Alumni, Students Present at iSchool Community Poster Session during CLA Conference


The San José State University School of Information sponsored a community poster session featuring alumni and student speakers during the California Library Association’s annual conference held in November 2018.

“It was great to see the outstanding diversity of projects that alumni and students brought to life at the reception. We had archivists, correctional librarians, public librarians, academic librarians, special librarians and first-semester students participating in the event,” said Student Outreach Specialist Sheila Gurtu, the event’s organizer.

Master of Library and Information Science student Paizha Stoothoff discussed her internship experience with the Open Access Research Project at University of California San Diego where she helped identify open access journals with low to no author processing charges.

“Many journals are charging faculty northwards of $2,500 to publish their work, which is a big burden to libraries and faculty. I selected this project because I believe the research is an innovative approach to advocating for and implementing open access initiatives in academic libraries,” she said.

Meeting faculty and students – particularly fellow classmates – was a highlight of Stoothoff’s experience, and she recommends others participate in similar events.

“I also enjoyed learning about the types of research projects or work that my peers are involved in, including in academic, public, and special libraries. I was also able to network with guests who are practicing information professionals,” she said.

The preparation assistance Gurtu and Professor Anthony Bernier provided to Sarah Wilson helped allay her fears of presenting a poster on book clubs and their information seeking behaviors.

“Their advice was invaluable, and Dr. Bernier even took time to critique my individual poster following the conference,” she said.

Creating a poster on her selected topic helped clarify and organize the research for Wilson’s final INFO 200 Information Communities paper, but she said chatting with librarians about books clubs they facilitate was her favorite part of the conference.

“It was also thrilling to meet Director Sandra Hirsh and a colleague, who has been a librarian all over the world. I also learned a great deal from other students presenting at conference as they shared their experiences at the iSchool,” she said.

Danny Le was “really energized” talking about his poster. “There were a lot of people who I knew from the iSchool, but only online and in name, so being able to meet my fellow classmates in person was a bonus to an already awesome function,” he noted.

Focusing on the Teen HQ located in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in the San José Public Library System was good way to review the things he’s experienced as an intern there.

“Learning about the various resources and program available for today’s young adult, from makerspaces to virtual reality programs, a recording studio, and young adult activities, there was so much that I gained from working at the Teen HQ,” he said.

Le hopes to be able to spread his knowledge to other libraries that are just starting to ink out the idea of developing their own innovated teen spaces. Further, his involvement with the iSchool’s poster session gave him the opportunity to practice presenting on a subject he feels strongly about.

“At times the camaraderie was so engaging that I sometimes needed to cut down my conversations in order to get back to my presentation! I would happily do it again as a student, or professional sometime in the future,” he said.

The poster session held during the CLA conference marked the second sponsored by the iSchool, with the first at the American Library Association’s June conference in New Orleans. For more information about how to participate in future iSchool-sponsored poster sessions, please contact the Student Services Team at