by Leah Hinds, Executive Director, Charleston Hub
Against the Grain is coming to you live, once again, this time from Pittsburgh, PA, for the 2023 ACRL meeting. Attendance is just over 2,100 people (including both in-person and virtual attendees), and there are 147 exhibitors. Almost $90,000 worth of scholarships were awarded in six categories to 100 scholarship winners.
Day One: Wednesday, March 18
The registration check-in area was easy to locate and navigate on arrival, and badge printing was quick and painless despite the crowds.
After getting my badge, I walked through the “Game and Creative Lounge” that was located in the hallway/perfection area between registration and the keynote presentation. There were fun games, puzzles, giant checker boards, corn hole boards, a coloring wall, and a “Shelfie” wall where you could write in your favorite book on the bookshelf and take a photo.
The conference Opening Keynote was held on Wednesday, March 15, and featured Rebecca Nagle, an award-winning advocate, writer, and citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She is also the host of the podcast “This Land.” Nagle took the stage after a warm welcome from John Culshaw, Chair of the Board of Directors, ACRL President Erin Ellis, and ALA President Lessa Kananiʻopua Pelayo-Lozada.
Nagle spoke passionately about the intersection of Native representation in the media and Tribal sovereignty in public policy, and about the representation (or lack thereof) of Native Americans in the media. After acknowledging that she realizes libraries are “about more than just books,” she shared a list of her favorite books, as well as a list of Twitter accounts and news sources, to amplify and uplift Native voices.
After the opening keynote, the Exhibit Hall was ready for the welcome reception with appetizers and a cash bar. It was great to run into people in the exhibits and I’ve already had some really great hallway conversations! Looking forward to more the rest of the week. Stay tuned!