Annual Graduate Symposium

The 2nd Annual Graduate Symposium took place on Saturday, March 30, 2013, as a result of collaborative work of the diverse GSLIS student organizations, including SCoSAA, Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG), American Library Association Student Chapter (ALASC), Panopticon, LISSA, American Society for Information Science and Technology Student Chapter (ASIS&T), User Experience Professional Association (UXPA@Simmons), and Special Libraries Association (SLA), and support from GSLIS. The symposium was developed last year by SCoSAA and SLA to allow students to present their research, prepare for professional conferences, network with their peers, and explore how related professions in areas such as archives, libraries, history, and museums are converging.

This year's theme, "Collaboration: Libraries, Archives, History and Museums (LAHM)," built upon last year's framework to expand the symposium's scope to incorporate all GSLIS students. Professor of Practice Martha Mahard gave the keynote speech and nine student panelists presented papers based on their independent research projects. The student papers were organized into four panels discussing ethics, art, technology, and the "third space" in the larger context of LAHM. Each panel concluded with a lively question-and-answer session moderated by GSLIS students. Student volunteers were integral in the success of this year's symposium, serving as panel reporters and supporting logistical and technology needs.

In addition to including more volunteers this year, the symposium also saw a substantial increase in attendance. With more than 50 in-person attendees of students, faculty, and LIS professionals, and about 85 livestream attendees, the symposium reached a larger and broader audience than expected in just one year. Livestreaming the symposium this year, which was made possible by the support of the GSLIS Media Lab and GSLIS Technology, encouraged geographically dispersed LIS students and professionals, in and outside of the Simmons GSLIS community (including online GSLIS students), to engage in conversations with their peers in Boston.

The growth of the symposium in a single year signifies the potential of this event for the greater GSLIS and LIS graduate school community. As Simmons GSLIS student organizations build strong collaborative bonds, the symposium will continue to follow the trajectory of collaboration and convergence that Mahard promoted in her keynote address. As the GSLIS curriculum evolves to support changes in the library, archives, museum, and information science professions, the Graduate symposium provides a valuable opportunity for students to explore their future profession via independent research, share their observations, and engage in intellectual discussion in a supportive environment. The 2nd Annual Graduate Symposium's success goes beyond the increased attendance, the incorporation of livestreaming, the outstanding presentations and discussions, and the additional volunteer opportunities. Its success is rooted in the establishment of a new tradition instigated by SCoSAA for a future of collaborative initiatives carried on by the GSLIS community.

The event streams are available at

article submitted by the Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists (SCoSAA)

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