iDEAL Summit hosted at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

As a member of the MLIS program I was proud to have the opportunity to view the iDEAL Summit and while I was unable to attend the summit in person I feel lucky to have been able to view it online. Being able to provide online, digital access to all aspects of the iDEAL summit is extremely helpful for students who are working during the day. I appreciate the efforts that were taken to make sure that equitable access was offered to all students.

The Part Two afternoon session was most relevant and engaging for me as I am a middle school librarian. Upon listening to the speakers it became clear to me that advocacy is a hot topic and will remain that way for years to come. Advocacy was summed up best by Dr. Carmichael who said, “be noisy, obnoxious, and political.”  This statement resonated with me.  Since accepting my position as a librarian in August, I have become the number one advocate for the school library and I have gone to great lengths to improve public relations. My goal has been to revitalize the library space and invite the students, teachers, and administrators in to see the changes take place. I totally agreed with the presenter who stated that principals should understand the role of librarians as collaborators who bring information literacy to the forefront. I would like to play this snippet for my principal. I was pleased to hear a connection be made to my LIS 600 Policy and Leadership report during the afternoon session. The conversation about schools moving toward one-to-one student to computer ratios and the use of e-books caught my interest. The presenter discussed the use of dictionary features on e-books and the impact they may have on students ability to critical thinking skills to use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.

I was equally intrigued by the advocacy conversation related to the college transfer program. One iDEAL Summit participant stood up and commented about “how frustrating it is to take classes at a community college and then not have them transfer to another institution.”  Another participant referenced being a member of the Peace Corp and wishing that the opportunity existed for members to obtain college credit for their “intensive language studies and two year learning experiences.” I remember being extremely selective about the courses and number of courses that I took at my local community college because very few courses would transfer. Before viewing the iDEAL Summit, I did not realize that the name for this arrangement had an official name, an Articulation Agreement. I even googled the term to discover the actual meaning and quickly realized that I had been fortunate enough to have benefited from this amazing partnership which seeks to help students.

When all is said and done, librarians must be advocates for their patrons and their libraries. Thinking outside the box will enable librarians to showcase their value. One male presenter mentioned “doing more with less,” but I feel that as a librarian that I will spend the rest of my life advocating for MORE! I will keep the conversations of the K-12 and Academic groups in the back of my mind as push forward in a respectful yet persistent manner…to be a noisy, obnoxious, and political advocate.


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