Adventures in Librarianship During SLA at Philadelphia 2016

By Coral Salomón

I started library school in the fall of 2014 and subsequently joined the student chapter of SLA at Pratt Institute during the Spring semester. I was fortunate to attend the 2015 SLA Conference in Boston where I met a lot of wonderful people and attended very interesting sessions. I wanted to repeat the experience this year and registered for the 2016 SLA Conference in Philadelphia.

I have always enjoyed visiting Philadelphia and throughout the conference I also realized that it’s an excellent location for librarians and archivists to meet given its rich history.

During the annual meeting of the Archival and Preservation Caucus, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania presented on its Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. This project aims to assist and increase access to important archival collections held at Philadelphia’s many small, primarily volunteer-run, museums and historical sites/societies. The organization discussed a few of the exciting collections they had identified during the course of this project, from big names like the Civil War naval engineer John Ericsson to nearly unknown individuals like Dr. Hiram Corson, an abolitionist and prominent advocate for women physicians. The group dispensed useful advice for archivists in small organizations, from posting Finding Aids online to creating a donation scope in order to outline what material can be accepted from donors. As a library reference and archives research assistant, I found their advice very helpful and illuminating, especially when they discussed the importance of not getting bogged down by item-level descriptions and focusing on the big picture. More information about this initiative and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s guide on how to create archives for small institutions can be found their website.

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Let’s Get Social at the 2016 Annual Conference & Expo!

Attending the SLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia? Interested in some great social opportunities? Here are a few of the many after-hours events planned.

SATURDAY, JUNE 11

Dine Arounds

5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Hosted by the Philadelphia Chapter, these informal pay-your-own-way dinners are a great way to meet new people. Head here for details and registration.

SUNDAY, JUNE 12

LMD’s 40th Anniversary Party

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Join LMD for food, drinks and fun at Time Restaurant. $20 gets you dinner and 2 drinks. Head here for details and registration.

Karaoke Party

9 p.m. to Midnight

Sing your heart out, or just come to marvel at SLA’s musical talent.

MONDAY, JUNE 13

East Coast Chapter Reception

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This event is co-sponsored by SLA NY. It will be held at Field House (1150 Filbert Street) and we hope to see you there!

IT Dance Party

9 p.m. to Midnight

Also co-sponsored by SLA NY. Come dance the night away at this unmissable event.

TUESDAY, JUNE 14

Dine Arounds

6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Hosted by the Philadelphia Chapter, these informal pay-your-own-way dinners will be a great way to close out the conference and say goodbye to all the new people you’ve met. Head here for details and registration.

There are many other great social events planned for SLA 2016; this list is just a quick preview! Check out the full conference schedule here.

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3 Reasons You Can’t Miss the 2016 Annual Conference & Expo in Philadelphia!

SLA’s Annual Conference is coming up fast. Since it’s in Philadelphia this year, we hope to see lots of New Yorkers there! In case the fantastic program isn’t quite enough to persuade you, we asked a few SLA NY board members why you should attend. Here’s what they had to say:

“Number one reason to attend the conference: expand your network of information professionals. By attending SLA Boston last year, I expanded my network of information professionals in NYC and connected with others who work throughout the US and internationally. I chose to attend professional development sessions that were interactive, allowing for discussion with those sitting near me. I had numerous opportunities to chat with fellow attendees over lunch, coffee or drinks. I even got to network with individuals from other planets—my personal favorite was meeting and dancing with Superman at the superhero-themed IT dance party.”
-Marcy Winkler, Past President

“For me it’s the social sessions and networking; the camaraderie found at SLA is the strongest I’ve seen across association conferences. Attending evening socials as a new librarian introduced me to colleagues across the country who continue to anchor me to the profession. Professional networks are crucial, and they are much more productive (and fun!) when shared among friends.”
-Kelly Johnson, Treasurer

“The best part of the conference is getting people from all different divisions and locations in one place and letting serendipity take over. I enjoy the chance to meet and learn from people who work in different kinds of libraries. When I went to SLA in San Diego, this was especially valuable because I was still in school and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the profession. I got the most fun and the most use out of conversations and workshops that didn’t have anything to do with what I thought I was going to do professionally. I had dinner with taxonomy librarians, breakfast with food and nutrition librarians, and great conversations throughout by seeking out people in all kinds of libraries at different stages of their careers. I’m looking forward to more of the same in Philly…with less jet lag.”
-Elizabeth Willse, 2016 Board Mentee

Learn more about the 2016 Annual Conference here. Early Bird rates end April 30, so register today!

 

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“Where Do You See Yourself in 10 Years?”: Thinking Critically About Interviewing for Librarian Positions

By Robin O’Hanlon

Book coverAlong with “Tell us your strengths and weaknesses,” “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 (or 10 or 15) years?” has to be one of the most clichéd interview questions of all time. Yet the question does demand self-reflection and contemplation on one’s professional goals and desires. Interviews exist within a transitional space, a place in between, and they force us to think about our futures. Transitional spaces can be very hard places to negotiate – they make us feel vulnerable and unsure of ourselves.  I wrote my book, Ace the Interview, Land a Librarian Job (Libraries Unlimited, 2016) to tell all librarians who are about to embark on the interview process – from recent MLIS grads to seasoned professionals – that interviewing doesn’t have to be scary. Interviewing well consists of a set of skills which can learned, refined, and perfected. Continue reading

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Down but Not Out: Rebuilding the NYU Health Sciences Library

 

By Ashley Curran

The stairs leading to the library post-Sandy.

The stairs leading to the library post-Sandy.

In October of 2012, when all seemed right with the world and the New York University Health Sciences Library was in the midst of strategic planning to develop new data management services and prepare for a much needed renovation, disaster struck in the form of Hurricane Sandy. The Health Sciences Library along with the entire NYU Medical Center was hit with a fourteen foot storm surge that completely flooded the lower level of the library and partially flooded the upper level. Virtually everything was destroyed in the library and in prioritizing patient needs the library came fairly low on the list of renovations, which explains why the expected opening is spring 2016, three and half years after the closing.

Almost immediately the faculty and staff set up shop across the road from the medical center and in order to maintain continued service, librarians went online. Within the space of two weeks the library became a virtual library, expanding already robust online resources and offering most if not all of the services it had been providing. Continue reading

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Reaching Out: Tools for Student Chapters’ Distance-Learning Members

By Molly Kuramoto

Words from Outside New York contributor

sla kentucky

At the Mid-Winter Meeting of the SLA Kentucky Chapter, one of the topics of discussion was the status of the Kentucky Student Chapter. In recent years, membership in the student chapter gradually declined until it became inactive. As the librarians of the Kentucky Chapter try to re-establish an active student chapter, they will face an increasingly common challenge: a growing number of distance-learning students.

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President’s theme for 2016 is “Your Future is a Moving Target”

By Emma Davidson

Can you say for sure that you know exactly what this year will hold for you? I know I can’t. Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and unexpected obstacles lurk behind every corner. Change doesn’t have to be bad, of course, so please don’t think me unduly pessimistic, although even good change can bring adjustments of its own. How about if everything stays on track and you successfully meet your goals – what then? A new set of goals of course, and the target moves once again. Continue reading

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Transitions through the Years: A History of the Pittsburgh Chapter

By Carrie Wardzinski

Bulletin

First published Bulletin of the Pittsburgh Special Libraries Association, from 1933. From the SLA Pittsburgh Chapter archives.

The Pittsburgh chapter is the fourth-oldest chapter of the Special Libraries Association in existence. Founded on December 5, 1922, it is only surpassed in age by the Philadelphia, New York City, and New England chapters. With such a lengthy history, the Pittsburgh chapter has come through a number of transitions over the years.

Even from the beginning, the librarians within the Pittsburgh chapter faced an extreme transition within their professional lives – the abrupt change from the Roaring Twenties to the single worst economic downturn the United States has ever experienced. Pittsburgh was widely considered to be the industrial center of the nation at that time. Companies such as Westinghouse, U.S. Steel, Koppers, Alcoa, and PPG headquartered themselves in the western Pennsylvania region. These companies, and their associated libraries, were operating with somewhat limited budgets due to the Depression. Despite these financial constraints, business and research and development continued as usual, which meant that information resources were still needed. One small way that the librarians within the Pittsburgh chapter overcame some of these constraints was by creating their first duplicate exchange list in 1932. This list facilitated the exchange of usable materials within this regional network. Another way was by updating and expanding their Union List of Periodicals, which was originally published by the chapter in 1924. The updated and expanded list came out in 1936, and allowed the librarians within the area to share resources widely and freely. These two efforts would not have happened without the Pittsburgh chapter, particularly since the Union List was funded by SLA’s headquarters.
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A Whirlwind of Transitions

WillseTabletsAppsLibrariesBy Elizabeth Willse

I squeaked this submission for the Bridge to Excellence in just barely on deadline (thanks to the editors for being so understanding!) I had trouble getting it written, but not for any lack of material. The chance to write about transitions couldn’t come at a better time. It’s been quite a year so far!

The sheer number of transitions this year has included doesn’t feel huge until I have the chance to catch up with friends and fellow librarians I haven’t seen in a while. Or until I have to write them all down for a B2E article about transitions. Here’s a brief recap: Continue reading

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Social Media in Libraries: An Interview with the Social Media Managers at the Morgan Library and Museum

by Stella Sigal, MSLIS Candidate and Themis Brown Reading Room Intern at the Morgan Library and Museum

“If it can’t be found on the Internet, it doesn’t exist.” As we move into the Twenty-First century, industries have transitioned to a social media platform to promote their products. With a click of a button, users can easily access information. Traditional cultural institutions, such as the Morgan Library and Museum, have embraced this revolution. Online social media platforms offer institutions an unusual opportunity to interact with patrons outside their physical walls. This facilitates educational dialogue and offers institutions a chance to showcase their programming to a larger audience.

The Morgan’s social media managers, Moriah Shtull and Michelle Perlin, offer their thoughts on promoting the library’s collections and educational programs and its transition to social media.

Q: The Morgan Library and Museum has made its transition to social media. What are some of the benefits?

A: The mission of the Morgan is “to preserve, build, study, present, and interpret a collection of extraordinary quality, in order to stimulate enjoyment, excite the imagination, advance learning, and nurture creativity,” and social media presents an unparalleled opportunity for outreach to a global audience. Continue reading

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Transitioning from One Library into Another

A Conversation with DaTransitions Word Cloudvis Erin Anderson and Raymond Pun

Davis Erin Anderson and Raymond Pun are co-editors of the upcoming volume titled Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Moving to Another Type of Library to be published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2016. This conversation piece explores how they both decided to work on this edited volume that is focused on library career transitions. They will also share some insights they found in the chapters that were submitted for this volume.

Davis:
Hello Ray! Thanks for conversing with me regarding our project to edit and publish a book featuring stories from librarians who are making transitions within the field. I remember when you and I met for coffee in June 2014 to talk about partnering on this project. How did you conceive of this project in the first place? We know from our publishers that a book of this nature hasn’t been produced before; how did the idea come to you? Continue reading

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Letter from the Editors

Fall Foliage by fabfotofx licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Fall Foliage by fabfotofx licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the Transitions issue of Bridge to Excellence (B2E). In this issue we encounter individuals, organizations, and professions in transition as they face the challenges and opportunities that accompany all change.

Davis Erin Anderson and Raymond Pun chat about how they both decided work on editing an upcoming volume tentatively entitled Career Transitions for Librarians: Getting A Job in Another Library. (It is to be published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2016.) Thanks, Davis and Raymond, for inspiring the theme of this issue of B2E!

Stella Sigal interviews Morgan Library and Museum social media managers Moriah Shtull and Michelle Perlin about how this classic institution has bridged the transition into a new era for library outreach by connecting with people around the world via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms.

Elizabeth Willse takes us through a year of career and personal transitions as she networks her way from library student to academic librarian and author of Using Tablets and Apps in Libraries.

Rina Krautwirth, a 2014 Ellis Mount Scholarship winner, shares her experiences learning about medical libraries’ transition into the world of new technology during her thesis project at Queens College.

Finally, we are introducing what will be a regular column, “Words from Outside SLA New York,” featuring an SLA member from another part of the country or world. Marcy Winkler and the 2015 SLA NY Board wrote in an open letter that local chapters serve as laboratories for innovation, and we want to learn from our colleagues in other regions.

This issue, Carrie Wardzinski from SLA Pittsburgh takes us on a historical journey through her chapter’s long history of succeeding despite economic downturns, changes in technology, and even war. She discusses how we can all learn and take inspiration from that history during our current transition as an organization and profession.

To welcome Emma Davidson as SLA NY’s incoming president for 2016, B2E is proud to announce that our next issue will match her theme for the year: “The Future is a Moving Target.” We’ll leave it to Emma to explain what this means to her in the upcoming issue, but this is what it means to us as the editors of B2E: Continue reading

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Transitioning Technology in Today’s Medical Library

By Rina Krautwirth

Research Project on Medical Libraries

Photo by NEC Corporation of America with Creative Commons license.

Photo by NEC Corporation of America with Creative Commons license.

For my thesis project at the Graduate School for Library and Information Studies (GSLIS) at Queens College during a required course titled Research in Library and Information Studies, I chose to research and study medical libraries and librarianship in order to learn more about how a modern-day medical library operates. In particular, I looked at how a medical library utilizes emerging technology, a phenomenon currently progressing rapidly, and gained valuable insight into best practices for medical libraries. Moreover, I saw how a medical library can serve as a vital resource and pillar of support for its surrounding community. I also learned of the current challenges faced by medical libraries and librarians. These challenges stem to some degree from the recent rapid growth in the field of technology and from the vast amount of medical research taking place, two positive contributions to society that at the same time require adaptations and accommodations for their successful implementation. As librarianship continues into the twenty-first century, medical librarians continue to work to meet new challenges and to bring about improvements in medical and scientific knowledge.

Synopsis of Findings from Research Project Continue reading

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SLA New York is delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 Chapter Awards! 

Please join us in celebrating our winners at the awards ceremony on Tuesday November 10th – register now at http://newyork.sla.org/events-2/event-registration/?ee=207

Committee Member of the Year
Daniel Barron

Edge Award
We Need Diverse Books

President’s Award
Kara Masciangelo
Eileen Rourke

Outstanding Achievement Award
Vida Cohen
Sarah Davis
Rebecca Hahn

Ellis Mount Scholarship
Hannah Sistrunk

Congratulations to all our winners!

We will be announcing the Dana Gordon Librarian of the Year at the awards ceremony, so you’ll have to be there to find out who won the Chapter’s highest honor this year!

I would also like to recognize our many unsung heroes – as ever, so many Chapter members have put in a huge amount of time and effort to create an excellent series of events and programs throughout the year. We couldn’t achieve any of this without you, and we are so grateful for all that you do.

Sincerest thanks are also due to our valued business partner Leadership Directories, for their generous sponsorship of this year’s awards.

I look forward to seeing you on November 10th!

Best wishes,
Emma

——————————————-
Emma Davidson
SLA NY President-Elect

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Call for submissions for Issue 7 – Transitions

As fall approaches and the leaves begin to change, we welcome the next B2E on the theme of Transitions.

You may choose to share a topical article, personal reflection, book or event review, photo, graphic, or whatever inspires you on the subject of change and transition within the field of special librarianship.

A broad range of viewpoints – students, new and seasoned professionals, retirees, business partners, and all others are welcome.

Possible topics include, but are in no way limited to:

  • A time you recognized that you needed a change, such as a shift in academic or professional focus.
  • Transitioning between careers or from MLS student to professional librarian.
  • Changes within the profession, for example the effects of social media on information sharing.
  • Choosing to make a change versus having one happen to you.
  • Methods to adjust to a transition or to help others through.

Ready to join in? Pitch your idea to the Editorial Board at slanyb2e@gmail.com by Monday September 21, 2015.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Daniel Barron
Sheryl Ramer Gesoff
Helen Sobolik 
Co-Editors, Bridge to Excellence (B2E)
SLA NY

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Letter from the Editors

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the conference issue of Bridge to Excellence (B2E). Prepare to join our contributors as they discover the vitality of the conference experience at the regional, national, and international level.

Raymond Pun takes us through his journey from Shanghai to Boston to receive an award and present a poster at the Special Libraries Association annual conference (SLA Boston), his first as a special librarian coming from a public library background.

Madalyn Baron shares her experience as a past in-person attendee enjoying the conference remotely for the first time and provides tips for you to do the same.

Sheryl Ramer Gesoff brings us in to the close-knit and supportive worlds of local chapters as they come together in Boston.

Daniel Barron interviews Sarah Davis, Vida Cohen, and Rebecca Hahn on their experience organizing SLA New York’s Conference and Expo, coming up on September 25th at Baruch College in New York City.

Enjoy a sneak peek at Zena Applebaum’s SLA NY Conference and Expo keynote on competitive intelligence for information professionals.

This year the SLA New York Chapter provided scholarships to several Pratt University graduate students to help fund their attendance at SLA Boston. Bridge to Excellence is proud to present reflections from two of these students on their experience attending conference for the first time:

Megan De Armond explores user experience from a background of arts and archives.

Coral Salomón discovers digital tools to enhance user engagement with information. Continue reading

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SLA Boston from Afar

By Madalyn Baron

Boston 2015

In my short time as an information professional, conferences and other professional development events have played a major role in the evolution of my career. As a recent MLS graduate, SLA Annual 2013 in San Diego truly welcomed me to the profession. The experience gave me confidence and convinced me to remain active in SLA and become more involved in professional groups such as METRO and my college alumni association. SLA 2014 in Vancouver enhanced my earlier experiences by allowing me to integrate what I learned directly into my specific job responsibilities. SLA NY’s conference in 2014 and METRO’s this past January facilitated improvements in my social media efforts on the job and improved the visuals in my deliverables. I was introduced to people with similar niche interests, who I would later collaborate with for brainstorming, problem solving, and presentations.

This year I was unable to attend SLA in Boston, yet I was pleasantly surprised at the number of valuable takeaways that I benefitted from at a distance. Continue reading

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Spotlight on SLA NY 2015 Conference & Expo Keynote Speaker Zena Applebaum

SLA NY Conference & Expo

SLA New York is pleased to have Zena Applebaum as keynote speaker for the 2015 Conference & Expo. Her keynote will arm us with new tools and perspectives on “Using Competitive Intelligence to Transform the Role of Information Professionals”. As the Director of Competitive Intelligence at Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto and a much sought writer and speaker on the topic, Zena brings a unique perspective to intelligence and market dynamics as a result of her experience in business development, data management, marketing, and corporate research.

Zena will provide attendees with a view of how Competitive Intelligence can be used by a wide variety of organizations from financial services to legal, advertising to foundations, media to medical, and beyond — in fact, into all the areas represented in the NY SLA membership. Continue reading

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