Tag Archives: SLA

Conference Programme, Day Two

Since there was no overall keynote speaker for the second day of the full conference programme, there were four sessions in each of the three tracks. Tops were new ways of working (socialization, collaboration, and innovation), creating structure in the information universe, and information professionals.

You’d think that in today’s recessionary environment, librarians would be down in the mouth. And some of them are. Budget cuts seem a worldwide phenomenon. Gloria Zamora, SLA’s president elect, chose to talk about alternative careers, Dennie Heye, winner of SLA Europe’s Special Librarian of the year award and library for Shell in Holland, disclosed the 7 skills of highly successful info pros.

Marydee Ojala

Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals

 

Going Green

No, "going green" doesn’t refer to St. Patrick’s Day. That’s in March; this is June. SLA has various initiatives to help the environment. The conference bags this year, for example, are fabric rather than plastic, and made from recycled materials. There are recycling areas throughout the convention center.

One exhibitor who’s really stepped up to the green plate is EBSCO. They’re offering SLA members free access to their GreenFILE., which is on the EBSCOhost platform. From the EBSCO description on the SLA website:

"GreenFILE offers information covering all aspects of human impact to the environment. Its collection of scholarly, government, and general-interest titles includes content on the environmental effects of individuals, corporations, and local/national governments, as well as measures to minimize these effects. Topics covered include global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more. The database provides indexing and abstracts for more than 380,000 records, as well as Open Access full text for more than 4,700 records."

This supplements the database EBSCO had already made available to SLA members: LISTA:

"Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) indexes nearly 690 periodicals, plus books, research reports and proceedings. Subject coverage includes librarianship, classification, cataloging, bibliometrics, online information retrieval, information management and more. Coverage in the database extends back as far as the mid-1960s. The thesaurus in LISTA includes 6,800 terms, 2,700 of which are preferred terms."

My only gripe with GreenFILE is that, once you’ve clicked over to it from the SLA site, you can’t use the back arrow to return to the SLA website.

There’s other environmental, "going green" stuff going on at SLA hedquarters, plus SLA’s president, Stephen Abram, is accepting nominations for a special Presidential Citation honoring SLA "Knowledge to Go Green" Champions. Recipients will be announced at the SLA Leadership Summit in January 2009 to mark the inaugural year of SLA’s Knowledge to Go Green initiative.  You can nominate individual SLA members as well as SLA units that have implemented green policies or made significant changes in their way of doing business. The deadline to apply or nominate for the Green Champion presidential citation is 15 November 2008.

Marydee Ojala

Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals

 

Working Globally

Generally speaking, sessions at SLA are planned by the subject divisions. This morning we had an historic divergence. Three chapters, from Europe, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand, joined to present a program about working globally: multicultural business and social etiquette. SLA CEO Janice Lachance welcomed everybody, then we moved to the meat of the session. Each speaker contributed bits of knowledge about working in a culture and country other than your own. Some of this was familiar to me, but there were some other nuggets that I found valuable. Sue Edgar of Sue Hill Recruitment, stressed that knowing time zones and holidays is important. She had some funny vocabulary stories (do you wear trainers or sneakers? Are those thongs or flip-flops on your feet?). Davis McCaughhan, an Australian who’s worked in various Asian countries, now employed in Japan by McCann Worldgroup, recommended embracing stereotypes, learning the drinking culture, understanding religion and history and their place in life, and knowing the local team and its stars. No matter how long you live in another country, he cautioned, you’ll never be a local. Andrew Davidson, Bureau van Dijk, cautioned us to think about our position on politics (how to respond to a question about Taiwan when doing business in China) and corruption (do you bribe, how much do you bribe). Also understand how cultures use information.

Working in another country is not just about work. It’s about food, culture and manners.

Marydee Ojala

Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall is actually two exhibit halls this year, a bit strange. The aisles are very wide and half of the one hall is devoted to a food court filled with tables and chairs. If you’re in the hall with the lower numbered aisles and can’t find the vendor you’re looking for, it may be exhibiting in the other hall. Yesterday, there seemed to be more people in one exhibit area than the other. And could it possibly have had anything to do with the free drinks being offered around the Thomson Reuters booth?

Marydee Ojala

Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals

Click University

In my post about Leadership Development Institute, I didn’t mean to imply that it was the only management training opportunity available through SLA. Both yesterday and today, at the conference, are continuing education sessions, some of which are aimed to increase research skills, such as chemistry for non-chemists, industry resources, patents, taxonomies, cataloging, and digitization. For management training there are sessions listed under the aegis of Click University. These supplement the ClickU courses offered online twice a month. At the conference, of course, the courses are face to face, while outside of conference, ClickU is distance learning.

Marydee Ojala

Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals

SLA Leadership Development Institute

Soon I will be heading over to SLA’s morning of leadership training. If you work for an organization that doesn’t offer internal management training (I was lucky enough to get a job just out of library school with one that did and I benefited tremendously from these hands-on, practical classes at my then POW), then I strongly recommend joining SLA, if you haven’t already, and getting elected to a leadership position. That enables you to participate in SLA’s leadership activities.

This morning we start with a welcome from Robyn Frank, Division Cabinet Chair, and a few remarks from SLA President Stephen Abram. Then it’s on to a summation of wha’t been going on with innovation activities: the Innovation Lab, Learning 2.0, Second Life, and the First 5 Years Work Group. Then we move on to an overview of SLA’s website changes and examples of what’s been going on at the chapter and division levels.

At 10.30 is when the interactive strategic planning leadership planning starts. Small groups for division leaders (on one side of the room) and chapter leaders (on the other side of the room), each table facilitated by one of SLA’s Fellows, will discuss the challenges they face, develop goals for a model unit plan, and draft objectives for each goal. It’s going to be fast-paced and informative.

Although this strategic planning exercise is designed for SLA units, you can easily take the concepts back to your POW and begin a strategic planning process of your own. What are the challenges for your library, your department, your job? Can you collaborate with colleagues at work to brainstorm some goals and objectives? It would be a worthwhile thing to do.

Marydee Ojala

Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals