October 28, 2009

ITI Authors On Parade

The booksigning event at Internet Librarian was a blast - what a great bunch of folks to be a part of! Thanks to Libraryman Michael Porter for the photo op... and for buying one of everyone's books!

October 15, 2009

Thoughts on SLA's Name Change

Once again, the specter of "what does that name mean anyway? Maybe if we change it to something else things will be better" rears its head.  SLA - the Special Libraries Association - is proposing a name change, this time to "the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals".

To say the discussions are running hot would be an understatement. Even the quieter listservs I belong to had over a dozen postings since yesterday, and the larger ones had many more.  A glimpse at the Twitter feed for #slaname will give a decent overview of the hullabaloo. I won't even go into the details of what folks have been saying about the acronym, "ASKPro" - I bet you can figure that out by yourself.

How do I feel? I'm - baffled. If the whole point was to find a name that expressed our profession better, I don't think this one is it. I also have never felt the way to solve the problem with the image of librarians is to remove the word "librarian" from the discussion (but, that's just me, and I admit it). Many of the discussions I've seen include some variation on "What does that mean, anyway?" and to paraphrase a post in one of my listservs, having to define what your name means to your membership = FAIL. I just don't think this is the right choice for us.

It does seem an opportune time to mention a new discussion group called "Libraries Need Librarians", where this topic has been one of the most discussed to date. It's a new discussion group, based on the need to support the role and necessity of librarians. Take a look.

October 7, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I'm just sayin'.

Call for Nominations: PAM IMA

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics (PAM) Division is now calling for nominations for the International Membership Award. The SLA-PAM Division will present this award to a librarian from the developing world; it provides a two-year SLA membership, for the years 2010 and 2011. For complete information, please visit the following web page: http://units.sla.org/division/dpam/manual/awards/pamimadetails.html

Please submit nominations to the co-chair/s of the International Relations Committee (IRC) of the PAM Division (address below) by November 1, 2009. The award will be announced in December 2009. Thank you.

The purpose of the award is to provide an opportunity for librarians from the developing world to be an active member of SLA and of SLA-PAM.

  • The award will provide SLA membership, including PAM Division affiliation, for a period of two years.
  • The award recipient will serve as a member of PAM's International Relations Committee (IRC) during the term of the award.
  • SLA-PAM will fully fund the award recipient's attendance at SLA's annual conference during the first year of the award, including travel costs, lodging, conference registration, and related expenses. Please note: travel to the conference is contingent on several factors including procurement of a visa to travel to the United States. This is the award recipient's responsibility.
  • The award recipient will prepare a short report on the state of scientific information/libraries in his/her country, to be presented to the membership at the annual SLA conference either in person or in writing.
  • The award recipient will also prepare a final report reflecting on his/her experience with PAM and providing recommendations for future improvements to the award program; this report is to be sent before the end of the second year of the award to the PAM Executive Board and PAM IRC.
  • The nominee must reside and work in a developing country and have basic English skills.
  • The nominee must be working currently in a library, information center, library school or other information-related capacity, in one of the subject areas related to science and technology. Priority will be given to applicants working in Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics areas.
  • The nominee will not have had a previous opportunity to become actively involved in SLA, such as by attending an SLA conference or other professional library association meetings in the U.S.
Nomination Process: Self nominations are encouraged. Nomination documentation should include the following:
  • A letter highlighting the candidate's professional career and qualification and explaining why this person should be granted the award.
  • The candidate's current professional resume.
  • Contact information for the nominee: name, position, business address, and (if possible) email address.
Nominations are to be submitted by 1 November, 2009, to the PAM IRC chair, and the award recipient will be announced in December. Selection will be made by the PAM Executive Board in consultation with the PAM IRC Chair/Co-Chair.

Please submit nominations to:

Mangala Krishnamurthy
Chair, SLA-PAM International Relations Committee
Rodgers Library for Science & Engineering
University of Alabama Libraries
The University of Alabama
P.O.Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
Phone: (205) 348-2109 | Fax: (205) 348-2113 | Email: mkrishna@ua.edu


Kiem-Dung Ta
Co-Chair, SLA-PAM International Relations Committee
Oklahoma State University
Edmon Low Library
Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078
(405) 744-9743 | Email: kiem.ta@okstate.edu

October 5, 2009

Guybrarians, machinery & merriment

Not all at the same time, mind you...

* "When I tell people what I do for a living, a now expected look crosses their faces, somewhere between a suppressed chuckle and a barely contained rolling-around-clutching-their- bellies guffaw." Rob Huffman shares his confession about "why he became a guybrarian" and addresses those who make that face at him.

* It sucks to be in Leicestershire UK, where the County Council is replacing all the library staff with automated machines. No, really. Staff is not surprisingly against this decision - 19 of them will lose their jobs over it - but the locals are also pretty upset. What a rotten situation.

* Horror stories (and sometimes happy stories) from the stacks! Check out The Merry Librarian, a new site that collects and shares true library stories (some more wince-inducing than others).