2013 Scholarship Winner Essay: Heather Lember

Heather Lember
Heather Lember

My experience at ACRL/NY started weeks before the symposium with the planning of a poster presentation about a collaborative peer-learning project at Barnard College called BambooDiRT.Teaming up with Barnard librarian Vani Natarajan, we constructed a poster that demonstrated the process and learning outcomes to participants. Being able to share my knowledge of collaborative teaching at Barnard, where I work as an archival processing fellow, was significant considering that I aspire to work in an academic library after I graduate this May.

It was exciting to learn about the technologies and tools utilized at other academic libraries, while considering my own experiences. I was struck by the innovations that presenters shared, but also by the challenging questions asked by attendees. The conference’s underlying, perhaps unintentional, theme of experimentation and a willingness to accept failure as part of the learning process was a powerful takeaway, and one that carries over into my coursework at Pratt as well as in my position at Barnard.

Rhizomatic Growth: Peer Learning with BambooDiRT at Barnard Library, Poster by Vani Natarajan, Heather Lember
Rhizomatic Growth: Peer Learning with BambooDiRT at Barnard Library, Poster by Vani Natarajan, Heather Lember

In a sense, this theme mirrored the process of collaboration that Vani and I followed as we worked through various iterations of our poster. We sketched out ideas, performed research, and utilized the assistance of Gephi visualization software to fully realize our collective vision. We then created the poster manually with paper, glue, and string. The end result was one that initiated conversation and hopefully inspired others to experiment and engage with new technologies, just as the speakers championed throughout the day.

Heather Lember, Pratt Institute
Heather Lember is pursuing her MSLIS at Pratt Institute, and is expected to graduate in May of 2014. She is an Archival Processing Fellow at Barnard College, and works at the New York Civil Liberties Union as an Assistant Archivist.

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