2024 Conference Updates

Insightful Workshops & Presentations Tailored for Librarians

We are excited about the schedule of workshops for this year’s annual conference. The line-up is wide-ranging and strong. We are pleased to offer 20 in-person workshops and 8 virtual workshops. (All virtual content is available for viewing through September 26, 2024. )

The conference planning team has chosen presentations covering a variety of library topics, including:

  • Faith Integration
  • Library Spaces & Makerspaces
  • Leadership & Management
  • Open Education
  • Services, including Reference, Cataloging, Archives, & Systems

Check out the Speakers page to meet this year’s presenters and read workshop descriptions. Notice the presentation tracks too. There’s something for everyone!

We hope you are as excited as we are about the 2024 Conference and these great presentations. Be sure to register soon (early bird registration ends March 19th). Remember to invite a colleague! And, we eagerly anticipate all who can come and join us in embodying ‘The Great ACL Get Together’ theme, as we connect people and ideas for a transformative learning experience.

Hope to see you there!

Ruth McGuire

Ruth is the ACL Conference Presentations Coordinator as well as the Host Librarian for the 2024 ACL Annual Conference. She is the Director of Library Services at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and has been an ACL member since 1999.

Miriam Liethen

Miriam joined the ACL Conference Coordinating Team this year as the Assistant Presentations Coordinator. She is the Electronic Services Librarian at Grace College & Theological Seminary and has been an ACL member since 2020.

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ACL-Pro Plenary Workshop Spotlight

One way that ACL prioritizes continuous learning and professional development for its members is through ACL-Pro Plenary Workshops during the Annual Conference. The workshops are included in the conference registration and offer CEUs.* Whether you need the CEUs or not, I think you’ll find these sessions practical and relevant.

Do you provide instruction to your students or library users—both in person and/or online? Looking for guidance on how to improve the efficacy of your teaching? Join us for “Creating Transformative Instructional Design Experiences for Learning” on Tuesday, June 11. This workshop will be led by UNW Education Professors Annalisa Buerke and Jonell Pacyga. You’ll glean insights into how to apply teaching principles and use technology tools to craft successful instructional sessions.

What about questions regarding AI and ChatGPT? Since ChatGPT was released, discussions about its proper usage and what it even is have been circulating in every arena. Join us for “Librarianship in an AI Era: Mindsets and Tools to Wisely Utilize the Potential of Artificial Intelligence,” on Wednesday, June 12. This workshop will be presented by our very own UNW Professor and Research & Instruction Librarian Jessica Moore and Adjunct Faculty and Instructional Designer Adam Minnie. You’ll want to attend this workshop to learn more about AI and its intersection with the library and how you can approach this emerging technology at your own institution.

I hope you’ll take advantage of these opportunities to earn CEUs and learn together with us at this year’s Annual ACL Conference.

*Earning CEUs is a proactive step librarians can take to remain effective and valuable contributors. Attendees simply complete a survey, and the CEU credits are recorded in their membership record with a certificate emailed to them. 

Please make note of these important deadlines related to conference:
March 15 – Deadline to nominate colleagues for the Emily Russel or Lifetime Service Awards
March 15 – Deadline for international ACL members to apply for the Spidell Conference Scholarship
March 19 – Early Bird Registration Deadline
March 31 – Deadline to apply for the President’s Conference Scholarship
April 9 – Deadline to submit a poster session application

Hope to see you here in June!

Becky Halberg

Becky is the Library Web Coordinator at the University of Northwestern and serves on the 2024 ACL Conference Host Team. She has been an ACL member since 2022.

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Keynote Spotlight

As my colleagues and I discussed themes and speakers for ACL’s upcoming 2024 Annual Conference, a common idea emerged: though technology often makes physical presence optional, we still want and need embodied community. If nothing else, the pandemic was quite effective at revealing our need for physical presence. Technology can simulate it, but I don’t think it will ever replace it—nor should it. In Minnesota, no other event signals our desire and need to gather better than the Minnesota State Fair, also known as The Great Minnesota Get Together! And there it was… 2024’s conference theme: The Great ACL Get Together!

Our next task was to find a keynote speaker who could address the importance of physical presence in a world of digital surrogates. And we are delighted to introduce you to Samuel James! He is the associate acquisitions editor at Crossway Books, and the author of Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age (Crossway, 2023). We asked James to draw on the ideas in his book to help us understand how digital technology shapes the way we think. Check out his abstract here. After his address, James will sit down with us for a conversation on what the implications might be for libraries as physical and digital environments, a timely conversation for both in-person and virtual attendees. I trust that this session will encourage you both personally and professionally as we navigate our online age together.

Registration is now open! (ACL members, be sure to log into the MY ACCOUNT area before registering to take advantage of your $90 membership discount.) When you register, you’ll have the option of adding Samuel James’s book, Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age, to your conference package. At only $12, it’s a great price, and it will be shipped to you prior to the conference. (If you are located outside the US, you can collect your copy at the conference in June.)

We hope to see you in Saint Paul!

Greg Rosauser

Greg is Associate Professor and Archivist at Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and on the 2024 ACL Conference hosting team. He has been an ACL member since 2011.

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Why Minnesota?

University of Northwestern Campus

On behalf of the staff of the Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, I am excited to invite you all to Minnesota this June for the 2024 Annual Conference! Experience a “taste of Minnesota” with a memorable blend of engaging content, fellowship, and fun!  

Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, and a lakeside bonfire with friends is a quintessential summer activity! As the conference kicks off on Sunday evening, we will gather on picturesque Lake Johanna Island for a fun and welcoming bonfire with fellow attendees. There will be an opportunity to tour Northwestern’s Island Chapel with Art Professor Emeritus Dr. Mark Baden, who will also lead devotions on Monday morning in the stunning Nazareth Chapel.  

What is an ACL conference without ice cream? Our Monday evening excursion will feature a walk along St. Paul’s historic Summit Avenue from Cathedral Hill to the Grand Ole Creamery! 

Theatre enthusiasts know that the Twin Cities has a vibrant and thriving theatre scene! Following the banquet on Tuesday evening, Minnesota’s own Theater for the Thirsty will perform their newest musical “This is My Story, This is My Song” featuring the stories behind some of the great hymns of the faith.  

Theater for the Thirsty

For those planning to extend their stay before or after the conference, the Twin Cities offers a variety of attractions including museums, zoos, parks, historic sites, and shopping. See our local LibGuide for a full list of suggestions. Here are some highlights: 

  • American Swedish Institute: Located in Minneapolis, this cultural center celebrates Swedish and Nordic heritage. Explore the historic Turnblad Mansion, art exhibits, and enjoy Swedish-inspired cuisine at the on-site restaurant, Fika. 
  • Mall of America: Located in Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis, the Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States. It features over 500 stores, numerous restaurants, and attractions like Nickelodeon Universe and SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium. 
  • Minnehaha Park: A beautiful urban park in Minneapolis, Minnehaha Park is known for its stunning waterfall, walking trails, and scenic views along the Mississippi River. Visitors can also explore the historic Minnehaha Depot and enjoy a meal at Sea Salt Eatery. 
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: Located in St. Paul, Como Park offers a free zoo and conservatory. Explore a wide variety of animals and plant life or take a leisurely stroll through the Japanese Garden. 
  • Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden: For art enthusiasts, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis showcases contemporary art, and the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features iconic sculptures like the Spoonbridge and Cherry. 
  • Historic Stillwater: Known as the “Birthplace of Minnesota”, Stillwater is a charming town on the banks of the St. Croix River known for its historic architecture, boutique shops, and scenic river views. Explore the town, take a boat tour, or enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants. 
  • Mill City Museum: Situated in downtown Minneapolis, this museum is built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill. It provides insights into the history of milling in the region and offers panoramic views of the city from the observation deck. 
  • Minnesota History Center: Situated in St. Paul, the Minnesota History Center provides engaging exhibits on the state’s history, culture, and heritage. 
  • Guthrie Theater: Theater enthusiasts can visit the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, known for its innovative productions and modern architecture. The theater offers guided tours, and the Endless Bridge provides a stunning view of the Mississippi River and city skyline. 
  • Stone Arch Bridge and Nicollet Island: Take a stroll across the historic Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, which provides stunning views of the city skyline and the Mississippi River. Afterward, explore Nicollet Island, known for its charming Victorian homes and gardens. 
  • James J. Hill House: Visit the historic mansion of railroad magnate James J. Hill in St. Paul. The house, a National Historic Landmark, offers guided tours showcasing its impressive architecture and the lifestyle of a 19th-century tycoon. The museum also offers walking tours of historic Summit Avenue.  

We hope to see you in Minnesota this June! 

Jessica Moore

Jessica Moore is the Research and Instruction Librarian and a full Professor at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and a member of the 2024 ACL Conference Hosting Team. Jessica has been a member of ACL since 2007, and served as the chair of ACL’s Liberal Arts Section in 2013-2015. Her professional interests include information literacy, instructional design, assessment, copyright, and open education. Jessica and her husband Brian live in the Twin Cities area.

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2024 ACL Annual Conference Update

Please make plans to join us at the 2024 ACL Annual Conference at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota June 10-12.

The conference theme, “The Great ACL Get Together: Connecting People, Connecting Ideas,” was inspired by the Minnesota State Fair’s slogan, “The Great Minnesota Get Together.” Our retro-style postcard logo, featuring custom drawings of popular Twin City sites by Nate Farley, mirrors the fair’s essence. Much like how fair attendees gather for entertainment, showcasing talents, exploring innovations, and savoring diverse food options (often on a stick), the ACL conference similarly brings together Christian librarians. It fosters personal connections while exchanging essential learning and faith-related ideas crucial to librarians’ growth and development.

The 2024 conference program promises relevance and practicality for the librarians ACL serves. We’re thrilled to announce our keynote speaker, author Samuel James. Based on his recent book Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age, he will explore the human need for embodied community in an online age through a recovery of Christian wisdom and with implications for the role of libraries.

Offering Continuing Education Units (CEUs) via ACL-Pro Plenary Workshops reaffirms our dedication to fostering continual professional growth and learning within our membership. These workshops are tailored to offer essential training and valuable insights covering topics of broad relevance to librarians. The 2024 ACL-Pro Plenary workshops will specifically address the popular topics of active learning and teaching, as well as AI/ChatGPT.

Our conference provides a platform for librarians and information professionals to contribute to the field and engage with their peers through presentations and poster sessions. By presenting at the ACL Conference, librarians can showcase their expertise, discuss innovative practices, and contribute to the ongoing development of the profession. We are accepting presentation proposals through December 8, 2023.

The cost for the 2024 conference can be found on our website to help you start planning for your attendance. We expect registration to open at the beginning of March 2024.

We look forward to welcoming you to the conference, ACL’s key event for 2024!

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