Libraries, the universe and everything


#SLA2018
June 20, 2018, 15:06
Filed under: CPD | Tags: , , , , ,

It’s not often I find myself struggling for words, but I’m really not sure what to write about this year’s SLA conference, which is odd because I had an excellent time. Baltimore was my fifth consecutive attendance, so I have a lot of friends to catch up with, I’ve learned to enjoy chatting with our exhibitors about their products, and being on SLA’s board of directors adds an extra dimension to it all. I’ve even got a bit better at self-care, at long last – I managed to eat a hot meal every day, and even took a little time out to get some much-needed sunshine and fresh air (you have no idea how much of an achievement this is for me…!).

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ARLIS/NA conference 2018
February 27, 2018, 16:14
Filed under: Events | Tags: , ,

Over the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed attending various events organised by the New York chapter of ARLIS, but I have never been able to justify going to their association conference. However, when I saw that this year’s was going to be held here in New York I jumped at the chance, and bought myself a pass for the first day of programming. Continue reading



SLA Leadership Symposium 2018
February 21, 2018, 12:07
Filed under: CPD, SLA | Tags: , , , ,

At last I’ve managed to find the time to write about our Leadership Symposium, which took place at the end of last month (January 28-30) in New Orleans. This was exciting to me for a number of reasons, not least of all being that it was my first visit to a city I’ve wanted to experience for ages (and I wrote about that side of it over on my other blog). However, the main source of delight was that this event has been absent from the SLA calendar since 2015, and it was a huge privilege to be a part of the team responsible for bringing it back. (I attended the event in 2015, and found it a tremendous experience, although I’m sad to discover that I appear to have neglected to write about it here.)

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Finding strengths
February 16, 2018, 12:04
Filed under: CPD, SLA | Tags: ,

As pre-work for our recent SLA Leadership Symposium (about which a post should follow soon…), we were asked to fill out a questionnaire for the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment.

Note to self: next time I embark upon a series of vaguely-related posts, I really should write the main one first… And yes, I did link to the Wikipedia article on StrengthsFinder – it was the first item in my search results that wasn’t basically just a sales pitch.

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Thinking about change management
February 13, 2018, 10:10
Filed under: cpd23, Reflections | Tags: , , , ,

Isn’t it interesting how things bounce off each other? Or, more specifically, when something you’re thinking about causes you to notice other instances of that same thing all over the place? (I have a feeling there’s actually a term to define it, but I don’t remember what it is – let me know if you do!) Continue reading



Something new
February 10, 2018, 08:00
Filed under: Libraries, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

OK, this is just shameful… I knew I had a draft blog post (about business books I’d read) lurking in the background, but when I went to refer to it I found this one which I drafted back in August 2017. I have no idea why I didn’t post it at the time, it seems pretty finished to me and I would like to have a record of this somewhere, so for the sake of completeness here it is now. Continue reading



Reflecting on reflecting
February 8, 2018, 12:02
Filed under: Reflections | Tags: , ,

A glance at the (lack of) frequency of my posts here lately would lead any sensible person to wonder whether I had given up reflection altogether, but happily nothing could be further from the truth. To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure where this post is going, so feel free to click away now… Continue reading



Alaskan public libraries
September 27, 2017, 11:48
Filed under: Libraries | Tags: , ,

Whenever I travel I almost invariably spot a library or two along the way, either by accident or design. On a recent trip to Alaska I spotted three public libraries, and was fascinated by all of them in turn. Continue reading



ICoASL 2017
May 22, 2017, 12:39
Filed under: CPD, Events, Reflections | Tags: , ,

Several months ago I was both surprised and delighted to receive an invitation to speak at the 5th International Conference of Asian Special Libraries, particularly when I saw the theme was to be “Curation and Management of Cultural Heritage through Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities for the Digital Society”. I was slightly more apprehensive when I realised that I was the only SLA Board member who was able to attend, so that I would be representing the association as well as presenting my own speech, but in my usual spirit of “say yes and worry about the consequences later”, I happily accepted and began planning the trip.

The conference was being held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which made a splendid excuse for a holiday, as well as enabling a stopover in Singapore, one of my bucket list destinations. I’m going to write more about all of that over on my other blog, and I’ve also submitted a brief account of the conference to the SLA blog (links will be added when these go live), but I wanted to share a more personal record of the experience here.

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A result
October 4, 2016, 15:41
Filed under: CPD, SLA | Tags:

From a recent SLA press release:

Welcome SLA’s 2018 President, Roberto Sarmiento!

Roberto Sarmiento, head of the Transportation Library and acting director of the Distinctive Collections Workgroup at Northwestern University, was elected by SLA members to serve as the association’s president in 2018.

Roberto has been an SLA member since 1989 and has served in several capacities, including chair of the Transportation Division and the Bylaws Committee. He will join the SLA Board of Directors in 2017 as president-elect, become president in 2018, then serve as past president in 2019.

The following SLA members will join Roberto on the board in 2017:

  • Emma Davidson, Chapter Cabinet Chair-elect;
  • Laura Leavitt, Division Cabinet Chair-elect;
  • Zena Applebaum, Director; and
  • Barbara Kern, Director.

The new board members will serve three-year terms beginning 1 January 2017.

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