Message from the President: Spring 2022

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

March 19, 2022

Emily Gilbert, University of Illinois Chicago

Emily Gilbert, IACRL President 2021-22

Emily Gilbert, IACRL President 2021-22

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdowns this month, I’m sure most of us are wrestling with some difficult feelings. We have all undergone varying degrees of trauma since the start of the pandemic, and it’s normal to feel grief, exhaustion, stress, and anxiety about the current situation. In these profoundly taxing times, it’s so important to be gentle with ourselves. I hope you’re able to implement some self-care into your weekly routine–not just as a response to a particularly hard day, but as a regular practice to maintain your emotional reserves.

I am immensely grateful to my IACRL colleagues who give their ingenuity and time to this organization, even under these conditions. Illinois academic libraries as a whole persisted in providing access to services and resources, even during an ever-changing public health crisis, which is a lot to be proud of. As we navigate the months to come, please remember that IACRL is here to provide connection and community with other Illinois academic library workers. Here are some upcoming things to look out for:

  • IACRL elections will take place from April 1 to April 30. Please read the candidate statements and place your vote!
  • The Conference & Continuing Education Committee is partnering with CARLI to present our next Spark event. Spark: Open Pathways will take place on April 1, and registration is open now.
  • The ILA Annual Conference returns to an in-person format this year, and will take place at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, October 18-20. There is always a demand for more academic content at the conference, so please consider submitting a proposal by April 4.
  • Submissions for the Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year award will be accepted through May 15. Please nominate yourself or a colleague to be recognized!
  • New committee appointments will begin July 1, and you can use this form to indicate your interest in service on a committee. Serving on a committee is a great way to give back to the organization and meet new people across Illinois academic libraries.
  • IACRL hosts a journal club–the next ones will be in March and April. Information and registration links are available here. Join us for a lively discussion of recent topics in academic librarianship.
  • We had a social event on Zoom in December and it was a great time. Look out for another one near the end of the semester, and join us for some informal fun and camaraderie!

It has been an honor to serve as your president for the past nine months. If you have any questions about connecting with IACRL or how the organization can help you, please reach out to me at

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