13 September 2011

2011 UNYSLA Student Merit Award

The UNYSLA Student Merit Award provides a $100 each year to an LIS student who is active in SLA or their student group. Nominations for the award will be accepted until September 20th.

More information and nomination form


Purpose of the Award:   The UNYSLA Student Merit Award seeks to recognize and reward the active participation of student SLA members through their involvement in their Student Group activities.

Eligibility for Nominations:  Any chapter member may nominate a student for the Merit Award.

Eligibility to receive the award:  Any SLA member who is also enrolled in a masters or PhD level library or information studies program.

Award criteria:  Award criteria may include one or more of the following:

  • increased SLA student memberships
  • expanded professional development opportunities both formal and informal; 
  • raised the profile of the SLA Student Group in their own school; on their own campus; or in the professional community; 
  • brought educators and practicing special librarians together; 
  • increased or enhanced the profile of special librarianship and/or the SLA within their academic or broader community.

Nominations will be ranked based upon clearly stated and documented quantitative and qualitative evidence. Be sure to clearly state the category of nomination and address the award criteria listed above.
Examples of demonstrated achievement include:

  • Membership promotions
  • Website development 
  • Discussion list management
  • Internships 
  • Mentoring programs 
  • Publications
  • Chapter/Division or Association-level involvement 
  • University or School committee leadership

Ask the Copyright Experts - 2011 Fall Webinar

Ask the Copyright Experts - Fall Update
Date: 14 September 2011
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
Price: No Charge for SLA Members

Presenters: Adam Ayer (LicenseLogic), Frederic Haber (Copyright Clearance Center), Lesley Ellen Harris (Copyrightlaws.com), and Keith Kupferschmid (SIIA)

This interactive session will explore recent developments in the copyright and licensing arena. The presentations and panel discussions always prove to be interesting and informative. Bring your questions!

Who Should Attend: Information professionals around the world who oversee the use and sharing of content (regardless of format) in highly collaborative business environments.

Find out more at SLA.org and look in Click University for upcoming webinars.

09 September 2011

Have you voted SLA elections yet?

Voting is open!  SLA members vote for the President-Elect, Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect, Division Cabinet Chair-Elect, and Directors.  Find out more about the candidates on the SLA website.

Save the Date! E-books and Libraries: Success All Around

E-books and Libraries: Success All Around
Date: October 14, 2011
Location: Inn Complete, Syracuse


We have a great set of speakers ranging from public and academic librarians to an attorney discussing e-books and the opportunities and challenges they present to all types of libraries. You will gain insight on staff training, technology challenges, collection development and digital copyright issues as they relate to e-books.

This exciting event will be held at the Inn Complete, Syracuse University’s own hidden treasure on the South Campus.  No need to worry about parking – there is plenty and it’s free.

Plan to attend the conference on October 14th.  Registration and detailed program information will be available soon.

See you at the Inn Complete!

Upstate New York Special Libraries Association

29 July 2011

How to know what the SLA Board of Director is working on

The SLA Board of Directors meet in person at the Leadership Summit and at the Annual Conference.  During the other months, the Board meets by conference call.  The agenda for each meeting is placed on the SLA web site prior to the conference call and members are encouraged share their thoughts, comments, ideas or concerns with SLA Board of Directors by contacting a board member (like me) or by sending an email to board@sla.org

While the agenda gives a very short description of what is going to be discussed, often more detail can be found in the previous month's minutes, since most topics stay on the agenda for several meetings.  You can even trace a topic through the minutes, if you so desire (e.g., finances).

Remember, too, that any questions, comments, concerns, etc., that you might have, you can send to your chapter president, Amelia Birdsall, who has the ear of the Division Cabinet Chair.

16 July 2011

Quick Wrap-up of the SLA Annual Conference

Before the Info-Expo OpenedNearly two fortnights ago, the SLA Annual Conference wrapped up in Philadelphia.  4,301 people attended the conference, including members, vendors, etc.  This was more than the number of people that attended the conference in New Orleans and increased the energy of the conference.  (Note: 1,116 members registered for the entire conference.  139 members registered for only one day.  Additional members attended as vendors or attended a CE only.) 

The conference had last been in Philly in 2000.  Like 2000, the closeness of everything - convention center, hotels, food and night life - was a positive.  Second home for many attendees became the Reading Terminal Market, which was across the street from the convention center.  Every convention center - and SLA conference - should have that quality of food nearby!

2011 SLA FellowsHowever, we don't come to the conference for the food, but for the opportunity to learn from each other and from the presenters.  The Sunday keynote was given by Tom Friedman, who wrote The World is Flat. Ned Potter and Don Hawkins have written good summaries of his presentation.  Friedman's key point was that "average" is no longer good enough.  If your job can be outsources or replaced by technology, it will be.  For us - librarians and information professionals - that means that we need to focus on those things that are uniquely ours and not those things where we are competing with lower cost options. In talking with an LIS student recently, I used readers advisory as an example (i.e., making book/media recommendations).  Yes, there is a benefit if librarians are involved in recommending literature, etc., but there are services that provide that as well as social networks where people can turn to for assistance.  Is there some other services where we should be focusing instead?  Every information professional will think of something different (e.g., digital literacy) and that is okay.  The key is to recognize those areas that are our domain and which cannot be diverted to someone else.

While our heads were swimming with Friedman's words and their implications, conference attendees dove into a myriad of sessions.  Two that I enjoyed - and learned from - were "60 apps in 60 minutes" given by Joe Murphy and Scott Brown and "All of Your Copyrights are Ours", which speaker Dorothea Salo retitled "I own copyright so I pwn you!"  ("pwn" is a term used in gaming and it basically means "own", but with more intensity.)  (Salo's slides and notes from Don Hawkins.)

With one-third of U.S. cell phone users currently using smartphones and a prediction that 50% will be using smartphones by the end of the year, as well as the growing number of tablet devices, apps are increasingly important.  We need to be able to talk about apps and perhaps even recommend apps, which makes presentations like "60 apps in 60 minutes" even more useful.  Murphy and Brown talked about a wide range of apps, including ones that were good for travel as well as business and personal productivity.  Some people in the audience were even downloading apps as they were being mentioned!

Dorothea Salo and Christian MillerNo notes can capture Dorothea Salo's passion, so it is unfortunate that her presentation wasn't recorded for later viewing.  She is an advocate for us exerting our rights and exercising fair use.  She also believes that we - librarians - should not be copyright police.  What is implied in her presentation is that we all need to understand copyright lawYou can't know how to exert your rights and exercise fair use if you do not know what is in the law.  Understanding the law will also help when reviewing publisher and database provider contracts, so that you know when they are creating licenses that limit what is acceptable under the law.

The final keynote was given by James Kane, who is working with several SLA chapters on a loyalty project. (notes, notes, handout/workbook) I know that some people association the word "loyalty" with brand loyalty and shopping, yet every group/network/association/etc. is affected by loyalty.  Kane divides people into four groups - antagonist, transactional, predisposed and loyal.  (His handout gives details about each category.) We want people to be loyal, however, we have people in SLA that are predisposed, transactional and antagonist.  What does that mean for the Association and how can we increase loyalty? 

Where Ben Franklin's home had beenDuring Kane's presentation at the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) on Sunday, he noted that 6% of SLA members are loyal, based on a survey he conducted.  He believes that the Association should have 20% of its membership that describe themselves as being loyal. His work with several chapters will help them increase their number of loyal members and then allow those chapters to teach the rest of us what they've learned.

The annual business meeting for the Association was also on Wednesday. Our treasurer, Dan Trefethen talked about changes in dues allotment, which will affect every SLA unit. He followed up to unit leaders in email with this recap:

Although we have suffered a 30% reduction in revenues over the past couple of years, we have continued to pass the same allotments per member to the units.  This has continued despite the fact that the sliding scale member rates have caused our dues revenue to drop dramatically, faster than our membership headcount has dropped.   In effect, the percentage of dues revenue going to the units has been increasing.  In 2006, the units received a 20% increase in their allotments from that year's dues increase, and have continued to receive the same fixed amount per member despite the restructure of our dues rates.

In Philadelphia the Board of Directors approved an adjustment to how the unit allotments are calculated.  In 2012, a new method of calculating allotments will be implemented: units will receive an amount for each of their members that is proportional to that member's dues rate.  We will all share in equal proportion the amount of dues revenue that we receive.

For instance, a member paying $200 for their basic dues will earn today's full allotment rate for each of his/her units:  $14.40 for a chapter, $12.00 for a division and $7.20 for a caucus.  A member at the $185 rate will pass through 93% of the full allotment to the units (since $185 is 93% of $200), so the amounts would be $13.39 for chapters, $11.16 for divisions and $6.69 for caucuses.  And so on. 

The Board also voted to eliminate the minimum dues allotment.  This action will primarily affect smaller chapters (no divisions currently receive the minimum allotment).

Trefethen has provided unit leaders and unit treasurers with additional information, so they can begin to understand the effect of these decisions. Unit leaders are encourage to talk to him about any questions or concerns that they have. Hopefully units will begin to share ideas on how they will mitigate the effect of this (e.g., raising the fee non-members pay to attend SLA events).

McGillinsNo conference is complete without networking, and there was lots of it in Philly thanks to every unit that provided a formal opportunity for people to talk, as well as all of the informal opportunities that presented themselves. These events were also wonderful occasions for people to meet those that they had gotten to know via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. before the conference.  There were many "ah...I know you" moments.

And that is likely my last take away from the conference - the importance of social media. A few years ago, people shared massive amounts of information through their blogs and some people even "live blogged" the conference.  Now people share information via Twitter and other social sites as it occurs.  While this means that there is a rich Twitter stream of information, it also means that there aren't those meaty blog posts of the past that provide rich details about the sessions.  At this point, there have been more than 14,000 tweets with the SLA2011 hashtag. Those tweets are available through Twapper Keeper. This a useful archive, but you don't get the context which can be very important.

Our reliance on social media is going to increase, especially as the number of mobile devices increases.  That means that if you want to follow the online conversations during SLA 2012 (and the Leadership Summit), you will need to be using social media.  If you aren't, don't wait...get started now!

03 May 2011

Student Essay Contest Winner!

The winner of the UNY SLA Student Essay Contest is Deborah Cooper!

Deborah is enrolled via San Jose State University, online program.

Some of her ideas for how UNY SLA could actively engage library/information science students in the Upstate New York area included:

  • holding local casual get-togethers for LIS students;
  • hosting tours of special libraries in Upstate New York; and
  • creating an email newsletter just for student members.

Congratulations, Deborah!

25 April 2011

New Member Profile: Meredith Ship

Meredith Ship recently completed her MSc in Library Science from City University London and is excited about the opportunity to begin a career as an information professional. Meredith has a BA in English and French from Dickinson College.

After obtaining her BA, she attended the University of Denver Publishing Institute to learn about the publishing industry. In August 2008 she completed an internship at BOA Editions, Ltd. where she learned the ins and outs of working in a small publishing house. In addition to her time at BOA, she also worked as a Team Lead at Teavana - a company that sells loose-leaf tea. While at Teavana, Meredith honed her customer service skills as she contemplated the next step in her career. In 2009, she enrolled in the Library Science program at City University London and moved overseas for 13 months. In her free time, Meredith loves to travel, bicycle, hike, read, and cook.

21 April 2011

New Member Profile: Samantha Quell

Samantha Quell is completing her Master’s degree in Library & Information Science at SUNY Buffalo. She has a B. A. in art history from SUNY Oneonta.

Samantha spent four years as a work study student in bibliographic services at SUNY Oneonta’s Milne Library, mostly managing online journal subscriptions. She also spent eighteen months as a book conservation intern at Syracuse University. These experiences led Samantha to the LIS field. She is currently interested in cataloging and building digital libraries. Samantha enjoys spending her free time reading, painting, making books and playing with her three-year old nephew.


03 April 2011

Toot Your Own Horn Preview - Jim DelRosso

“Plural of Anecdote: Assessing the Success of a Digital Repository” will be presented by Jim DelRosso at the April 8th UNYSLA meeting, "Toot Your Own Horn."  Here is a preview:

Anyone who's taken a stats class -- and plenty of other folks besides -- knows the danger of relying on unsupported anecdotal evidence. Yet the data available to us through our myriad assessment tools often proves ineffective or disconnected without the context provided by a strong narrative. This session will discuss how the Web & Digital Projects Group at Cornell University's Catherwood Library seeks to find a balance, using stories and data analysis to not only assess the success of DigitalCommons@ILR and their other projects, but also define what success means for those projects.

Interested?  See more details about "Toot Your Own Horn."


JimDelRosso_head-CopyJim DelRosso is the Web & Digital Projects Manager at Cornell University's Catherwood Library, home of DigitalCommons@ILR, the digital repository of Cornell's ILR School. He received an MSLIS from Syracuse University in August 2009, along with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Digital Libraries. His areas of interest are the creation of library communities in digital spaces, as well as the preservation and dissemination of digital resources

01 April 2011

Toot Your Own Horn Preview - Jill Hurst-Wahl

“Why Assessment Matters: Defining Your Results” will be presented by Jill Hurst-Wahl at the April 8th UNYSLA meeting, "Toot Your Own Horn."  Here is a preview:

The year is 2013 and your management has called you in to discuss your library’s impact.  Would you have the data needed in order to answer the questions (and perhaps concerns)?  To prepare you for conversations like that one, we will begin by discussing the options available for assessing your library’s services.  After that foundation has been laid, we will work together to understand traditional and creative methods for capturing the data you need.  Throughout the session, we’ll keep an eye toward those methods that you can implement now.

Interested?  See more details about "Toot Your Own Horn."

10hurstwahl_J95 Jill Hurst-Wahl is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and a member of SLA’s Board of Directors. Her teaching – including “Library Planning, Marketing and Assessment” - and consulting strive to help libraries and librarians be more visible and demonstrate their value. Those themes are also in her book with Ulla de Stricker entitled The Information and Knowledge Professionals Career Handbook: Define and Create Your Success.

30 March 2011

Toot Your Own Horn Preview - Sean Branagan

“Branding and Message Development” will be presented by Sean Branagan at the April 8th UNYSLA meeting, "Toot Your Own Horn."  Here is a preview:

Part 1: Branding is not about the logo or tagline

Many of us have been fooled: We have been taught to believe a brand is a logo or “mark” or cute tagline. These are assets of a brand. Using well-known successful brands as example, we will discuss the process of creating a brand key and how to use it to guide the development of brand assets: logos, colors, themes, taglines, campaigns, etc.

Part 2: The “Not-so FAQ”Methodology

With complex products, services and organizations, we developed the “No-so FAQ” process as a starting point for client message development. It is an iterative process, that goes wide and deep with a list of probing questions -- “not so frequently asked questions.” This Not-so FAQ is then used as the basis for ever-shorter narrative messages. The Not-so FAQ creates a basis for supported messaging, that’s clear, thoughtful, and meaningful to the market. It is a process the helps identify gaps and discrepancies that exist in how you think and talk about yourself.


Sean Branagan is a serial entrepreneur, technology marketer, consultant, educator and speaker on marketing, online and digital media and technology startups.

Sean is Director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. He is also CEO and eVangelist of Digital Vertical Marketing, a search and social media marketing firm serving companies in key vertical industries; founder and president of Communigration, Inc, a technology marketing firm working with companies worldwide; and General Partner of C3 Strategic, LLC, a management consulting and venture firm for early-stage tech companies.

Sean is a recognized expert in interactive marketing, primarily with technology and business-to-business companies. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Sean’s experience with the Internet and World Wide Web began in 1993 at a national super computing center. Since then, he has engaged in online strategy and interactive marketing for all kinds of organizations, including Bulova Watches, ClearBlue Technologies, Cutco Cutlery, The DuPont Registry, Global Marine Systems, Ltd., Indium Corporation of America, Lighthouse International, NaviSite, New Era Cap Company, Rack Room Shoes, Syracuse University, Time-Warner/Road Runner, Welch-Allyn, Wilton-Armetale, UTC/Carrier and Zogby International.

Students - Attend the UNYSLA Spring Meeting for Free


Interested in networking with local information professionals?

Eager to market yourself and your achievements to potential employers?

Consider volunteering as a “student shadow” at the Friday, April 8, 2011 UNYSLA Meeting, "Toot Your Own Horn: Measuring & Meeting Your Objectives" in Liverpool, New York (just outside Syracuse).

Library and information studies students will “shadow” each speaker, which will include introducing their speaker, sitting with him/her at lunch, and writing a short article for the UNYSLA website.

Apply now to be a student shadow and attend free of charge!

Email the following information to Erin at erin.rowley@us.bureauveritas.com by April 1:




Expected graduation date

SLA member (yes or no)

A brief paragraph (250 words or less) on your career plans
and how shadowing at this meeting can help you achieve them.

28 March 2011

Student opportunity to attend SUNYLA Conference

Financial assistance is available for a library school student to attend the annual SUNY Librarians Association (SUNYLA) conference at SUNY Plattsburgh, from June 15 – 17, 2011. The purpose of the Scholarship is to offer an introduction to academic librarianship, provide professional growth opportunities and encourage involvement with SUNYLA.

The Scholarship is a voucher covering:

  • Travel (maximum $350) and lodging costs
  • Registration fees
  • Conference meals

You qualify if you are currently enrolled in a New York State ALA accredited MLS program or its equivalent.

To apply:
Write an essay of no more than 800 words on the following topic: The 2011 conference theme is Shared Borders: Collaborating for Success.  How can academic libraries and librarians collaborate with one another to better meet the evolving needs of their users?  Please discuss specific ideas for potential collaborative efforts and how you expect them to succeed in today's information environment.

The essay will be judged on both content and the logical, literate development of your essay.

Deadline is April 15, 2011, and the recipient will be notified by May 6, 2011.
Please e-mail as an attachment (.doc or .pdf) to Wendi Ackerman ackermaw@upstate.edu

16 March 2011

Want to share a ride to the UNYSLA Spring Meeting?

14 March 2011

Registration is open for "Toot Your Own Horn: Measuring & Meeting Your Objectives"

Register here for UNYSLA’s Spring Meeting,  http://sla-divisions.typepad.com/unysla/registration/

Toot Your Own Horn: Measuring & Meeting Your Objectives

Date: Friday, 8 April 2011
Location: Maplewood Inn, Liverpool, NY
Time: 10:00am-3:00pm

We will be joined by Jill Hurst-Wahl (Syracuse University), Jim DelRosso (Cornell University) and Sean Branagan, (Syracuse University) to explore library assessment and marketing.  Learn how to measure the value of your work, and how to effectively express that value to others.    Proving your worth might just help you with your next promotion or achieving tenure.  Networking with your Upstate NY colleagues won’t hurt either! 

Registration fees include a buffet lunch:

SLA Members: $55

Non-members: $65

Students: $30

Maplewood Inn

400 Seventh North, Liverpool, NY 13088 (map)
Main: (315) 451-1511
Toll Free: (866) 318-9937

A small block of rooms is available at a special UNYSLA rate of $79 + taxes (Business Class is $89 + taxes) for April 7. Reserve soon to take advantage of this great rate!  Please mention SLA when you make your reservations for these rates.

Hope to see you there! 

03 March 2011

Save the date: 2011 UNYSLA Spring Meeting

The Upstate New York Special Libraries Association proudly presents:

Toot Your Own Horn:  Measuring & Meeting Your Objectives


Date: 8 April 2011
Location: Maplewood Inn, Liverpool, NY
Time: 10:00am-3:00pm


Join us and explore library assessment and marketing.  Learn how to measure the value of your work, and how to effectively express that value to others.   

Proving your worth might just help you with your next promotion or achieving tenure.  Networking with your Upstate NY colleagues won’t hurt either! 

Registration details will be available soon!


01 March 2011

Win Free Student Membership to SLA!

Are you a library/information science student in Upstate New York interested in special librarianship?  Would you like to join the Special Libraries Association?

The Upstate New York Chapter of SLA is offering a FREE one-year membership to SLA and UNY SLA!

Send us your creative ideas on how UNY SLA can actively engage with library/information science students in the Upstate New York area who are interested in special librarianship. To see what UNY SLA currently does, visit our website at: www.unysla.org  

To enter:

  • Send a short essay with your creative ideas
  • Be sure to include your name, email, phone number, address, and the library/information science program in which you are currently enrolled
  • Send all the information above to erin.m.rowley@gmail.com

DEADLINE: April 1, 2011

Winners will be selected and notified by April 8, 2011

Please note: this contest is only open to students who currently attend a school or live in the Upstate New York area.

23 February 2011

President's Report: 2011 SLA Leadership Summit

By UNYSLA President, Amelia Birdsall

I left this year’s Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.  feeling great.  Three days in the company of smart, dedicated and fun information professionals left me feeling reinvigorated, and eager to get things done in our Upstate New York Chapter.  I spent much of the train ride home writing to-do lists and circling things in my notes, ready to get to work. 

This feeling isn’t a new one for me.   I usually feel this way when I leave an UNYSLA event.  No matter what our topic, at the end of the day I have new ideas to bring back to my office, and renewed energy about our profession.  Spending time with my SLA colleagues empowers me to think about my job and my professional life differently. 

The research shows that the more you put into your involvement in a volunteer-based organization, the more you get out of it.  With that in mind, I’d like to encourage you all to step-up your UNYSLA involvement this year.  Consider running for an elected position for 2012.  Join the board as a local area meeting planner or mentoring chair.  Or participate on one of several committees, like communications, vendor relations or membership.  Don’t feel that you have time for an official position?  Consider taking on a short term task, like coordinating carpooling to the SLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia or researching virtual meeting tools.   It’s time to revisit the kinds of programs and educational opportunities the Chapter provides.   Contribute to the chapter by providing your ideas on types and topics of programs you’d like to see.   Invest you energy into your local chapter, and I bet you’ll be rewarded with more energy in return. 

A few highlights from the Leadership Summit:

  • Web changes aplenty:  Expect to see some major revisions to SLA.org, putting resources you need and use right up front.  There will also be changes to unit (Chapter & Division) webpages.  An SLA committee has created a Wordpress template to unify the unit pages and make us look like we’re all part of the same organization!
  • Philadelphia 2011 is going to be pretty cool.  Not only is it super-close for our Upstate New Yorkers, keynote speakers Thomas Friedman and James Kane should be great.  If you haven’t heard of him, Kane is an expert on loyalty, and will also be working with one lucky chapter on a loyalty-related project.  
  • SLA President Cindy Romaine’s Future Ready 365 blog is dynamic and exciting.  We’re all invited to share a post on how we’re “future ready,”  preparing ourselves for what’s next in the information world.  It’s alignment in action.  


22 February 2011

2010 UNYSLA Business Meeting & Dinner




The transfer of the gavel from Elaine Lasda Bergman to UNYSLA's newest President, Amelia Birdsall.





Networking dinner at The Ginger Man.

UNYSLA website has moved!

UNYSLA has moved our website!

We welcome your questions and comments.