Column

Managing to have it all

Marcy and Dad

By Marcy Winkler

“You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.” -Oprah

My mom died unexpectedly a little over a year ago, on August 10, 2015.

Keeping a promise to my mom, as soon as we heard the news, my sister and I flew down and relocated my then 90-year-old father who is blind and suffers from Alzheimer’s from Florida to New York to live near my family. And so began one of the most challenging years of my life so far. A year that involved adding even more balls in the air to my constant juggling act involving my family, work and volunteer lives. 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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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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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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Being Open-Minded: A post career reflection

Leigh Hallingby

by Leigh Hallingbylhallingby@gmail.com

In September 2014, I retired from a satisfying 36-year library career which began in January 1979. I felt truly fortunate to have been employed all those years in a series of five traditional information profession positions after I finished my MLS degree at the School of Library Service at Columbia University in December 1978.  All of my jobs were with non-profit organizations. I spent the last 20 years at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the grant-making institution of the financier and philanthropist George Soros. The Open Society Foundations was an amazing place to work in every respect, from the mission, ambiance, and quality of my co-workers, to employee benefits, opportunities for professional travel, and much more. Continue reading

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Incoming 2015 President’s Letter

Marcy WinklerDear Members,

I am looking forward to my new role as President of the SLA New York Chapter in 2015. This will be an exciting year building upon the successes of the rich programs and committee work (such as this online publication B2E) put into place by the Chapter in 2014 and prior under the leadership of Nick Collison and our predecessors.

We already have a full 2015 calendar of social and educational events with plenty of networking opportunities. Continue reading

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Outgoing 2014 President’s Letter

Nick CollisonDear Members,

As outgoing President of SLA NY, I look back with a sense of pride and accomplishment at the chapter’s achievements this year in support of its members.

Our hardworking 2014 Board and Advisory Council have succeeded in providing a diverse range of programming including lectures, seminars, and social events targeted to our broad membership audience. This year has seen many successes, such as our inaugural SLA NY Conference and Expo, the launch of Bridge to Excellence (B2E), our Project Management educational series collaboration with LLAGNY, and much more. Continue reading

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Book Arts on the West Coast

A visit to The Book Club of California

By Helen Sobolik

An antique press in the BCC Club Room

An antique press in the BCC Club Room

During a recent business trip I had the pleasure of joining the SLA San Francisco Bay Region Chapter on a tour of the Book Club of California (BCC). The BCC is a non-profit membership library founded in 1912 focusing on fine printing and letterpress in San Francisco, the Bay Area, the state of California, and the western states more broadly.

Henry Snyder, the BCC Librarian, led the group on a tour and lively discussion in the Albert Sperison Library, where we had the pleasure of viewing and handling several of the magnificently bound, letterpressed, and illuminated volumes in the collection.

 

 

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SLA’s 2014 Annual Conference in Vancouver: Metrics, Media, Museums, and More

By Leigh Hallingby, Head Librarian, Open Society Foundations
lhallingby@gmail.com

Digital OrcaVancouver is a most appealing conference venue, and the Western Canada Chapter of SLA were gracious hosts who made all of us Americans “from abroad” feel really welcome.  In fact, right after I arrived in Vancouver on Saturday, June 7, I took immediate advantage of an SLA-sponsored tour of the University of British Columbia’s famous Museum of Anthropology, which I had signed up for in advance.  It was a gorgeous sunny day in the upper 60’s (basically the same weather we had all week). I was thrilled to hit the ground running and to see the famous totem poles, house posts, and carved figures from several Northwest Coast nations, among many other treasures. Continue reading

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President’s Letter

Nick CollisonDear Members,

It has been 6 months since I became President of SLA NY. Looking back at our achievements and what the Chapter has provided to its members in this short time has been truly outstanding. Your Board and Advisory Council have worked extremely hard to provide a combination of educational and social events, and, behind the scenes, have been new and innovative initiatives to increase membership, tailor programming to meet the needs of our diverse membership base, and adding increased value to your membership. Continue reading

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

By Leigh Hallingby, Head Librarian, Open Society Foundations

Leigh.Hallingby@opensocietyfoundations.org

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

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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)

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Cristina completed the course: Metadata: Description & Access.

 

 

 

 

rachel

 

Rachel completed the course: Rare Books and Special Collections.

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