5 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 303 2022 In the Fall 2021 Association Meeting, the conversation about teaching and learning continued with a focus on the impact a massive and sustained shift (if time proves it to be a sustained shift) to online might have on physical library spaces. So many libraries have transformed in recent decades to include active and social learning spaces, critical extensions to the in-person classroom and indispensable resources for student communities that vanished from campus in the span of a few short weeks in 2020. While acknowledging that the subsequent pressure to reopen and restaff libraries itself signaled some measure of our enduring centrality and value, it was also clearly an occasion to reconsider the meaning of library as place. Closing physical collections for months on end, curtailing service, and dramatically reducing seating capacity to meet social distancing requirements: what would the return to the library space post-pandemic look like, and what would it mean to the institution? Justin Moore, of the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities in Place initiative, and Shrey Majmudar, a Duke University student, spoke both to the traditional and to the unique and evolving concepts of library space. Community, connectedness, healing, and serendipity loomed large. Kornelia Tancheva (University of Pittsburgh) spoke of the imperative to focus on spaces for people and active knowledge creation over spaces for general collections and passive information consumption. She expands on the session’s conversations in her article in this issue. The fall 2021 meeting concluded with critical conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) with librarians from underrepresented groups and about the future of library work. The ARL Leadership and Career Development Program (LCDP) fellows led the closing session, speaking to the assembled membership about the cohort learning communities they built and sustained under incredibly difficult circumstances, and of their high expectations that library leadership will follow through on promises to center DEIA, to more decisively move to dismantle systemic barriers within organizations, and to shift from thinking about low representation of Black, Indigenous, and other persons of color (BIPOC) in the
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