, and Angela after our Student Lightning Talks panel at NEA 2024!