Tag Archives: sla

I’m a candidate for President-Elect of SLA

10 Apr

sla-logoIt is with a combination of great excitement and great humility that I announce that I will be one of the candidates for the position of President-Elect of the Special Libraries Association (SLA).

I am deeply honored to be considered for this role, and to stand among such an excellent slate of candidates for the SLA Board. I look forward to spending the coming weeks and months communicating with SLA members from around the world about their aspirations for the organization, and for themselves.

The full candidate list can be found here. And you can expect me to be talking about this more soon.

On my way to SLA, British rock ‘n’ roll edition

13 Jul

That song doesn’t have much to do with SLA that I can tell, but it’s been stuck in my head for days. Librarianship is about sharing.

In something absurd like 16 hours, I will be boarding the first of two planes whose travels shall, in theory, bring me to Chicago in time for the Special Library Association’s annual conference, expo, and generalized shindig. It’s gonna be a packed couple of days for me: at least two meals dedicated to BUSINESS, a board meeting, karaoke, and a four-hour continuing education workshop that I am apparently delivering.

Good news: it’s based on one that Amy Buckland and I have given at the last two Computers in Libraries conferences. Bad news: Amy can’t make it. I’m gonna be like Wings covering Abbey Road out there. Or, more accurately, like someone trying to remember not only the points that they’re used to making, but also the points that their very smart collaborator always made.

That being said, we’ve got over twenty folks signed up to hear about best practices in digital repositories, which seems to indicate that they’re not a lost cause quite yet. It’s frustrating to see so many repositories struggle, especially because so many of them seem struggle due to a lack of institutional or administrative commitment. Doing this stuff right requires people, and requires people who see the repository as another tool for the creation of digital collections and digital libraries… not just a box to throw faculty papers into. (Certainly not just a box we ask faculty to throw their papers into while we sit by and hope for the best, because c’mon people that’s not suddenly gonna work.)

The other thing I’m looking forward to is seeing all the folks whom I haven’t gotten a chance to hang out with since last year’s SLA, or maybe since CiL. Networking is really the part of the conference that shone for me last year, and after doing what I can to make sure people don’t feel like I wasted four hours of their Sunday morning, that’s what I’m gonna focus on until I hop a plane or two back here on Tuesday.

That and karaoke. Gonna bring some Rolling Stones this year, I think.

To be forged anew in the forthcoming fires of the Fortnight of Leadership

21 Dec

I’m coming up for air, baby.

It’s a sign of just what this semester’s been like that it’s taken me a full month to post about my recent election as President-Elect of the Upstate New York Chapter of the special Libraries Association. (In case they haven’t updated it by the time you click: yes, the election is actually done.) My term doesn’t officially start until January, but I’m already getting down to business: specifically, making arrangements to travel to the SLA Leadership Summit in Atlanta in January, and finding space and speakers for the April Chapter meetings.

Prez-elect is a one year gig, but it also involves spending 2013 as President, and 2014 as Past President. I’m looking forward to this; my involvement in UNYSLA, taken with my place on the SLA Academic Division Board, indicates that I made the right call backing SLA with my membership dues. I have a feeling the next three years will be highly educational, and not just because I’m on board for three straight Leadership Summits.

This year’s Summit comes hard on the heels of the week I’ll spend out in Trumansburg, NY, for a Cornell-sponsored leadership shindig. I’m a bit apprehensive about that one: not just because of an additional hour’s drive every day in central NY in January, but also because it’ll involve things like my first real 360-degree eval. I tapped about thirty folks for that one, so it should be interesting.

The whole thing’s gotten me thinking about leadership in libraries again, and specifically leadership in my current position. I’m worried that some or all of this stuff will end up conflating leadership with management, and while I’m sure my managerial skills could use work I’d prefer these events give me what it says on the tin. I’m the head of digital projects group, chair of a committee, I push the occasional project, et cetera and so forth… but I’m not sure that makes me a leader, though. Not sure these events will clear up the ambiguity, either.

But I guess we can hope, yeah?

In any case, I’m off on Winter Break starting tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, enough stuff will be squared away that I won’t have to bring nearly as much work home as I did over Thanksgiving. But even if I do, I still can’t feel other than blessed: 2011′s been a rough year for many, and I seem to be coming out of it with more than I probably deserve.

Happy holidays, all. And if, as seems likely, I don’t post again in the next week, Happy 2012.

I wrote a thing for SLA’s Future Ready 365 project…

8 Nov

…and it got posted last Friday.

I mentioned this on the usual social media suspects, too. But I wanted to make sure there was at least a record of it here, and maybe some of y’all don’t follow me there?

In any case, this piece was a riff on something I ad-libbed during my webinar last month that seemed to resonate with folks. I tried to expand on the notion and make it a bit more general and hopefully inspirational.

If not, then at least I got to use a copyrighted image in a way that I figured was fair use. That’s always worth it.

Next speaking engagement: Upstate New York SLA

4 Apr

I really thought I’d have time to write up that reflective post on CiL 2011, but apparently time did not stop while I was in DC. Terribly inconsiderate, and it made for a crazy week.

In any case, I’ve got another opportunity to do the public speaking thing this Friday, April 8, at the UNYSLA‘s “Toot Your Own Horn: Measuring & Meeting Your Objectives” event. Here’s the blurb for my bit:

Plural of Anecdote: Assessing the Success of a Digital Repository

Anyone who’s taken a stats class — and plenty of other folks besides — knows the danger of relying on unsupported anecdotal evidence. Yet the data available to us through our myriad assessment tools often proves ineffective or disconnected without the context provided by a strong narrative. This session will discuss how the Web & Digital Projects Group at Cornell University’s Catherwood Library seeks to find a balance, using stories and data analysis to not only assess the success of DigitalCommons@ILR and their other projects, but also define what success means for those projects.

Honestly, you should just click through and read the description of the whole event: listening to Jill Hurst-Wahl speak is always worth it, and while I’m not as familiar with his work it sounds like Sean Branagan should bring a lot to the table as well.

So if you can make the trip, I’m betting it’ll be worth your while to do so. Hope to see you there!

More CiL2011 stuff

22 Feb

This time, over at the SLA Academic Division blog.

Transforming Spaces

21 Jan

I’d thought about posting about this article here, but I decided it fit to damned nicely over at the SLA Academic Division blog. So check it out there, and maybe I’ll throw together a political rant here to keep y’all entertained.

Another post to the SLA Academic blog

8 Oct

This one’s about colleges using aggregators to track social-media involvement. Once again, I owe the link to Ellyssa Kroski, whose blog you should totally be subscribing to. I’m sharing it here to re-post some questions I asked at the end:

It’s an interesting piece, especially as academic librarians debate the merits of their libraries getting more involved in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Could these sorts of aggregators increase the viability of that kind of involvement, by linking it to increasingly common library blogs and other library resources? If colleges and universities find value in this sort of technology, how can librarians leverage their tech and information savvy to help make those projects better?

What do y’all think about it?


24 Sep

So, Ellyssa Kroski and Michael Porter posted about the very cool Usability.gov. It’s something so cool that I had to chat it up at the SLA Academic Division blog:

While aimed at helping the designers of U.S. government web designers “learn how to make websites more usable, useful, and accessible,” [Usability.gov's] contents are freely available on the web. Those contents include a guide to usability basics, descriptions of methodologies, discussion of best practices and guidelines, a collection of articles about usability issues, and [this] nifty step-by-step usability flowchart.

Check it out, and have a very good weekend!

Because I need more blogs

3 Sep

I have now made my first — and frankly, long-overdue — post to the SLA Academic Division’s blog. Head on over and check it out.

And then enjoy your weekend, which I truly hope is a long one.


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