The most challenging employee: Managing a team of one

by Joy M. Banks

My Life Collage

Clockwise from top left: My husband, Jeff, showing his support at the 2016 SLA IT Dance Party; My own personal #teamawesome; Tabby, always willing to help; Enjoying the view from my former office

I had a revelation recently: Sometimes, I impede my own path to success.

I’ve had the great fortune of attending each SLA Annual Meeting since 2010. Each year, I review the conference schedule for sessions relevant to my current position and future goals. That has usually been relatively easy. I started my career as a catalog librarian at a medium sized private college. I later transitioned to a solo librarian overseeing a music library and historical archive in a garden/museum setting. Both were pretty standard positions with clear institutional goals and expectations.

This year was the first year I attended SLA as an independent information professional (IIP), and I found myself at a loss during many time slots, looking for something that seemed relevant to my current career path and goals. Invariably, though, when a time slot had one thing I found interesting, the same time slot held two (or three) things of interest. During one such time slot, I found myself walking what felt like a mile to arrive quite late to a session by Dr. Shelley Reciniello, author of The Conscious Leader. Continue reading


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.

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


How strong local chapters benefit individuals, the chapters, and the entire organization

By Sheryl Ramer Gesoff

“Some of my best friends are members of the Special Libraries Association. @SLAhq @RockyMtnSLA @SLANewEngland

–Maria Hugger (@shinydoom) on Twitter, identifying her friends in the local chapters, as well as the organization


This tweet makes sense, intuitively. Professional and personal relationships are formed at lunches, happy hours, book clubs, and board meetings organized by local chapters. These encounters happen repeatedly and naturally, and strangers turn into acquaintances, friends, and even co-workers.

What roles do local chapters play? Continue reading


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


How to Organize a Conference

Behind the Scenes with SLA NY Conference and Expo organizers

By Daniel Barron

Sarah Davis, Vida Cohen, and Rebecca Hahn

Conference organizers Sarah Davis, Vida Cohen, and Rebecca Hahn

An annual conference may look just like the one that occurred twelve months before, but that doesn’t mean it organized itself. An outfit like the Special Libraries Association New York Chapter (SLA NY) relies exclusively on volunteers, and the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at an event like the SLA New York Conference & Expo often means that a fresh group of planners is needed every year.

All three of this year’s principle organizers—Rebecca Hahn (research assistant at the Institute for Agean Prehistory), Sarah Davis (information and research coordinator at Redeemer City to City) and Vida Cohen (independent consultant and long-time SLA NY contributor)—were volunteers at the 2014 conference and were recruited by last year’s organizers, current SLA NY President Marcy Winker and President-Elect Emma Davidson, to run the 2015 event. Continue reading


Building Castles in the Sand

By Emma Davidson

As a child, I never really liked playing with sand. Its lack of structure annoyed me, it irritated my skin, and of course you never knew what unpleasant surprises might be lurking below the surface. All that notwithstanding, thanks to SLA NY I’m currently adding the crenellations to the most commodious castle I’ve ever built, and I’m certainly not ready to give up my spot in the sand.

Continue reading


Results-Based Accountability: Communication is Key

By Susan S. DiMattia

Results-Based Accountability or RBA, sometimes also referred to as Outcomes-Based Accountability or OBA, is used to improve the performance of an organization’s programs or services to produce measurable change. RBA has many connotations, but here is defined as a data-driven decision-making process to get beyond talking about problems and take action to solve them. It begins with researching and identifying desired end results then creating prioritized actions to establish the best possible means to achieve those ends. One question asked during the process is “Are the customers of your products and services better off because of the quality and efficiency of your services?” It is a “cousin” to the Return on Investment (ROI) concept and encompasses elements of advocacy. On the surface, RBA may not seem much different from the traditional methods adapted by information professionals, but if there is substance enough to create some new ways of thinking, it’s worth considering. Regardless of whether a single method or a mix of concepts is employed, a strong communication plan is key.

Success Through Sharing Techniques Continue reading


DAM and Cultural Heritage Organizations

By Rebecca Hahn

DAM at the Morgan Library & Museum

DAM at the Morgan Library & Museum


Digital asset management (DAM) is a term used for the formal organization of assets. Its principles can be used regardless of which physical system is in place. “Assets” here can be defined as files incorporating metadata and can be any format, including text, image, sound and video (Littleson 2009). DAM activities improve efficiency in file management, metadata management, workflow and access (CHIN 2013). Digital asset management systems are open-source or proprietary software designed to streamline asset management. DAM systems “provide the capability of ingesting, describing, tracking, and circulating a digital file” (Waibel 2006).

Digital asset management systems have been around for over a decade and are used in diverse sectors from corporate to non-profit. Cultural heritage organizations can make great use of them to organize and provide access to their assets. When an institution implements a centralized, easy-to-use system to access its assets, a variety of departments can benefit. Assets can be used not only for collections management and curatorial purposes, but also for education, web development, sales, marketing and digital preservation (CHIN 2013). Continue reading


Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property

Copyright Issues regarding the Digital Collections of Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) and Traditional Knowledge (TK) of Indigenous Peoples in Museums, Libraries, Archives, and Cultural Institutions

By Kirsten Grünberg


Museums, libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions have been characterized by a colonial history articulated through misappropriation activities, unethical scientific practices, and today by the denial of the intellectual property (IP) rights of their collections, specifically those that refer to the traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) and traditional knowledge (TK) of the Indigenous Peoples. In many cases, institutions have not acknowledged the existence of IP rights on these collections nor established guidelines regarding their digital reproduction and publication. Institutions must be called upon to adhere to the legal and moral responsibilities they have to the Indigenous People.  Continue reading


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

By Leigh Hallingby, Head Librarian, Open Society Foundations

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


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


Nothing to Fear in Exploring DH Tools

By William Dean

The pace of technological change is fast, and even faster than that is the pace of breathless articles about how libraries must change to survive. How will libraries that have offered cloth-bound tomes for decades, or centuries, deal with all those wires and screens? Technology can shape and change the way we think and work, but it is also a set of tools that are available for use, and while there will certainly be a lot of changes, the core goal of most libraries – providing access and specialized insight to information – remains the same. There are as many possibilities as pitfalls in new technology and the expanding field of Digital Humanities—and the digital tools associated with it—provides a great example of the changing – and unchanging – place of libraries. Continue reading


2014 Conference/Expo Preview: Invest In Yourself: A Day of Professional Development

By Emma Davidson

This is one of three articles previewing SLA NY’s September 18th Conference and Expo at Baruch’s Vertical Campus. The other two can be found here and here. More information about the event, including how to register, can be found hereFollow @SLANewYork and #SLANY for news and updates!

Join SLA New York on Thursday September 18th as we take over Vertical Campus at Baruch College for a packed day of learning and networking at the inaugural SLA New York Conference and Expo!

We are delighted to welcome SLA’s President-Elect Jill Strand who will set the tone of the day with her keynote “Be Revolutionary! Taking It To The Next Level With Our Profession and Association” (for more details see the feature article elsewhere in this issue). Two parallel tracks of programs will cover social media for business and personal-professional development, and there will be plenty of opportunity for networking during breaks. We are also excited to work with some of the New York information community’s key business partners, and representatives will be joining us as exhibitors throughout the day. Continue reading


2014 Conference/Expo Preview: SLA President-Elect Jill Strand Keynote Address: “Be Revolutionary: Taking It to the Next Level with Our Profession & Association”

By Wendy Ball

This is one of three articles previewing SLA NY’s September 18th Conference and Expo at Baruch’s Vertical Campus. The other two can be found here and here. More information about the event, including how to register, can be found hereFollow @SLANewYork and #SLANY for news and updates!

An important part of the role of SLA President is to assess annually the ever-changing environment in which the SLA functions and to approve the association’s strategy in relation to it.

As President-Elect Jill Strand prepares to take over in in January 2015, she continues to study the evolving nature of the jobs and professionals that make up the world of library and information science and services, paying special attention to the role of SLA within that context. In her keynote speech at SLA NY’s inaugural conference and expo, entitled “Be Revolutionary: Taking It to the Next Level with Our Profession and Association,” Strand will explore key highlights and findings from the recent IFLA Trend Report and SLA/Financial Times Survey, framing her talk in terms of SLA national’s involvement in the continuously developing field and what that means for local chapters.

The day-long event, to be held at Baruch College’s Vertical Campus on September 18th, will serve as a great opportunity for members and non-members in the New York metro area to take part in intensive professional development and convivial networking while hearing SLA national leadership’s thoughts and observations up-close. Continue reading


2014 Conference/Expo Preview: INALJ and You

By Elizabeth Willse

This is one of three articles previewing SLA NY’s September 18th Conference and Expo at Baruch’s Vertical Campus. The other two can be found here and here. More information about the event, including how to register, can be found hereFollow @SLANewYork and #SLANY for news and updates!

What social media tools are the most effective in a job search? How can library job seekers use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr to make important networking connections and cultivate a savvy online presence to move their job search forward? How can social media tools help librarians with professional development and industry research? LIS job seekers from recent graduates to seasoned LIS professionals are undoubtedly asking the same questions. Continue reading