It’s Not Speed Dating, but Poster Sessions Do Have Many Benefits

By Michele Farrell
Senior Library Program Officer, IMLS

I love poster sessions.  I can see what new ideas are being tried and have a quick word with the researcher.  Time is so tight at conferences and waiting to speak to a presenter after a two hour panel session isn’t always feasible. For presenters creating a poster helps them meet the grant requirement to get the word out about their research and get quick peer feedback from others interested in their topic.

At the past International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) conference I saw a few posters of IMLS funded projects.

Nicole Cooke, doctoral candidate, Library and Information Science Dept. Rutgers Univ.

Nicole Cooke

Nicole Cooke’s poster, “The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program:  Investigating the Present to Prepare for the Future,” covered what it’s like as 12 Ph.D. students prepare for their future as library professionals.   Nicole is a doctoral candidate in the Library and Information Science Department at Rutgers University.

Dr. Maureen White, Associate Professor of Literacy, Language and Library Science, at the University of Houston Clear Lake, was there too and her poster, “The Leadership Train! How to Get Your Principal on Board”.  Collaborative School Librarian Training Grant,” illustrated how you can work collaboratively with your principal and also help underprivileged students get the research skills they need to succeed in life.

Dr. Maureen White, Associate Professor of Literacy, Language and Library Science, at the University of Houston Clear Lake

Dr. Maureen White

In my previous position, as a college library director, I had the opportunity to work with the principal and the English teachers of the high school located on our college campus.  Just because they were physically close didn’t mean we would automatically collaborate.  That’s why I was interested in Maureen’s research.

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3 Responses to It’s Not Speed Dating, but Poster Sessions Do Have Many Benefits

  1. Landon Jones says:

    It’s funny – in the day of email and text messages and the internet, with everything going a million miles per hour, sometimes the best forms of communication are the simplest (in this case – a poster).

    Thanks Michele.


  2. Maureen White says:

    Neither principals nor librarians are totally aware of the roles and responsibilities of each other. In our IMLS grant we have tried to improve this knowledge through presentations by principals to school librarian graduate students and by school librarians to principal preparation classes. A professional development day-long session by Dr. Gary Hartzell (retired who has presented in numerous states about this collaboration and how it can be improved that provided one of the best insights into this process that I have heard. Presentations to National School Administrator Conferences were made by two of our School Library Science faculty members. Research for the grant on the leadership roles of the grant students by their principals is only one of the research components we are beginning to analyze.

  3. Nicole Cooke says:

    Thank you Michele, it was a pleasure to meet you in Puerto Rico and have a chance to chat with you about my work! I expect to graduate from my doctoral program next year, and certainly this chapter of my professional journey would not have been possible without the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program and IMLS.

    I was selected in inaugural round of Spectrum Doctoral Fellowships (2008), have had the wonderful opportunity to give back to the program by serving as mentor coordinator for Reach21 program, and I’m currently advising on the newly funded Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship, which will fund brand new PhD students in 2013.

    Spectrum is a game changer and has 12 doctoral fellows and almost 700 masters level scholars to show for it! Kudos to Gwendolyn Prellwitz and Miguel Figueroa, from ALA’s Office for Diversity & Spectrum, for being such champions for diversifying the library profession.

    More information about Spectrum can be found at:

    The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship Program:
    Spectrum Presidential Initiative:
    Spectrum Scholarship Program: