Editor’s Introduction

In person at last! Such was the common refrain among those who traveled to the first on-site Atla Annual in three years. With the placid shimmer of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for a backdrop, attendees once again shared the irreplaceable pleasures that come of gathering under a common roof, such as chance hallway conversations, excursions with friends old and new, and nine innings at Camden Yards.

But this was no ordinary conference. In a first for the association, Atla Annual was a fully hybrid event. Attendees and presenters alike had the option to participate remotely in the lion’s share of live sessions, thus enabling a broader audience and richer discourse than would have been possible within the confines of the Hyatt Regency alone.

In this volume, I present you with the flower of the conference. Over two dozen presenters have distilled their sessions into a convenient written form for your edification and enjoyment. One of the major leitmotifs in this year’s offerings is innovation in library services—sometimes necessitated by the lingering pandemic, sometimes driven by the changing landscape of theological education itself. From mental health awareness and remote work to gamified spiritual formation and support for unconventional curricula, Atla members everywhere are adapting services to meet emerging needs.

There are also several pieces that shine light on the need for increasing social responsibility within the profession, whether by rethinking descriptive cataloging practices, attaining more equitable treatment for staff with disabilities, or growing in intersectional awareness to inform our decisions. Rounding out the menu are such evergreen topics as collection evaluation, information literacy, digital libraries, and (everyone’s favorite) ILS migration.

So, whether you spent June of ’22 hunting for crabcakes in Charm City, or rifling through your SnackMagic box at home, or doing something other than Atla Annual, there’s something here for you. Happy reading!