SLA 2011 Annual Conference – short report

Jul 11, 2011 by

This past June, I attended the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference in Philly. SLA, if you are unfamiliar, is an international association for librarians and information professionals from the corporate, government, association, non-for-profit and academic sectors.

I attended the conference as the Chair of the Awards Committee for the Academic Division – this was the first year we presented awards and the committee came up with awards ideas and processes. We had a vendor-sponsored award entitled the Springshare Innovation in Academic Libraries Award, given to UNC Chapel Hill’s University Library, and the Stacey Greenwell Outstanding Division Member Award, given to none other than… Stacey Greenwell.

I attended as well as a candidate for Division Cabinet Chair-Elect for the SLA Board of Directors. I had several official functions and events to attend, like the Open Board meeting, both the Opening and Closing General Sessions and Membership Meetings, the International Reception, the SLA Fellows and First-Timers Meet, and, a special Meet and Greet the Candidates in the exhibits hall. I also attended as many unit open houses, business meetings, receptions and breakfasts as possible. I had to answer questions in a panel during the Joint Cabinet Meeting. In my candidacy, I’m putting an emphasis on the international aspects of the association and how those units and members need special attention right now. Those units offers also a formidable opportunity for growth. I’m hoping there will be a big turn out for the election in September.

I was very busy with candidate responsabilities and units activities (especially with the three divisions that I’m a member of: Academic, Science-Technology and Information Technology) so I only saw parts of two sessions (on information literacy and on publishing for academic librarians). I also saw a session on an organization called Librarians Without Frontiers that works similarly to Doctors Without Frontiers. I’m still disappointed for missing the sessions on copyright and digital rights management, and about library design. Thanks to all that tweeted during those!

Speaking of tweets, the most retweeted tweets was from Anne Barker (@annenb) who was attending Stephen Abram’s session on libraries being future ready on June 13: “Getting rid of librarians because everything is online = getting rid of accountants because everyone has a calculator on desk. #sla2011“ .

Keynote speakers were NYTimes columnist Thomas Friedman (author of Hot, Flat and Crowded) and social behaviorist and loyalty expert James Kane.

Library Learning Terrace

During the Leadership Development Institute, it was announced that the Florida & Caribbean Chapter was one of five chapters James Kane will be working with to develop strategic planning for the Chapter membership and develop a greater sense of belonging. He will come to the Chapter and provide training as well. I’ve decided to be more involved in the project myself and am part of the Chapter’s committee. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity for Florida & Caribbean.

While in Philadelphia, I took the opportunity to participate in visits of new study/learning spaces at Drexel and Temple universities.

Drexel University has a brand new study space, the Library Learning Terrace (pictured above).

TECH Center

It had a grand opening during the June 2011 finals and will be finalized for Fall. Everything is on wheels, it has great windows and can sit about 75. It will be open 24/7 with card access, on the main floor of a residence hall near the Hagerty Library. Students will be able to make appointments to meet with librarians there.

The TECH (Teaching, Education, Collaboration and Help) Center at Temple University is a 75,000-square-ft. facility across the street from the Paley Library (pictured on the right). It contains multiple labs and studios for student use, a Help Center and a Faculty Wing with Teaching and Learning Center and the Instructional Support Center.

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