August 23, 2012

Brisbane, Here I Come!

I am honored and delighted to announce that I have accepted an invitation to keynote the 6th Annual New Librarians' Symposium, February 10-13, 2013, in Brisbane, Australia. The symposium's theme is "Think Different, Be Different", and I am looking forward to being just that!

The intended audience for NLS6 is early-career librarians and information professionals,  and the sub-themes are:
  •     Inspire (opening minds, expanding horizons)
  •     Imagine (the future of the information professions)
  •     Create (creativity, risk taking, innovation)
  •     Lead (in our profession and beyond)
  •     Climb (professional development)
  •     Leap (diverse career options for information professionals)

I have the opportunity to talk for an hour on embedded librarianship, special libraries, and our professional identity in any combination and shape I wish - hitting all six themes along the way! Given the incredibly changing nature of the profession, the opportunities available inside libraries and out, and the increase in visibility and interest in embedded positions, I have a lot to talk about! I've already begun outlining my talk, and plan (hope?) on doing it TEDx style.

The really amazing part, that I'm still stunned by? I was crowdsourced.

NLS6: Be Different

August 7, 2012

And then I went to Chicago... Parts 3 & 4

Tuesday and Wednesday at SLA were primarily unit-leader focused; I didn't get to any sessions except the IT Business Meeting, where as division secretary I took some mad notes, yo! I was able to spend some time in the INFO-EXPO collecting information for future vendor relationships with MPOW, and it was kind of nice to be able to talk to a vendor and not say "No, I'm not buying from you, I won't be buying from you, please don't give me a sales pitch". Then it was the Leadership Orientation meeting, and I was surprised at how much Gary LaBranche's presentation on association models got my attention. I also liked Bethan Ruddock's presentation on "How to Parlay SLA Experience into a Promotion" - I realized I had been downplaying all I do with SLA to MPOW and needed to change that, stat! The Leadership program was followed by the Division and Chapter Cabinet meetings - as the only Arizona board member at SLA, I went to the Chapter Cabinet meeting, then onward to the Joint Cabinet Meeting. It got pretty lively in there! (I now know a lot more about "Committee of the Whole" and what it can do.) At this point it was after 8pm and I was starving - so my friend Kathleen and I headed out for a bite to eat, and ended up at Lou Malnati's Pizza.  ZOMG now I see why people rave about Chicago deep dish pizza - this was DAMN tasty stuff! I had intended to head back for the IT Dance Party, but I ran out of energy as we were contemplating dessert so missed the shindig this year. (Dang it!)

Wednesday included a stop at the local FedEx office to ship my Fellows award back home - I didn't want to hand-carry it and take a chance on it getting broken. Plus about twenty pounds of conference-related stuff - books and papers and schwag and stuff - it felt good to get it off my shoulders, literally. I went to the Operation Vitality meeting, where the most excellent Daniel Lee shared the final bits and pieces of the great Wordpress migration, and some tidbits about the forthcoming overarching SLA website overhaul. I'm looking forward to it, and I know I'm not alone. The conference began wrapping up with the SLA Business Meeting, where I learned about and donated to the SLA Loyalty Club, followed by the Future Now Panel, which was entertaining and thought-provoking. I quite enjoyed the discussion about stereotypes versus value. The Closing Reception, thrown by the Kentucky Chapter and partners, was quite enjoyable - it was nice to be able to chat with folks with all the pressure off!

Thank you, Chicago, for a lovely visit. We'll be back!

Family Portrait at the Cloud Gate Sculpture.

And then I went to Chicago... Part 2

Monday at SLA I was finally able to breathe a bit, although the morning kicked off early again with the PAM Astronomy Roundtable at 7:30am. Thank heavens for strong coffee! It was a great session, and having no projector really challenged the speakers - they did brilliantly! (I must admit, Lance's "slides" were one of my favorites.)

Chris and I talking culture.
Photo by The Photo Group, 2012.
Then I dashed off to the Fellows and Rising Stars Roundtable, where I was paired with Rising Star Chris Zammarelli. We decided to talk about culture in libraries, where culture is defined as "the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular group." Chris works for the Department of State, and as such works with libraries around the world, in embassies and out, and one of the things they must be very aware of is the local culture - societal, religious, ethnic, etc. He talked a bit about how that impacts his job, and how he deals with working with people worldwide who are often in different time zones. I talked about a different type of culture - that of the scientists and engineers I work with. Each group has a common language, habits, rituals, and expressions - and they are NOT the same, and are often in conflict. I'm in the middle, acting almost as an anthropologist and translator, to understand and bridge the differences between the two groups. I've had to learn the best way to get them what they want and need, how they search for things - basically, become bilingual.  The takeaway I offered was get to know the culture of your user groups, and integrate into them - then the users will trust you and see you as part of their group. This benefits everyone!

Happy 40th Anniversary, PAM!
After the great Q&A session at the roundtable was over, I headed for the PAM Business Meeting, where (amongst a great many other things) we started celebrating PAM's 40th Anniversary. I was in charge of the souvenir lapel pins, and it was a delight to pass them out to members! (We also had an excellently themed Daily Retreat, courtesy of IOP.) During the following INFO-EXPO time, I was finally able to meet the other members of the Online Content Advisory Committee face-to-face, and I'm looking forward to some of the things we have planned for the rest of the year.

American West Chapters Reception
Monday wrapped up with a couple of social events - first up was the American West Chapters Reception, at the Newberry Library, where I proudly represented the Arizona Chapter (and did a turn at the welcome tables). What a lovely library, and I really enjoyed the piano player - he so clearly was enjoying himself! Then I moseyed off to the PAM Open House, where AIP gave us a beautiful cake (see above) as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations.

And then I went to Chicago... Part 1

(I can't believe it's August already!)

Last month was a very, very busy one; I moved offices (I'm out of the cave! Yay!), I went to Chicago, and I spoke to the incoming library school grad students at my alma mater. The biggie, of course, was Chicago for the annual Special Libraries Association meeting - although I did get a couple of days before the conference to play tourist with my family!

My conference started quite early, at 7:30am on Saturday the 14th. One of the hats I wear for SLA is that of the Professional Development chair for the IT Division, and PD runs the CE courses each year. I wanted to meet the instructors, make sure they had everything they needed, and thank them in person - it just meant for some very early mornings! I'm very pleased that both sessions went well - "Taxonomy & Information Architecture for SharePoint", with Seth Earley, and "Website Analytics and Usability Studies: Mastering Tools for Measuring Website Effectiveness", with Kate Marek.

Saturday was also the really productive 2013 Conference Planner's meeting - as the Spreadsheet Queen for the Annual Conference Advisory Committee, I was crazy busy, but it was really good. I think we're in decent shape at this point; there are some really interesting sessions in the queue for San Diego!

Leoma Dunn giving me my
Fellows award. Photo by The
Photo Group, 2012

Sunday was my most over-scheduled day, but also the best! After greeting Ms. Marek and getting her CE course going, I had a quick breakfast with my family and headed off to the PAM Newcomer's Lunch. As past-chair of the PAM Division it was my honor to host the event, although I was only able to stay for about 15 minutes before I had to speed back to the convention center. The restaurant (Russian Tea Time) smelled absolutely delicious and I'm quite sad I didn't get a chance to go back and enjoy the cuisine! Then it was time for a Board Meeting, a Meet and Greet, and then getting ready for the Awards Ceremony - where I was officially made a Fellow of SLA! I'm delighted, honored, and still a bit stunned by it all. I'm very glad that my husband and son could be there - thanks, SLA, for their passes!

SLA President Brent Mai and I, before the award ceremony.
Photo by The Photo Group, 2012.