The ALA Midwinter Conference Through the Eyes of a Librarian

Librarianship | Chelsea Brantley| March 22, 2018

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ALA Midwinter Scholarship winners at the conference in Denver, Colorado. Pictured above from left, Rosa Diaz; Children’s Librarian/Bilingual at the Lincoln branch Library of the Rochester Public Library, Loren Klein; MLIS Student on the Stonewall Book Awards Committee, Veronica Leigh Milliner; University of Pittsburgh Health Science Library System and Chelsea Brantley; Media Coordinator at Nags Head Elementary School.

Chelsea Brantley is the Media Coordinator at Nags Head Elementary School in Nags Head, North Carolina. She attended the ALA Midwinter Conference in Denver, Colorado, with the help of and ALA/EBSCO Scholarship. Hear about Chelsea’s experience as a 2018 ALA Midwinter Scholarship winner.

Attending the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Denver, Colorado, was the highlight of my professional librarian career. I was very fortunate to have this opportunity thanks to EBSCO, who very generously sponsored five individuals to attend the conference. This opportunity is especially meaningful, as it enabled all recipients to hone leadership skills, make valuable connections, and expand professional growth. Personally, this opportunity enabled me to interact with individuals who can help me meet my professional goals.

Specifically, I have a strong desire to specialize in international librarianship. This specific focus would enable me to combine my interest in global communities and the library as the cultural center. I have been fortunate to study abroad with East Carolina University in Lisbon, Portugal, and I will go abroad again this summer to Paris, France. My professors have done an excellent job in teaching me about school, family, and community partnerships in a global context, and now I want to extend that learning even further.

By attending ALA Midwinter, I was able to learn about other programs and courses that could extend my knowledge. I was also able to discuss doctoral program opportunities with other attendees, as well. In addition to learning about these opportunities, my desire to continue my education was strengthened, as I was inspired by the library scholars and advocates who were present.

This opportunity is especially meaningful, as it enabled all recipients to hone leadership skills, make valuable connections, and expand professional growth.

This was only a tiny facet of the benefits I acquired by receiving the EBSCO sponsorship. In addition to making connections that will help me advance my career, I also received a vast array of resources that can help me immediately in my current position. The variety of sessions offered enables all attendees to develop a schedule that will meet their individualized needs. This ensures that everyone will be able to experience great professional growth, no matter where he or she works.

Overall, I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend the ALA Midwinter Conference. I am certain that the impact of this experience will be lasting and significant. I encourage all other librarians seeking professional growth to put their best foot forward and apply for a scholarship. The support and encouragement I received was unparalleled, and I would love for other enthusiastic librarians to have the same fantastic opportunity!

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Chelsea Brantley
Media Coordinator, Nags Head Elementary School

Chelsea Brantley is an enthusiastic, innovative teacher-librarian on the Outer Banks of North Carolina that strives to make the library every child’s “go-to” place for fun and information. Chelsea, who is in her sixth year of teaching, attended Maryville College, where she received a BA in English and Spanish Literature, and Concordia University, where she received a MEd in Curriculum & Instruction. She will complete her Master of Library Science this year from East Carolina University, where she was selected as the Library Science Outstanding Graduate Student.

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