Author Archives: b2e100


Career Help: Pat Wagner and Our SLA NY/Solo Librarian Division Webinar Series Continues

SieraThe SLA NY/Solo Librarians Division Webinar Series continues with veteran library trainer Pat Wagner of Siera: Learn. Teach. Inspire. (  Pat’s third webinar, Fifteen Reasons to Quit Your Special or Solo Library Job (or Ask Someone Else to Leave), is now open for registration at

Pat shared with SLA New York her thoughts on coping in a difficult work environment and knowing when it is time to move on.

Fifteen Reasons, Fifteen Stories: How They Can Help Your Career
By Pat Wagner,

No workplace is perfect, but some institutions seem to reek of frustration and despair. It is easy to label such places as “dysfunctional”, but that label does not explain what exactly is going on. (We probably will never know why.) Continue reading


Pat Wagner: Helping Solo Librarians Live Long and Prosper

SLA New York and the Solo Division of the Special Libraries Association are hosting a Webinar leadership series this year which is being led by Sierra’s Pat Wagner.  The series kicked off in March with Everyday Leadership for Special and Solo Librarians and coming up on Tuesday, May 13th, Pat will continue the series with a focus on The Tools of Influence for Special and Solo Librarians.  We talked to Pat about where libraries are going and some of the things Solos can do to engage their stakeholders.

How do you see solo librarianship evolving?

I think the big change for librarians, of course, is technology. Technology leverages connections with other people. Technologies leverage influence. And it’s more than just having union catalogs and having shared resources and stuff like that, it’s all those things. It’s being able to communicate so seamlessly with people all over the world. One thing I think of is our special librarians who are in corporations for example, or government agencies that may have single offices over thousands of miles so you have one librarian serving scientists who are spread out over eight, or ten, or fifteen different countries.

Do you see that increasing? Do you see solo librarians becoming even more common? I know that our industry it’s always contracting. We’re in the middle of a very long contraction right now. Do you think the solo will be more the norm in the future? Continue reading


Metadata: Description & Access

By Cristina Vignone


Thanks to the Ellis Mount Scholarship provided by the New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association I was able to enroll in the Metadata: Description & Access course offered at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science during the Fall 2013 semester. Taught by Professor Rick Block, Metadata Librarian at Seattle University, the course covered metadata terminology, content, and encoding schemes currently in use. Beyond his engaging lectures and readings, Professor Block designed practical assignments that allowed each student to evaluate and apply the principles of metadata learned in class. Together we explored the application of metadata standards for different purposes and environments including digital libraries and archives, museums, cultural heritage institutions, and special collections. Continue reading


Rare Books & Special Collections

By Rachel Finn

rachelWe all know that people are often surprised to learn that special training, a credential even, is required to become a librarian. We’ve all experienced the disbelief and the subsequent requests to expound on just what exactly “librarian training” entails. I really can’t say that the same wasn’t true for me before starting my program; as I myself, had no idea what to expect when I began my studies at the Pratt Institute in the fall of 2012. For me, library school has been an important period of discovery professionally and even personally from navigating the basics –reference classes, internships, sussing out just what the big and revolutionary deal was with RDA vs. AACR2 (Heck, figuring out AACR2 in the first place! Thank goodness for the pumpkin cake and tropical rooibos up at Darling Coffee up in Inwood) to figuring out what librarianship means to me and ultimately what I want it to mean. Continue reading


eLearning with MOOCs

By Kristina Bilello


Working in special libraries often entails more specific support of the organization, which at times falls outside the lines of traditional librarianship. Special librarians may be employed in a wide range of organizations; an advertising company, a historical society, a non-profit organization, an international bank, and many more. Further, the job duties of such professionals might encompass knowledge management, taxonomy, archives, records management, to name just a few examples. Continuing education is frequently a priority in order to stay on top of current trends, especially when one’s library degree is several years old. Within the field of librarianship, webinars and online short courses make this type of education more available than ever before; SLA’s Click University and Library Juice Academy are two such valuable resources. However, there is also value in educating oneself outside the parameters of librarianship—for example, learning courses that are pertinent to the field of an organization can help give you a better understanding of the clients you serve, and an awareness of trends in the field. If your goal is to change jobs in the future, acquiring this additional knowledge can help stand out in relation to other candidates. Continue reading


Book Review: The World’s Strongest Librarian

The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family
Josh Hanagarne
Gotham, 291 Pages, Hardcover

By Elizabeth Willse

CoverArtEven before Josh Hanagarne completes a Master’s in library science and goes to work in the Salt Lake City Public Library, this memoir is a story of the love of books, reading, and libraries, told with warmth and candor. Each chapter begins with a Dewey Decimal heading, a clever touch that shows Hanagarne’s affection for libraries. Librarians at any stage of their careers will smile at familiar vignettes about working at the circulation and reference desks, dealing with difficult patrons, and being part of the library’s daily routines. Continue reading


Report from San Diego: Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference

By Leigh Hallingby, Head Librarian, Open Society Foundations

SDConventionCtrViewIt was thrilling for members of the Special Libraries Association New York chapter (SLA NY) to begin the SLA 2013 Annual Conference by watching some of our esteemed members being honored by the global association.  Agnes Mattis was inducted into the SLA Hall of Fame to recognize service to the organization or one of its divisions or chapters.  Pam Rollo won the Rose L. Vormelker Award, which is presented to a mid-career member who actively teaches and/or mentors students or working professionals.  Amy Sarola was designated a SLA Rising Star, which recognizes the exceptional promise she has shown as a leader and her contribution to the association and profession. Continue reading


Knowledge Management in Action

SLA NY Knowledge Management Session 3 – December 12, 2013
By Helen Sobolik

Don't_kill_your_reputation,_organize_your_information_-_NARA_-_518156The third session in the SLA New York Chapter Knowledge Management (KM) Series focused on real-world case studies of successful knowledge management programs presented by Alirio Gomez and Sarah Kagen of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and Barbara Hirsh of NERA Economic Consulting. The session was a treasure trove of information and best practices for implementing a KM program from start to finish. Continue reading


The Ellis Mount Scholarship Winners

The Ellis Mount Scholarship Award seeks to honor library school students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their studies and in the field of Special Librarianship. Ellis Mount taught at the Columbia University Library School for many years and was a dedicated SLA-NY Chapter Member. He was inducted into the SLA Hall of Fame in 1991. The award is open to all SLA Members enrolled in NY area MLS programs and it reimburses tuition for a one semester course. At semester conclusion,recipients provide an essay about the course taken and the benefits he/she has gained from taking the course. This year’s winners were Cristina Vignone and Rachel Finn.

I invite you to read their essays attached below to get a unique perspective on their course experience. Congratulations Cristina and Rachel!

Robert Drzewicki (Scholarship Awards Chair)



Cristina completed the course: Metadata: Description & Access.







Rachel completed the course: Rare Books and Special Collections.