64 posts categorized "Events"

29 October 2010

Stephen Abram at U. of Buffalo

The Special Libraries Association of Buffalo (SLAB) is excited to present “Stephen Abram: Future Ready

Stephen, a past SLA President, will explore the new issues that libraries face in the technological world, as well as ways that librarians can prepare for the future.  A groundbreaking, revolutionary thinker, he will provide insight on the big changes that will transform libraries forever. 

What: Stephen Abram: Future Ready
Where: University of Buffalo, Natural Sciences Complex, room 215
Day: Thursday, 18 November
Time: 7:00pm

Tickets will be sold at the door.  This event is free for students and faculty of UB’s Graduate School of Education.  $10 for all other attendees.  Seats are limited and are on a first come, first served basis.

12 October 2010

Consensus Decision-Making

By Brandi Loveday

Brandi_pamela_amelia_web The Fall 2010 UNYSLA meeting featured Pamela G. Strausser, Senior HR Consultant at Cornell University, inviting attendees to explore consensus decision making via the case study method.  Strangely enough, we all came to the consensus that it is nearly impossible to achieve agreement and satisfaction on the part of everyone involved in a group decision making process.

According to Ms. Strausser, the problem with consensus is that everyone has a different (and personal) definition of what exactly a consensus is.  From our discussion, attendees learned that consensus is a decision that everyone can move forward on and support without the subversion that sometimes happens after a meeting.  You know the kind, when a person says nothing at all during the meeting then, after it adjourns, starts sniping at what was thought to be an agreed upon plan of action.  In order for consensus to happen, 5 key items that need to be addressed.


Ms. Strausser’s 5 key points for achieving consensus:
1. Understand the problem - Approach the organizer of the group and clarify the end goal/required results of the group.  Verify a time frame in which results are expected, the format in which results should be presented, to whom the results will be presented.  The more specific the details the more likely the group will produce the required information.
2. Value and respect the views of others - Really listen to the concerns, interests, and expectations of individual members of the group.  This will build rapport and sense of purpose within the group.
3. Commit to an experimental time period - People can become guarded if they feel that once decisions are made, they are set in stone.  Give a trial period so that feedback can further develop the group's decision.
4. Agree on what is important - Take into consideration all members' concerns and reach an agreement that everyone can live with.  This may mean compromising - sometimes it takes giving up one thing to achieve another.  Keep the purpose of the group in mind!
5. Commit to the plan with no dissention - When a member of the group agrees to a decision in a meeting or stays quiet during the decision process, approach that person on the side and inquire as to their thoughts - some members may not feel comfortable as a 'dissenting' voice.  Don't assume agreement from silence.  Once the 'ink is dry' on the initial plan of action, follow through is key.  The experimental time period will allow members to analyze progress, but until that point, commit to the team and the purpose without destructively criticizing the plan.


Case Study: In order to dig into the challenges of consensus building, attendees broke out into small groups to read and discuss a case study involving a newly formed committee of a national library organization.  The challenges included a vague charge from the governing body, diverse interests/expectations of the committee members, and the inability of committee members to meet in person.  Afterwards, everyone regrouped to dissect the case and possible solutions to the challenges.


How do we reach a consensus?
First, understanding the problem requires clear and concise communication between the authoritative body that formed the committee and the committee itself.  If a committee is uncertain about its goal, three things can happen: nothing will be accomplished, something will be accomplished but it will not be what the authoritative body was looking for, or by luck, the committee will stumble upon their real purpose and save the day.  Get all the important details at the beginning: format of results, exact purpose, deadlines, audience.

Second, committees are made up of people with their own views, strengths and concerns.  How do we get to know all this?  Introduction at the first meeting are a complete necessity to understand the strengths and concerns of the team’s members.  Ask everyone to introduce themselves with what they hope to gain from the committee, why they joined the committee and what they want to contribute to the work being done.  By including this in the introductions members may feel more comfortable and less like they are being judged for what they are saying.  Listening and valuing the stated opinions and respecting their views from the beginning will build a rapport throughout the committee that will allow real brainstorming about the issues without fear of judgment.  Meetings should be structured from the first meeting forward, consist (optimally) of 4 to 5 people and have a true purpose.  Everyone in attendance likes to know their time is not being wasted. “Don’t have a meeting just to have a meeting.”

With any actionable plan, a time frame must be considered and agreed upon by those working on the project.  The experimental time period gives a group a specified amount of time to try out some of the ideas presented to see if they are feasible to the overall goal of the committee.  This time period also allows the group to acquire various types of data needed to see which data is most appropriate for the charge set by the authoritative body and present a draft of the report to the authoritative body.  Once a time frame and a plan have been agreed upon, everyone must stick to it with no dissension.  Follow through is key on the experimental period as it gives the committee time to review and revamp the approach taken to that point if necessary.

Conclusion: Consensus decision making is not an easy road and must be approached with careful planning and concise communication between all parties involved.  Keep things as transparent as possible through all steps of the process and most likely everyone’s duties on a committee or board will be easier as well as more enjoyable.  Being on a committee need not be a headache or chore.  By taking Ms. Strausser’s advice, future committees may find they enjoy the process and be more willing to repeat the experience in the future when necessary.


Brandi Loveday is student pursuing a M.S. in Information Management and Policy at the Information Science Department at SUNY Albany. Brandi completed her B.A. in English via the Distance Learning Department at Empire State College based in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Brandi is originally from Tennessee and has lived in Schenectady, NY for the last 10 years. Four of the last ten years were spent as a Billing Manager at a local chiropractic office. The desire to influence current information policy, specifically privacy policies, led her away from English and into the ALA accredited program at SUNY Albany. Ideally, she wants to work within the federal government or influential corporations to study and affect current information policy. When not in school or working on homework Brandi enjoys movies, reading fantasy fiction, karaoke, playing Rock Band with friends, making mead (specifically melomels), and has just recently taken up learning to play the electric bass.


10 September 2010

Local area meeting: Ithaca, 17 September

All local library employees are invited to come and meet the Ithaca members of the Upstate New York Special Libraries Association (UNYSLA)for networking and drinks. UNYSLA will be buying pizzas, so come early so you don’t miss out!

Date: Friday September 17th
Time: 4:30 pm until ??
Where: The Nines, 311 College Avenue

We hope to see you there!


View Larger Map

01 September 2010

Registration for fall meeting is open!

Registration for the fall UNYSLA meeting, Can’t We All Get Along? Consensus Building and Conflict Management in the Workplace, is now open!  See our events page for more details.


Program Highlights: (detailed program, PDF)

Consensus Decision-Making with Pamela Strausser: Consensus decision-making is believed by many in our culture to be the only way decisions should be made. Sounds good, but there are two problems:

  1. While there is very little consensus on what we mean by consensus
  2. There is almost no consensus on how to achieve it.

This interactive workshop will explore decision-making challenges in our culture and processes to make decisions more effectively.

Effective Ways to Manage Conflict in Organizations with Sue Faerman: This workshop will focus on effective ways to manage conflict in organizations.  First, we will look at why conflict can be a healthy part of organizational decision making and identify situations where a lack of conflict has led to bad decisions.  Next, we will examine a framework that provides suggestions for how conflict can be managed productively in organizations and discuss specific techniques for approaching conflict situations.  Finally, participants will have an opportunity to practice one of the techniques, recognizing that the only way to become proficient at a skill like managing conflict is to practice, practice, practice!

Register online today!

18 August 2010

UNYSLA fall meeting: Can't we all just get along?

Can’t We All Get Along? Consensus Building and Conflict Management in the Workplace
24 September
Albany, NY

The Upstate New York Special Libraries Association proudly presents, “Can’t We All Get Along?  Consensus Building and Conflict Management in the Workplace,” September 24, 2010 at the Standish Meeting Room in the University of Albany’s Science Library.

We will be joined by Sue Faerman, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at the University at Albany, who will lead a workshop on effective ways to manage conflict in organizations, and Pamela Strausser, Senior Human Resource Consultant in Organizational Development at Cornell University, who will focus on consensus building. 

Plus speeding networking and an update from SLA’s Information Ethics Advisory Council!

Registration will open soon.  Hope to see you then!

Register online today!

05 August 2010

UB Graduate Student Presents Poster at SLA Annual Conference

In June, University at Buffalo graduate student, Elaine Dean, had the opportunity to present a poster session at the SLA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Below she describes her experience:

Last summer was my first time attending the SLA Annual Conference and I enjoyed every minute of the experience.  This year I was eager to return, especially since I was presenting a poster for the first time.            

The poster, titled “Developing a User Instruction Workshop on PubMed,” was a collaborative effort between myself and Kerry Cotter.  We are both Graduate Reference Assistants at the University at Buffalo Health Sciences Library, and we had the opportunity to develop and teach the workshop during the Spring 2010 semester.  Based on the experience we created the poster to present at the Graduate School of Education Student Research Symposium in May.  Following the presentation I was encouraged to present the poster at other conferences and I chose to submit it to the Social Science, Academic, Education, and Museum, Arts, & Humanities Division Joint Poster Session for the SLA Annual Conference this summer.

I felt that the poster was well received at the conference and it was a wonderful experience.  I was thrilled by the number of people who stopped to speak with me and their positive comments regarding the poster and the workshop format.  Many were interested in learning more about PubMed and the materials created for the workshop.  I also received some suggestions for follow up work and further evaluation of the workshop’s success that I may try to pursue in the future.  The supportive environment was very encouraging and makes me more inclined to continue looking for opportunities to present professionally in the future.  I really enjoyed learning about projects that others are involved with and am excited to pursue other opportunities in the future.  I was able to attend the conference because I received the DBIO travel stipend and I am extremely gratefully for their support.
  Elaine at SLA

07 July 2010

Pictures from the 2010 UNYSLA Spring Meeting


Setting up the Anderson Gallery, University of Buffalo, on the morning of the meeting.


Nothing starts off a UNYSLA meeting better than a little 'speed networking' organized by Christian Miller.


Public speaking tips by Susan McCartney and Bill Grieshober finished off the morning.

From left: Susan McCartney, Alexis Mokler, Bill Grieshober, and Amelia Birdsall.

23 June 2010

Speak, Share and Learn: Public Speaking

By Nell Aronoff

UNYSLA's spring meeting, Speak, Share, Learn, started of the day with two key presentations on public speaking.

Susan McCarthy, director of the Buffalo State College Small Business Development Center, spoke about the power of effective communication in achieving goals and objectives.  She shared her tips with the group and demonstrated how to give an engaging, direct presentation.  Her first recommendation was to speak with passion and enthusiasm and to believe in the presentation’s message.  Ms. McCarthy stressed the importance of developing a connection with the audience since a rapport with the audience enhances the ability to communicate.  Keeping the message to one overarching theme is also crucial because the audience should never have to wonder what the point of the talk is.  This shows a respect for their time and reduces the likelihood that they’ll become disinterested.

Ms. McCarthy followed with a discussion about the three presentation types (informative, persuasive and entertaining/evocative) and also detailed five steps to making an effective presentation.  Her five key steps to make an effective presentation are: get someone’s attention; get right to your discussion; let the audience know what you are going to tell them about; summarize what you’ve said; and leave the audience with a closing task or take home message.  Lastly, Ms. McCarthy shared her strategies for keeping cool under pressure.

Bill Grieshober, an advisor with the Buffalo State College Small Business Development Center, addressed the group with his best practices for presentations.  He described the reasons why people have a fear of presenting and then offered some mental and physical strategies to help them combat this fear.  Mr. Grieshober pinpointed the three factors for presentation success (visual, vocal, and content) and explained how to go about organizing content for a presentation.  He outlined Guy Kawaski’s 10/20/30 Rule, which instructs presenters to use ten slides, prepare for a twenty minute presentation, and use thirty point font.  Most importantly, he advised to be prepared and get some practice speaking in front of someone or a group.

Nell Aronoff is a student in the Library & Information Sciences program at SUNY Buffalo. Nell attended the University of Rochester and has a B.A. in political science and a minor in studio art.

She spent two years in Richmond, V.A. working for a national non-profit health care organization. Her desire to work in an academic arts library or special library, especially in the museum field, led her back to school to pursue her MLS. Besides going to school, Nell enjoys watching movies, printmaking, baking, and traveling.

Nell Aronoff

14 April 2010

Just What is an Unconference Anyway?

By Alexis Mokler

While I have never attended an “unconference”, I have spent the last five years attending conferences held by UNYSLA, NYLA, etc. I originally dreaded the idea meeting in a room full of strangers to talk about topics that were entirely new to me as a 1st year library school student and later as a 1st year librarian. I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me.

Over the years, I have met some of the brightest, most interesting, and in some cases, well-connected librarians and information professionals in this country. At the UNYSLA Fall 2009 conference in Syracuse, I discovered that Janice R. Lachance, SLA’s CEO, and I grew up in the same small town in Maine!

If you are still unsure as to whether this will benefit you, read on for more information on Unconferences. 

Read on...



Alexis Mokler, UNYSLA Director, Membership & Recruitment

Continue reading "Just What is an Unconference Anyway?" »

09 April 2010

Early Bird Registration for SLA Annual Ends Today

The early bird deadline is today and there's still time to save some money if you register now for the SLA 2010 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO. Here's a little of what you can expect:
  • Networking opportunities! Sometimes the most valuable thing you'll learn will happen while talking to other information professionals.
  • Case studies and real-life examples. Many of the sessions feature real-life examples that you can learn from immediately. 
  • Top-notch INFO-EXPO hall. Looking for new vendors or new products? Get invaluable time to talk one-on-one with the leading companies in the industry. 
  • Keynote presentations: Featuring the husband-and-wife team of James Carville and Mary Matalin and Nicolas Carr, author of the forthcoming book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.

Catch the Early Bird Special...Register by 11:59 p.m. EDT on 9 April to save $280.00 off the full member onsite registration fee. This is one conference you can't afford to miss!

See you in New Orleans!

01 April 2010

SCRLC Event in Oneonta

South Central Regional Library Council College of DuPage Webcast Series
Technology Trends in Libraries: Tools, Skills, Staffing, Training

Date/Time: Friday, April 9, 2010, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm
Location: SUNY Oneonta, Milne Library, Oneonta, NY
Instructor: Eric Lease Morgan, Notre Dame University
Marshall Breeding, Vanderbilt University
Registration: FREE! However you must register to attend.
Bring your lunch and we will provide beverages and desserts.
Support: This webcast is funded by the NYS Department of Library Development with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Librarians know that the target of keeping technologically current is always moving, and budgets are static at best.  Each year, College of DuPage teleconferences dedicates one program that takes a look at future technology trends and gives librarians an important basis for their planning efforts.  Libraries are both adopters and innovators, and are increasingly looking beyond the library environment for technological innovations and solutions. 

This teleconference will address the current status of technology in the library and explore future technological trends as more information sources--and people-- migrate to online environments. Eric Lease Morgan, Head of the Digital Access and Information Architecture Department, University Libraries of Notre Dame, and others will explore libraries’ technology future. More information

28 March 2010

Student Opportunity at UNYSLA Spring Meeting

  • Do you have trouble speaking in front of a crowd?
  • Do you talk too fast and say the words “uh”, “um”, and “sooo” every ten seconds?

Then this is the right conference/unconference for you!

In the morning, we will discuss presentation and communication skills. The afternoon will be an unconference, a chance for you to discuss the issues that are important to you and to learn from peers and professionals in your industry.  

Apply now to be a student shadow or note taker and attend free of charge. We are looking for students who would like to introduce our presenters and write a short article for the UNYSLA website. We are also looking for students that are interested in taking notes during our unconference sessions.

Deadline for applying is April 16th.

Download Student Shadow Application (PDF)

25 March 2010

Registration for UNYSLA Spring Meeting is Open!

Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group? Can you make effective and compelling arguments to your audience? Do you have issues and topics you’d like to discuss with your information professional peers?  Then join us for a day of communication: Speak, Share, Learn

We’ll spend the morning developing our presentation skills with Susan McCartney and Bill Grieshober of the New York State Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College. Strong speaking skills can help you shine at your next interview, look good to management, and build your confidence. 

And in the afternoon? That’s your call. We’ll start our UnConference, discussing the topics and issues that are most relevant to your professional life.

See more details and register on our Events Page.

22 March 2010

UNYSLA Spring Meeting Hotel Deal

Are you attending the spring UNYSLA meeting, Speak , Share, Learn: An UNYSLA Conference & UnConference?
Of course you are! For those needing accommodations for the night, UNYSLA has obtained a discount rate for attendees at the Buffalo Marriott Niagara.

The UNYSLA room rate is $119. This discount will be good until April 9. Reserve your room today!

View Larger Map

16 March 2010

UNYSLA Local Area Social in Ithaca, 25 March

What:UNYSLA Local Area Meeting
When: Thursday 25 March
Where: Kilpatricks

On Thursday March 25th at 4:30PM the Ithaca Area Local Area of the Upstate Chapter of the Special Libraries Association will meet at Kilpatrick’s Pub located at 130 East Seneca Street Ithaca NY.

Kilpatricks will extend Happy hour for anyone attending this function $2.00 12 oz drafts, $3 House wine and $4 Stoli, Tanquery and Jim Beam drinks. Hors d'oeuvres will be served.

With Plenty of restaurants walking distance from Kilpatricks, located in the Hilton Garden Inn across from the Commons in Ithaca you shouldn’t have any problem getting home.

For more information contact Jacie Spoon your local area Coordinator at 607-254-8304.

View Larger Map

08 March 2010

Save the date: UNYSLA spring conference

Speak , Share, Learn:  An UNYSLA Conference & UnConference

Date: Friday 23 April 2010
Location: Anderson Gallery, University of Buffalo

Are you comfortable speaking in front of a group?  Can you make effective and compelling arguments to your audience?  Do you have issues and topics you’d like to discuss with your information professional peers?  Then join us for a day of communication. 
We’ll spend the morning developing our presentation skills with Susan McCartney and Bill Grieshober of the New York State Small Business Development Center at Buffalo State College.  Strong speaking skills can help you shine at your next interview, look good to management, and build your confidence. 
And in the afternoon?  That’s your call.  We’ll start our UnConference, discussing the topics and issues that are most relevant to your professional life.  
Wikipedia defines an unconference as “a facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose.”  Want to know how more about marketing your library, share how your library is using new technologies, or to discuss budget issues? These are just a few possibilities.   Stay tuned for more information and get ready to suggest the topics we should discuss. 
Hope to see you there!

09 February 2010

Librarian's Toolbox: Presence with Elena MacGurn

By Amanda Acquard

“In an ideal world where libraries take over the planet,” we would always have enough resources and stakeholder would automatically know our worth. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world, but luckily Elena MacGurn of Cornell University provided a model libraries can use for community outreach.

This workshop focused on strategy, in order to maximize limited resources, prove worth to key stakeholders and focus; i.e. not kill ourselves doing more with less. Outreach was the most important aspect of this workshop and everything else discussed was a means to outreach. Elena mentioned that 80% of SLA survey respondents say management does not understand the importance of the information profession. This gives us the opportunity to reach out to them and convince them otherwise.

Continue reading "Librarian's Toolbox: Presence with Elena MacGurn" »

08 February 2010

Student Stipends to Attend SLA Annual

Students, want to go to SLA annual in New Orleans, but your budget is pretty tight?

The Business & Finance Division offers professional grant awards and student stipend awards to help cover expenses at the 2010 SLA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, 13-16 June 2010. The Division will award student stipends and professional grants for a total of up to six $1,500 awards.

See the application materials for eligibility requirements.

Deadline: 1 March 2010

03 February 2010

SLA Annual Call for Posters

All Sciences Poster Session
Sponsored by: Biomedical & Life Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Food Agriculture and Nutrition, Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics, and Science-Technology Divisions, and the Special Libraries Association

Please consider sharing the results of your efforts at the upcoming All-Sciences Poster Session on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, at the Annual SLA Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. We are looking for poster submissions that explore any of these themes:
  • New Strategic Alignments
  • Survival and Success Beyond an Economic Recession
  • Information Literacy, User Instruction and E-Learning in the Sciences During and Beyond an Economic Recession: New Methods, New Participants, New Tools
For more information see the Chemistry Division's site. The deadline for abstract submissions is 15 March 2010.

B&F Poster Session "Innovations & Best Practices in Business Librarianship"

In this call for posters, the Business & Finance Division of SLA is providing an opportunity for business librarians to share ideas and develop research collaborations. We are looking for case studies or practical applications on a wide range of issues including:
  • Standards and competencies for business information librarians
  • Pedagogic approaches to business information education
  • Assessment of learning outcomes
  • Integrating business information with the curriculum
  • Librarian / faculty collaboration
  • New technologies for teaching business information topics
  • Business information education in multi-disciplinary contexts
  • Professional development for business librarians
  • Promoting business information research services
This session is sponsored by the Business & Finance Division and the College & University Business Librarians Section.

Guidelines for materials and layout of poster presentations are available on the SLA Business & Finance Division site. The deadline for abstract submissions is 1 March 2010.

Keep up-to-date on the latest SLA Annual 2010 conference via Twitter.

20 January 2010

Registration for SLA 2010 Annual Conference Now Open

Registration and housing are now open for SLA 2010!

Lagniappe (that's New Orleans-speak for something extra): New Orleans has some of the best bargains among major conference cities, with great prices on hotel rooms and world-class cuisine. And with more than 250 sessions, panels, and keynotes; endless networking and sharing opportunities; and the high-octane INFO-EXPO hall (where you can learn about new products and technologies), this is one conference you can't afford to miss!

The Early Bird conference registrations fee SAVES you money. Make your plans today to be in New Orleans for SLA 2010. Register Now!

Conference Hotel Accommodations
Discounted rooms for SLA 2010 will fill up quickly. Make sure you reserve your space today in one of the conference hotels through the official SLA Housing Office.

UNYSLA website has moved!

UNYSLA has moved our website!

We welcome your questions and comments.