Monthly Archives: June 2009

ALA Opening Session Speaker announced

So I am maybe two days behind the ball on this one, but I thought I’d share it anyway.  On Tuesday, ALA announced that Christie Hefner, daughter of Playboy leader Hugh Hefner, would be the featured speaker for the Opening Session.  I have to say that I am somewhat intrigued by this choice.  She certainly is a supporter of the First Amendment; she’s created an award named after her father – The Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award.   In addition, she’s been involved with the fight against AIDS.  I’m looking forward to hearing her speak and I know that I’ll learn something.


Oops… Elsevier has a red face!

From Jessamyn at a story about how Elsevier was offering gift certificates for five star reviews on for its textbook.  My two cents… seems that some of us have forgotten what textbooks and education are really about.  This remains true in the public school systems around the country.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not condemning all of them, but many are beginning to teach to the test – even in second grade!  There have to be other options – get the kids involved doing portfolios, get them in the library, get them off the couch and destressing – please!

SLA – Days 3 and 4

There were a lot of great sessions going on Monday – too many to choose from.  I ended up picking sessions that I figured would be interesting, while hoping that others would post on the Conference website.  We’ll see if that strategy pays off or not in the long run.  I really recommend that people attend the networking breakfasts and division open houses – you can meet a lot of people that way.

Tuesday was a little more of a dud – the session I really wanted to go to in the morning the speaker no showed (not that I could have blogged it anyway – strict announcement in the program) and the backups were either SRO or duds.  In the afternoon I went to the Baseball Caucus session and Gary Thorne was the speaker.  For those who don’t know who he is – he’s the current TV announcer for the Orioles and he has done a lot of work with the NHL as well.  This was a great session!  I also met a lot of people that I might not have otherwise run into.

SLA – Day 2

Sorry that I did not get a chance to actually write this on Sunday – too many activities and too little time.  Anyway, the SLA conference kicked off in earnest today and I spent my first three hours at the INFO-EXPO (otherwise known as the exhibit hall).  It’s very different from the exhibit hall at ALA.  More techie goodies and some better handouts, but no one is giving away any books!  Well, conferences are all about networking so let’s start there.  The famous Washingtonians were there – in cardboard and in person…

Obama Cutout 2 Biden cutout H Clinton Cutout

… and the main attraction of the Opening Session and Awards… Retired General Colin Powell!

General Colin Powell

General Colin Powell

General Powell gave a very entertaining speech about the importance of technology and information, but don’t go looking for him on social networking sites… according to him he leaves that to his children and grandchildren!

I also ran across some faces that were familiar to me: Linda Galloway of Moon Library at SUNY ESF, Jill Hurst-Wahl of Hurst Associates and a Professor at the iSchool at Syracuse University and a former teammate of mine from Carleton College, Deb Rash.  I met a number of new people and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  After the Opening Session, I went to the International Spy Museum.  If you’ve never been there before – you really have to go!  They have exhibits showing all sorts of different spycraft memorabilia and history from countries around the world.  You can also assume a persona and go on a mission… hope your memory is good!

I’ll post on Monday’s sessions later…

SLA – Day 1

So I spent a VERY hot Saturday trekking around DC at my start to the SLA conference.  First I went to the Convention Center to get my badge – it’s a big place and there is another convention there too.  When I was there at 10:45 there weren’t very many librarians yet, but there were a few that I saw.  Then I began a trek to Metro Center to get a SmartTrip card – very useful for the Metro!  Well when there is no one around to answer your questions because it is  aSaturday this can take ka little longer than you anticipated.  On top of all that the Metro shut down one stop shy of Capitol South so I ended up walking about 3/4 mile to the LOC Madison Building for the How to Become a Federal Librarian session.  Because I was late all of the resume review slots were already full when I got there.  BIG SLA CONFERENCE TIP:  wear your sneakers, bring your other shoes – there’s  a lot of walking in DC and a block here isn’t like a block in other places!

So this session ran for about four and a half hours and consisted of three presentations and about an hour of networking time.  The first

Jefferson Building - LOC

Jefferson Building - LOC

presentation was from Michele Masias and Nardia Bennett of the DOJ and it was on how to look for and apply for a federal library job.  This session covered information from searching to resume writing, KSAs to interviewing.  Some of the big tips that I was able to pull out of this is that you should always have a current copy of your resume whether or not you are job hunting – it helps you to document all of the important things that you do.  Also have other folks look over your resume and do mock interviews – they help!  They talked about how to read the job postings and where to find them (and save copies of your resume): the various agencies and the USAJOBS website.  They also stressed the importance of making sure that you have supported your claims with information on your resume and that you can back this up with specific information.

The second presentation was by Lisa Boyd from NLM.  She talked about the path she took to becoming a federal librarian – including a number of fellowship/leadership programs available especially those through NLM.  She also talked a lot about what goes on at the NLM and the different opportunities that might exist for someone who is interested in this field.

The final presentation was by Nancy Faget on the Careers in Federal Libraries Google Group.  She talked about the different ways that students and librarians can get involved with FLICC as well as by benefiting from mentor/mentee relationships, locating internships/fellowships and having a line of communication with others sharing your interests.  I can vouch for networking through FLICC – Nancy helped me to find a job posting that seemed really good for me – now I’m just crossing my fingers that I get further in the  selection process:)

All three sessions were really good.  Also of note: FLICC/FEDLINK (the sponsor of this session) will be holding a job fair on August 26, 2009.  I’ll post more information on this as I get it!   I had a pleasant if hot walking back to Union Station past the US Capitol Building and the Supreme Court.   I’m now back in airconditioning with a dog on my foot and cat stalking the bugs outside… I think…

US Capitol Building

US Capitol Building

US Supreme Court Building

US Supreme Court Building

Washington DC Union Station

Washington DC Union Station

So I’m excited for DC

I get to leave tomorrow for the SLA Annual Conference and I’m really looking forward to it.  I still plan to visit the Holocaust Museum if I have the time – it’s an amazing museum.  I’m also looking forward to hearing Colin Powell speak.  I’ve got a lot of sessions that I am hoping to attend including a couple by SU’s own Jill Hurst-Wahl.

Anyway in browsing for the news today, I uncovered a story about excerpts from Penthouse magazine (x8) being on the shelves of a library and a patron raising a stink.  Personally, I think that the library’s response was completely appropriate – it is up to the parents to monitor the reading habits of their children and libraries shouldn’t censor.  For more: read full article here.

It’s conference time again!

So, it’s that time of year again for librarians and librarians to be – SLA and ALA Annual conferences are rapidly approaching.  As a recent LIS graduate, I, of course, will be attending both.  I’m hoping to learn some new stuff and network with the people that might help me get a job in the library field – a daunting prospect, I know!
So anyway, if anyone will be in DC and/or Chicago maybe we can meet!