Welcome to the second conference on Transforming Libraries for Graduate Students and to Kennesaw State University.
Lots has happened since the first conference in 2016! A survey of participants at that conference revealed a desire to stay in touch and see a community grow.
In the past two years:
- The KSU Graduate Library created GradLib, a listserv with 449 members.
- Crystal Renfro and Elisabeth Shields (Kennesaw State University) published an account of the first conference in C&RL News (78:4: 2017).
- A lunch group met at ACRL 2017 to get to know each other better.
- Leila Rod-Welch (University of Northern Iowa) successfully petitioned for the formation of an ACRL interest group, Academic Library Services to Graduate Students, which has since organized sessions at ALA meetings. The listserv associated with this group now has 137 members.
- Crystal Renfro and Cheryl Stiles (Kennesaw State University) are editing a book for ACRL on services for graduate students; the book consists of 34 chapters with 50 contributing authors.
- The Journal of New Librarianship has expressed interest in publishing a special issue based on the conference.
The program committee for this year’s conference has worked to create a program that is highly participatory and that respects the nascent character of the community of graduate services librarians. We have 113 people registered for the conference, about one-third of whom are also presenters. We will have ample opportunity for networking and have allowed time and space for impromptu presentations and meetings.
On a personal note, I feel privileged to have played a role in getting this community off the ground. I am retiring, and Kennesaw State University will step back and pass the baton to others. One of our important functions at this conference is to consider “what next?” While I won’t be able to actively participate in the group after this conference, I nonetheless look forward to following the progress of this group.
Once again, welcome!Elisabeth Shields
Conference Program Chair
Graduate Services Librarian, Kennesaw State University