10th National Conference of African American Librarians

This is a guest post from scholarship recipient Lavonda Broadnax, a member of the Design for Learning community.

I was awarded a D4L scholarship to attend the 10th National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL) sponsored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). The conference, with the theme Beyond Library Walls: Innovative Ways to Engage Our Communities, was held August 9-13, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The projected number of attendees was 300; however attendees exceeded 500. In addition to African American librarians, the conference included information professionals who shared concerns with the issues, challenges, and celebrations that are important to African Americans. This set of librarians incorporated school, public, academic, health sciences, government, special and others.

The primary justification for my scholarship was to promote D4L@WEBJunction. My “presentation” mode was a  table-top display located in the exhibit hall; one of four such table-top displays. We were  located in a lovely spot, with good traffic, between the two sets of traditional exhibits. Thanks to the no-conflict time slots each day, attendees could visit the exhibit hall without missing any of the conference. Traffic was also encouraged by the availability of refreshments in the exhibit hall.

My table-top “presentation” consisted of a slightly tweaked version of the poster Arden Kirkland created for a previous conference with the same handouts and wonderful business cards.


Over the years I have been a very active member of BCALA, many conference attendees approached my table-top “presentation” simply to see what I was currently up to. They walked away with specific knowledge about how D4L@WEBJunction could assist their libraries.

Six concurrent tracts were offered. I attended a variety of sessions in the Technology-Innovation Track. These provided interesting opportunities to share D4L@WEBJunction business cards and information. As appropriate, I interjected a concise summary during Q&A and I shared privately, with select presenters, how D4L@WEBjunction could strengthen their projects.

The conference included formal meals with celebrity authors. These meals proved to be another unanticipated opportunity to share information about D4L@WEBJunction. During the friendly round robin table introductions, my traditional introduction was superseded by a concise summary of D4L@WEBJunction and an offer of the business card for more information. I was very pleased with the number of times extra cards were requested.

I received positive and enthusiastic feedback from a range of attendees. One of my favorite, “Thank you for coming to this meeting to share this.”

The 10th NCAAL provided an opportunity to promote D4L@WEBJunction to a specific set of librarians. The table-top “presentation” in the exhibit hall proved to be a productive means to reach these information professionals. I was grateful for the scholarship and appreciated the opportunity to share this wonderful resource.

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