Libraries, the universe and everything


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.)

img_2221-e1518804363208.jpg Continue reading

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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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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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Candidate for SLA Board
July 21, 2016, 13:11
Filed under: CPD, SLA | Tags: ,

I have been shockingly slow in blogging about this, I think in part because I’m still trying to get my head around it: this year I am running as one of the candidates for SLA’s Board of Directors. If elected, I will serve the Chapter Cabinet for three consecutive years, as Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past-Chair respectively. Continue reading



#SLA2016 takeaways
July 18, 2016, 13:05
Filed under: CPD, Events, Reflections | Tags: , , ,

SLA 2016 was an excellent conference. My experience was a little different this year as I was wearing several different hats: an attendee, a chapter president and a board candidate. I’ll blog about the latter separately, but here I wanted to capture some of the things which resonated most strongly with me as an attendee (and, perhaps coincidentally, as a leader).

For a conference which didn’t have explicit themes or tracks, it was remarkable how the same points kept appearing in different contexts. The two which I encountered most frequently were ‘understanding yourself’ and ‘learning is leading’. Continue reading



A Janus moment
January 22, 2016, 12:28
Filed under: Chartership, CPD, Reflections | Tags: , , , ,

In preparing my 2015 CPD list and statement for revalidation I’ve been looking back over my professional goals for 2015, and am pleased to note that I didn’t actually do too badly at achieving them. (I also managed to log over 120 hours of CPD activities, and I’m quite sure that isn’t actually the full total – no wonder I never seem to have any free time!) Continue reading




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