Members of the American Theological Library Association (Atla) have met annually since 1947 to develop their skills and connect with their colleagues in religion and theology. Atla Annual has over 300 members, exhibitors, and international guests who meet in June every year and take part in over 100 programs such as workshops, panels, exhibitor showcases, meetings, and diverse worship services.
This must-attend event for librarians in religion and theology had an impressive presence from Pitts! Attendees included Richard (Bo) Adams (Director of the Library), Armin Siedlecki (Head of Cataloging and Rare Book Cataloger), Caitlin Soma (Head of Acquisitions and Access Services), Brady Beard (Instruction and Reference Librarian), Anne Marie McLean (Reference Librarian and Outreach Coordinator), and Elizabeth (Liz) Miller (Coordinator of Digital Initiatives).
Presentations from Pitts representatives were very well attended and incredibly well received. Brady Beard taught a 45-minute session on teaching information literacy through Biblical studies. He showed how he uses the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy as the core of his teaching workshops on Biblical studies, moving the focus away from the traditional tools approach to a more coherent (and helpful) focus on information skills and critical information literacy.
Caitlin Soma and Liz Miller presented for 45 minutes on how Pitts handled the COVID shifts in reserves and acquisitions. They offered the crowd a number of lessons learned from their initial Spring 2020 triage and their more deliberate and formal policy changes as we look forward to “normal” times. Their open questions at the end of the session generated great discussions, many of which will continue in the weeks and months to come after the conference.
In the last session of the conference, Anne Marie McLean gave a 45-minute talk about coordinating social media in a library, making the argument for the social media coordinator as a content curator rather than content creator. She presented a number of helpful ideas about how social media coordinators (who are likely wearing 15 other hats in their library!) can find content to share and encourage their colleagues to generate content from their subject matter expertise.
In addition, Armin Siedlecki was re-elected as Vice President of the Board of Directors, and Bo Adams participated in the panel with colleagues on “Managing Challenges, Changes, and Covid-19 as University-Based School Library Directors.”
Not only did Pitts impress participating libraries and staff, they even found a “Candler Building” to have dinner in on Thursday night!
Read more about Atla and its history at www.atla.com.