News & current events from SLA NY.


Vendor Spotlight: Meet Vable, Information Made Simple

SLA New York is proud to welcome business partner Vable to our 2017 Conference & Expo – register today  and book a time to chat with a Vable team member

Vable Logo Colour RGBIn 2003 Matthew Dickinson was working in London as a corporate finance lawyer. He pitched his firm an idea for consolidating online news to provide a current awareness service for the law firm’s clients, and their lawyers. It didn’t get any traction.

They dismissed the idea of the premise that they were a law firm and not a software company. How times have changed!

Still, Matthew knew the need was there. He knew that law firms needed new ways to improve efficiencies and to become more competitive. And so Matthew left the firm to pursue his software idea, and Linex Systems was born. In the years since then, plenty has changed. We’ve grown into a global tech company, rebranded – we’re now known as Vable – and earlier this year launched our second-generation platform.


Vable is a software company, delivering solutions to law firms and professional services across the world. We have clients in banking and finance, government, academia and of course, our birthplace, legal.

Our product evolves constantly, always seeking to meet the changing needs of our clients. Yet, despite our many iterations, our core focus remains the same. We provide tools for librarians and information specialists to empower you to do more with less, and to deliver more targeted and actionable content to the users you support.

So, consider, what if all your content lived in one place?


Click to expand.

Gain Time Through Automation
Increase Your Productivity
Automate the monitoring, gathering, indexing and sharing of information from public and subscription news sources.

Gain a Competitive Edge
Deliver Only the Best Content
Give your audience an edge by cutting out the noise, and delivering only the most relevant content.

Gain Control and Insight
Make Data Driven Decisions
Monitor your current awareness delivery through our analytics and insights to continuously enhance your service.

Interested to learn more? Download our free white paper to learn How to Use Current Awareness Technology to Gain Competitive Advantage:


Meet the 2018 Candidates: a Q&A with Kevin Adams and Hal Kirkwood

New York chapter membership submitted questions to 2018 President-Elect candidates Kevin Adams and Hal Kirkwood in an effort to get to know the candidates better from the perspective of issues of importance to our membership ahead of the Board Elections. These questions focused on addressing the global scope of SLA, member engagement, and improving SLA’s educational content. Their responses to these questions have been provided in this blog post.

A high level overview of both candidates is below along with links to their respective candidate profiles on the SLA site:

Kevin Adams

  • Has been an information professional for over 20 years and an SLA member since 1996.
  • Currently is an Information Specialist at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Was one of the founding members of the Australia/New Zealand Chapter in 2005 and was secretary of the chapter for a number of years.
  • Belongs to the Solo Division; Environment and Resource Management Division; Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Division; Government Division; and Business and Finance Division.
  • Has held the positions of Director, Secretary and Chair for the Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Division, and was Chair in the Online Content Advisory Committee and member of the Information Outlook Advisory Committee.

Hal Kirkwood

  • Has been an Information professional for 24 years and an SLA member since 1992.
  • Currently is an Associate Professor and Business Information Specialist at the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management & Economics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
  • Current president of the Indiana Chapter.
  • Served as Director on the SLA Board of Directors from 2012 – 2014, specifically involved with the Finance Committee and as chair of the Conference Re-envisioning Task Force.
  • Was the first webmaster for the Indiana Chapter and the Business & Finance Division, the Mentor Chair and Chair for the Business & Finance Division, and Chair and Co-Chair of the College & University Business Librarians Roundtable.

As a reminder, SLA 2018 Board of Directors election voting opens up at 9:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, September 6th and concludes at 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 20th. More information on all 2018 Board of Directors candidates and the election process can be found here.

Please find the Q&A below.  Continue reading


A Letter from SLA NY’s Incoming President

SLA NY Home SquareHello and happy New Year! 
The beginning of a brand new year is always an exciting time. It’s a time full of hope, revived ambitions, and the courage to conquer new (and sometimes old) challenges. 2017 is going to be an exciting year for us. I want you to know how much I am looking forward to everything this year has in store for SLA and especially our chapter here in New York.
The New York chapter is one of the most active and diverse chapters within the entire association. Our board, advisory council and chapter committee members will continue to organize innovative professional development programs and social events. We will also be welcoming back the New York conference in 2017, which will be held at Baruch College on Friday, October 20th.   
My theme for the year is “The Resilient (Not Resistant) Librarian.”  With such professional variance in our chapter membership, I find that the only constant amongst us all is change, which can sometimes be challenging to deal with. I am hopeful that this theme will foster the advancement of resiliency and adaptability of information professionals in our ever-changing world. My objective is to devote some of this year’s programming to that theme, which I hope resonates with many of you.
It is a true privilege to serve as your chapter president, and I look forward to engaging with as many current and potential chapter members as possible during my term. I welcome you to reach out to me at with your ideas, suggestions and/or concerns.
Finally, please be sure to follow us on our social media profiles to stay abreast of all of our upcoming chapter events and announcements. We are on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn
I look forward to talking with you during one of our many chapter events this year and wish you all the best for 2017. 
Nicole Dupras
SLA NY President


Sponsored Post: Why Our World Would End if Legal Librarians Disappeared


There is a common misconception that, as the online information age ploughs on everstrong, libraries are going to disappear forever. This sits in line with the perception that librarians require books in order to be needed and we are seeing the existence of print books steadily decline. Libraries and books are not one and the same. This concerningly common misconception is a manifestation of the lack of understanding of what a law librarian actually does – where they source their information from, how they manage and curate it and, ultimately, how it is delivered to their end users.

“Law librarians manage the risk within the organisation they serve, ensuring the organisation’s mission is met through the acquisition, management, distribution, and analysis of legal information needed for the organisation to perform its mission in a timely manner and at an appropriate cost”
Greg Lambert

The value of a law librarian is far more than meets the eye. A law librarian must know, at the click of a finger, what sources are most reliable and relevant for their lawyers, who needs what information when, how to access said information, and manage the library collection. All this must be done at and under budget. This is no mean feat.

end of the world

Of course anyone can type a search term into Google and receive a whole host of results. But few people will know the exact search term needed to be entered, the specific sources to rely on, or where to access the best quality content (often behind the gates of premium paid publishers). Few are able to interpret the results given in a manner efficient enough to fit with the demands of the information consumer. Legal librarians make up these few.

Yet, despite all this, there is a concerning tendency for the value of law librarians to pass by unacknowledged. There are countless stories of lawyers and legal professionals who utilise the library department appropriately, as indeed one should, and subsequently progress further at work as they are able to quickly and easily access the information they so urgently require. It is this information that makes one firm stand out over a competitor; knowledge is the most valuable form of capital in our society today. However, law librarians still continue to be hidden away in the foundations of the law firm. One must not forget the importance of solid foundations, for without them the whole building would crumble.

When asked by a AALL study how to best assess the value of the library one interviewee responded, quite simply:

“Send all the library staff home for a day. Lawyers’ dissatisfactions with service do not remain unnoticed for long”

Whilst such an option might be a little extreme it certainly goes a long way to suggest the dependency that lawyers have upon legal librarians, even if they do not know it. To put the value in clearer statistical terms, the Australian Law Library Association found during one research piece that the ROI (return on investment) for information resources and services is $5.43 for every $1 invested. A 500%+ return on investment? That is value right there, clear and simple. Plus, they state that this is a ‘conservative estimate’. Their real contribution could well be exponentially higher.

Whilst the means by which law librarians work is continuing to evolve, the requirement for the product of that work will continue to exist. In 1930, George S. Godard, writing about “The Past, Present and Future of the Law Library” predicted the development of a form of book that was consumable anywhere at anytime. Today we know this as the ebook. The book still needs to be written, edited and so forth, it is still read but just in a different format.

In line with this, when considering the future role of law librarians we must emphasise the importance of evolving and enhancing one’s value in a new manner. Roles will develop in the same way that books have, and we should work within and around that. Indeed, law librarians are increasingly frequently being asked to analyse competitors, opposing clients and so forth. Law librarians will continue to source, create, curate and deliver legal resources. It is simply that the tools there to assist them in doing so will continue to develop.

So, would our world end if legal librarians disappeared? Absolutely.

linex_no_systems_300dpi-300x59Join Linex Systems and SLA NY at a happy hour on September 21st – full details and registration at



The 2016 Annual Conference & Expo is only a few days away! We want everyone to have an amazing time, so we asked Nick Collison, SLA HQ Board Member and SLA NY Chapter member, to share his best conference advice. Here’s what he had to say… Continue reading


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!



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

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 Davidson
SLA NY President-Elect


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 by Monday September 21, 2015.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


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


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


A busy week for SLA NY

By Helen Sobolik

This past week SLA New York hosted Dee Magnoni, Candidate for 2016 President-Elect.

On Monday July 21st, Dee enjoyed site visits at Baruch College and METRO followed by a dinner with representatives of the Chapter Executive and Advisory Boards and general membership at Hudson Eats in Downtown Manhattan.

Downtown Dinner. From left: Marcy Winkler, Emma Davidson, Dee Magnoni, Daniel Barron, Helen Sobolik, Eileen Rourke, Steven Essig, Sheryl Ramer Gesoff, Rita Ormsby, Tom Nielsen, Nick Collison, and Dorothy Nelson-Gille

Downtown Dinner. From left: Marcy Winkler, Emma Davidson, Dee Magnoni, Daniel Barron, Helen Sobolik, Eileen Rourke, Steven Essig, Sheryl Ramer Gesoff, Rita Ormsby, Tom Nielsen, Nick Collison, and Dorothy Nelson-Gille

Thursday July 23, Dee joined the Chapter for The Future is Now: A Community Conversation on Value-Added Communication, Continue reading


Conflict First Aid: What to Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

By Pat Wagner

Conflict First AidOne of the practical principles of human behavior that I try to remember in tough times is that there are significant differences between the “right” ways to manage unhealthy conflict in the workplace and the “real” ways.

The “right” ways are what the verifiable research informs us to do because these work most of the time with most people in most situations. These include the textbook models with 47 steps and exhaustive questionnaires to probe one’s personality, techniques garnered from published theses, and ideas gleaned from the latest pop psychology books. It is important to learn how to implement these models and tactics correctly, particularly for those times when one has the time and resources to follow the rules. They often contain the foundations of principles that they can be applied in many situations. Continue reading


SLA NY Power Networking

By Esther Marie Jackson


I’m already gearing up for the SLA NY Power Networking event on May 7th, and in the spirit of that event, here are some quick-fire reasons why I’m attending.

  1. I’m new to NYC, and I want to meet other librarians
  2. I’m new to NYC, and I want to meet other New Yorkers (Can I call myself that if I’ve only been here three months?)
  3. I’m a new library professional, and I’d like to meet both seasoned pros, and library students
  4. I like small talk
  5. I like networking
  6. I like appetizers

I also like that this event, although clearly professional in nature, seems like it will be a lot of fun.  What better way to avoid awkwardly standing in a corner at an event than to be forced (encouraged?) to chat with a wide range of people in a short amount of time?

I hope to meet you there!


The Power of Networking… at Any Speed

by Elizabeth Willse

Join the networking fun at SLA NY’s Power Networking Event on Thursday May 7, 2015.

I am a big fan of networking events. I like rooms full of people and conversation, generally. I love the potential energy of walking into a room of strangers, acquaintances, and friends. I love getting the chance to say hi, rekindle past conversations, and start learning about new people.  And networking events are especially fun because they’re built on the principle of connecting people with other people, opportunities, and information.

Continue reading


Beware the Sides of March

March 2015 Downtown LuncheonInformation professionals, students, and business partners enjoyed today’s SLA NY Chapter Downtown Luncheon at The Open Door Gastropub. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Save the date for the Midtown Luncheon coming up on April 10th!