I’m happy to introduce the SF Bay Region Chapter’s first annual Conference Buddy Program!
Are you going to the conference in San Diego as a first-timer or relative novice? If you’re feeling a bit new at all this, or would like to be introduced to other SLA members, sign up today! We’ll pair you with a buddy to help you navigate the programs, INFO-Expo Hall, and receptions. Once you have a familiar face or two at the conference, you’ll be amazed at how often you’ll see them in the halls!
Are you a more experienced conference-goer with several years under your belt and a heavy weight of conference pins for your lanyard? Sign up to mentor a chapter member with less experience, and gain a chance to see this year’s conference through fresh eyes.
We’ll be pairing up first-timers with veteran conference-goers for as much advice, mentoring, and familiar-face-at-networking-events as is desired. Mentor buddies will be asked to contact their mentees before the conference in order to help answer any pre-conference questions that come up. Buddies can attend an open house or reception together, grab something to drink during a break, hit a dine-around, or whatever works for the pair. The experienced buddy can introduce the newbie to other SLA members and provide tips on how to best tackle the conference.
Please sign up for the Conference Buddy Program by Monday, April 22nd. We’ll match up buddies and email you so that you can make plans for the conference, and maybe meet first at the chapter program on May 22nd!
Of course, the first tip is to catch that worm! If you haven’t already registered for the conference, stop delaying! The Early Bird rate is only available through April 12th; on April 13th, the full member rate rises from $529 to $699. Student registrations are just $190!
Way back what seems like ages ago, but is, in reality, only 3 weeks past, I was in Dallas for SLA’s 2013 Leadership Summit. Many thanks to the Texas Chapter for all of their hard work and their big Texas welcome! For those unfamiliar with the event, this annual meeting brings together the SLA Board, HQ staff, and chapter and division Presidents/Chairs and Presidents/Chairs-Elect to discuss the state of the Association, the challenges we face, and the plans for the road ahead.
This was my first Summit – my trip last year as President-Elect was cancelled at the very last minute due to some personal drama – so I was very excited to be able to attend this year. In spite of the fact that I spent two full days in a hotel conference room, it was a wonderful experience and I encourage anyone interested in getting involved in leadership positions with SLA, or who is just interested in the inner workings of the association, to attend. You do not have to be a current unit Board member to go. While there are obviously plenty of opportunities to meet people at the Annual Conference, the Leadership Summit provides a more intimate setting, bringing together folks with SLA-famous Twitter handles for the common goal of making our Association more vital and relevant to members and potential members everywhere.
Some of the highlights of this year’s Summit include:
In his Treasurer’s Report, new SLA Treasurer John DiGilio emphasized the “we are all one SLA” theme, and introduced specific plans for enhanced openness. He has started a new discussion list for unit Treasurers to more easily share information and ideas, and has committed to sending financial reports to unit leaders throughout the year. I will be sharing this information with the chapter as it arrives. John also reported that SLA broke even in 2012, and is projected to do so again in 2013. However, he noted an ongoing trend – over the last four years, SLA has managed to decrease expenses to keep in line with decreasing revenue, resulting in a balanced budget. This has led to some projects being deferred and, as we all know, a reduction in SLA HQ staff. They are running a very small, tight crew in Alexandria right now. There isn’t much fat left to cut, so the key issue going forward has to be bringing that downward revenue line on the graph back up. John also noted that 63% of SLA’s revenue comes from the annual conference, while conference expenses represent 43% of our outflow. So, everyone, register for the conference in San Diego!
SLA’s new Strategic Agenda was emphasized throughout the Summit. All leaders are being encouraged to consider how the decisions and actions we take in our chapters and divisions can support one of the five tiers of this program. For those unfamiliar with the agenda items, they include:
Strengthening and Improving the Annual Conference
Providing Professional Development Opportunities for Our Members Throughout the Year
Creating Richer Volunteer Experiences to Help Members Develop In-Demand Skills
Opening New Markets through Collaboration
Growth through Diversification of Information Professionals
Your chapter Board and Advisory Council will be exploring ways to promote and incorporate these ideas into our chapter activities going forward.
Chris Zammarelli, Chair of the First Five Years Advisory Council, announced a plan to hold a focus group at the 2013 conference to explore what our colleagues who are newer to the profession would find helpful and meaningful through their association membership. Please contact me if you are a newish information professional attending the conference and you would like to participate, or if you know someone who should.
By far, the announcement that received the most excitement, demonstrated by frequent “oohs”, “aahs”, and applause, was the introduction of the new SLA web site. Built on WordPress, the new site not only reflects the unified design aesthetics adopted by the units under Operation Vitality, it also makes things <gasp> easier to find. The site is attractive, intuitive, and functional. Prompted largely by a suggestion made by our own Tony Landolt, the new web site will also feature an association-wide event calendar, allowing members to view the programs hosted by various units throughout the year. You can use the calendar to find webinars in which you’d like to participate, or possibly to find interesting programs to attend and SLA members to meet if you happen to be travelling to another chapter region. The new web site is currently set to launch in early April. I stopped holding my breath a long time ago, but now that I’ve seen what’s coming, I’m virtually breathless with antici. . . (say it, say it) . . .pation.
The Leadership Summit also serves as the official kick-off for planning the 2014 Annual Conference. The conference will be held in Vancouver (June 8-10, 2014), and the theme is Beyond Borders. More changes are in store as SLA explores various ways to make the conference even more relevant to members, including a variety of session time slots lasting 60, 90, and 120 minutes, and 15-minute “Quick Take” slots for hot topics. Three themes were also announced for further consideration by all divisions in spotlight sessions, Sunday: Embedded Information Services, Monday: Digital Content and Big Data, Tuesday: Leadership in the Human Age.
I represented the San Francisco Bay Region Chapter with a presentation on our chapter’s first foray last fall into charging for webinars. The extremely detailed procedures document written by Chris Orr, our Professional Development Chair, proved invaluable in developing the presentation, and the session was well-received. The detailed instructions, lessons learned, and issues to consider going forward seemed to be very useful for the units who have not embarked on this endeavor before. My presentation was also well-matched with that of Rachel Bates Wilfahrt, president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Since their chapter sponsored several webinars last year, it was nice to have the perspective of a unit with lots of experience to show what’s possible, as well as that of our chapter which still has our lessons learned so fresh in our heads. The slides from my presentation, as well as all of the other presentations from the 2013 Leadership Summit, are available here: http://www.sla.org/content/resources/leadcenter/LeadershipSummit/13leadsummit/slides.cfm. Note, member login is required for access.
Finally, last, but most certainly not least, the 2013 Fellows and Rising Stars were announced:
A special shout out for San Francisco Bay Region Chapter member Kendra Levine, current Chair of the Transportation Division, for her recognition.
The Summit concluded with a look forward to San Diego, including the introduction of SLA’s “Get on the Beach” Recruitment Campaign, and the enjoyment of the always visionary musical stylings of Richard Geiger and Tim DeWolf. As you gear up to attend the conference, kick your excitement up to 11 with this rousing rendition of a Woody Guthrie classic! You can listen while you register!
I am very pleased to announce the launch of the SF Bay Region chapter’s newly revitalized social media presence. Many of you may already be aware of the chapter’s group on LinkedIn. This group will continue on as it has, albeit with a few additional administrators. If you aren’t already a member of this group, I urge you to join.
In addition, thanks to the efforts of Lauren Reid, our new Networking Chair, our chapter has new, active accounts on Twitter and FaceBook. Lauren has been working energetically on both accounts for a few weeks now, so check them out to see the type of information that is being made available to you. In addition to SLA announcements and links to Bayline posts, you’ll find information about networking and professional development opportunities, calls for papers, and news of general interest to information professionals.
On FaceBook, we opted for a group, rather than a page, because it is focused more on the people making up the community. All group members should feel free to post stories of interest or comment on anything you see on that page. I hope you’ll join our group at https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/50637818626/. We also plan to use this account to promote chapter events, so be sure to connect with your colleagues by marking yourself as “attending” an event if you plan to register.
In addition to using these venues to connect with each other, we hope these resources will also help us communicate our presence and value to non-members. Heather Gamberg, our PR Chair, is currently strategizing the best ways to use these resources, and other forms of media, to push our message out past the choir box and into the larger world.
Finally, on the topic of chapter communications, are you signed up for the chapter discussion list? If you’re reading this via e-mail, you may be thinking that I have lost my mind. “Of course, I’m signed up for the discussion list. I’m reading this, aren’t I?” Look up at the “From” line. If you only receive chapter messages that appear to come from Linda Yamamoto, you are not signed up for the discussion list.
Linda very ably administers the discussion list, but she also moderates the chapter reflector. The reflector is an e-mail list used for official chapter and SLA headquarters announcements. You will see event listings and important messages from yours truly on this list, but the only person with permission to post to this account is Linda. All chapter members are automatically signed up for the chapter reflector by SLA headquarters.
The discussion list is a completely separate resource to which any subscriber can post. You’ll see the same types of official announcements as on the reflector, but also a variety of other e-mails sent by members, from requests for recommendations for particular software or services, to a vast array of webinar opportunities forwarded from other SLA units, many of them free to members.
If you are starting to wonder if you are on the discussion list, but can’t remember who has always been in that “From” line, there’s another easy way to tell. Have you been getting the Intersect Alert? This newsletter is sent to the discussion list every Sunday or Monday by the faithful members of your Government Relations committee, Michael Sholinbeck, Tony Sheaffer, and me. It provides annotated links to news stories related to the intersection between libraries/librarians and government information policies. If you have not seen this newsletter recently, you are not on the discussion list.
Please sign up for the chapter discussion list by sending an e-mail to email@example.com in the following format (leave the subject line blank):
Subscribe SLA-CSFO your-e-mail_address “FirstName LastName” (e.g. Subscribe SLA-CSFO firstname.lastname@example.org “John Doe”)
If you are not on the chapter discussion list, you are missing a great opportunity to connect with our chapter and its members. Don’t worry; the number of e-mails is not overwhelming.
Please note, even if you signed up in the past, the Lyris platform has an unfortunate tendency to drop people from time to time. This usually happens if your employer’s e-mail server flags a few messages as spam and, unknown to the subscriber, sends an “unsubscribe” request back. For those of you who signed up with your UC Berkeley e-mail address, it’s probably time to sign up again. I am working with HQ to try and find a way to resolve this ongoing issue, so hopefully we’ll have a better way to deal with it in the future.
Your chapter leaders are working hard to offer you ways to engage through a number of communication channels. Pick the one(s) that work best for you. I hope to be hearing from you soon!
Registration for SLA’s Annual Conference in San Diego, June 8-11, opens today! This is the first time the conference has been in our time zone since Seattle in 2008. Think about being able to make it to those 8:00 am sessions without the feeling that no amount of caffeine will keep your eyes open!
The conference schedule has changed this year; all CE programs will be on Saturday and regular sessions start on Sunday. The conference ends on Tuesday. The online conference planner is already up and running, so you can start choosing your sessions now.
Make sure to put the Western States Chapter Reception on your calendar for Sunday the 9th at 7:30. This year’s reception is being planned by our neighbors to the east in the Sierra Nevada Chapter. I spoke with BJ Combs, of the Sierra Nevada Chapter, while at the Leadership Summit last week, and the food and beverages promise to be plentiful!
Get to know San Diego and all it has to offer by visiting the conference wiki. Keep an eye on the site leading up to the conference as it will be continually updated.
It’s a short, inexpensive flight down the coast to beautiful San Diego! More details will be coming soon, but you’ll even have a chance to win lunch on the beach with Deb Hunt, who, it seems, could be easily convinced to take you on a boogie boarding adventure!
Library of Congress has archive of tweets, but no plan for its public display
In the few minutes it will take you to read this story, some 3 million new tweets will have flitted across the publishing platform Twitter and ricocheted across the Internet. The Library of Congress is busy archiving the sprawling and frenetic Twitter canon — with some key exceptions — dating back to the site’s 2006 launch. That means saving for posterity more than 170 billion tweets and counting, with an average of more than 400 million new tweets sent each day, according to Twitter.
Extension Gives You More Control Over Your Facebook Privacy
Facebook Messages has a feature that tells you when a chat recipient has seen a message. This “read receipt” is, in true Facebook fashion, both nifty and unsettling. And it brings with it tons of potential for abuse. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in method to opt out.
2012 in Review: Digital Rights Activism Around the World
Just as in the United States, where a multi-pronged campaign against SOPA and PIPA killed the freedom-restricting bills, activism for digital rights saw great successes—and innovations—in 2012. While not every campaign was as successful in quashing efforts to restrict rights, it was nonetheless a great year worldwide for digital activism. Here are a few highlights:
At the bustling public library in Arlington Heights, Ill., requests by three patrons to place any title on hold prompt a savvy computer tracking system to order an additional copy of the coveted item. That policy was intended to eliminate the frustration of long waits to check out best sellers and other popular books. But it has had some unintended consequences, too: the library’s shelves are now stocked with 36 copies of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Scanning Documents? Patent Trolls Want You To Pay Up
Earlier this week, Ars Technica profiled a particularly atrocious group of patent trolls who are demanding payments from small businesses for committing the egregious, shameful act of… scanning documents to email? Yes, the latest in a string of absurd patent-related stories involves the everyday act of using a networked scanner.
Google backtracks on Chinese anti-censorship feature
Google appears to be backtracking on its once unshakeable anti-censorship stance, after removing a feature from its Chinese site designed to help users avoid getting cut off from the internet. The feature — which flagged up a warning message whenever a user began typing a censored word, then redirected them to a help page that explained how to avoid being cut off from the web — appears to have been disabled some time between 5 and 8 December 2012.
A few weeks ago, I wrote to you all detailing the open Advisory Council positions with the chapter and asking for volunteers. I have been thrilled by the response and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our 2013 Advisory Council Chairs!
Academic Relations – Shelli Owens
Archives – Cathy Solomon and Jonathan Leff
Bayline – Tricia Soto
Government Relations – Michael Sholinbeck
Hospitality – Sarah Cook
Jobline – Lori Guidry
Listserv and Reflector – Linda Yamamoto
Mailing – Ginny Woodis
Networking – Lauren Reid
Nominating – David Grossman
Professional Development – Chris Orr
Tours – Claudine Taillac
Vendor Relations – Sandy Malloy
Webmaster – Becky Miller
You should not at all take this to mean that there are not still opportunities available for you to volunteer with the chapter! We are still looking for a Public Relations Chair, and we always have projects in the works, both short- and long-term. You can also volunteer as a committee member, getting, or keeping, your feet wet before stepping into a Chair position in the future. We have already had some members step-up to help out as committee members next year. In fact, all of them have already started in these roles! I would like to thank them as well.
Erin Meggyressy – Hospitality
Lisa Ngo – Professional Development
Tony Sheaffer – Government Relations
Please contact me if you are interested in hearing more about any of the volunteer opportunities that are still waiting for you!
A variety of tapas and paella, including vegetarian options.
One drink ticket is included.
SLA Program Cost:
$25 per person for everyone
ThirstyBear is located in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. It is a 6 minute walk from Montgomery BART and MUNI. Street parking and various garages are nearby. http://www.thirstybear.com/contact
Please register online or ensure your mail-in registration form and check are received no later than Thursday, December 13.
Event Refund Policy:
After careful review, the Executive Board of the SF Bay Region Chapter of SLA has decided that we cannot accommodate refunds or “rain checks” for our events (this includes programs, tours, professional development workshops, etc.).
Some reasons why:
• Our chapter does not make a profit on our events. We subsidize our events because it is important to us to be able to keep our attendance fees low.
• We are required to pay in advance for food and venues, and these costs are frequently based on head count. Therefore, we’ve already paid for your attendance.
• As a volunteer organization we are just not staffed to be able to keep track of refunds or attendance for future events.
So if you’ve paid for an event you find you cannot attend, please consider the following:
• Post a notice on our discussion board inviting a member to take your place
• Think of it a tax‐free donation to our organization.
Hello fellow chapter members! I am eagerly gearing up for my term as President of the San Francisco Bay Region chapter next year, and I am looking for people to join my team. As Mimi mentioned in her recent President’s Message, she and I are working on filling the open positions on the 2013 Advisory Council. Although we plan to offer more discrete volunteer opportunities working with all of our Advisory Council Chairs throughout the next year, our current need is to fill these specific Chair positions.
Here’s where we need you to raise your hand!
Bayline – As Mimi mentioned, the transition of Bayline to a blog format integrated into our new website was thrown off a bit due to unforeseen events in the life of our wonderful Bayline editor. We really need someone to step up and take the reins of our chapter newsletter. This would involve soliciting content to ensure at least two or three posts are generated a month (though more are welcome). You would have help since the Director and Assistant Director of Programs, along with the rest of the Board, are already soliciting write-ups of the various events throughout the year. However, we really need someone to solicit additional articles, set deadlines, edit the articles, and get them posted to the web site. Since the blog format is new, you’ll have a lot of opportunity to shape the Bayline editor role for the future.
Webmaster – The web site itself is in need of a new friend. Cynthia Matano has very skillfully migrated our chapter content to the new WordPress format bringing us into line with the association’s Operation Vitality efforts. Cynthia has worked long and hard to bring us through this transition and now she needs a break! Help us keep our web site up-to-date. You will receive leadership rosters from yours truly, meeting minutes from the Secretary, and event notices from the Director of Programs. You will help Vendor Relations post sponsor advertisements on the site. Now that we are on the same platform, we are also exploring options for creating a new version of the Jobline page that can exist simultaneously on the both chapters’ web sites.
Tours – Organize tours of local libraries and archives all over the Bay Area! These are very popular programs that always get great attendance. You will be responsible for setting up two tours, one in June and another in November. This is your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at whichever institution you’ve always wanted to see. Best of all, the current Tours Chair is moving into another position on the Board and will be available to pass along her list of ideas and help get you started!
Networking – Help our members connect with like-minded professionals! Keep current on local events sponsored by other groups of information professionals and make sure they know about our events, too! We are also looking at using this position to expand our social media efforts. Do you post questions or reply to other people’s posts on LinkedIn? Do you spend time engaging with groups on FaceBook? Are you active on Twitter? Spend a just a couple extra minutes on any or all of these platforms to develop the chapter’s presence.
Public Relations – We know how awesome we are, but you can help communicate the value of information professionals to the world outside our membership! Write or solicit articles for local business newspapers. Find out where the C-Level people go for their information and make sure we have a presence there, too! Work with the association’s Public Relations Advisory Council on their podcasting project to interview members’ bosses about the value and impact information professionals bring to the organization. This is a more externally facing position that can really be what you want to make of it.
Volunteering with the chapter pays back in dividends many times over. As with so many things in life, you will get back out what you put in. So get involved! Please contact me if you are interested in any of these positions, or in hearing about other volunteer opportunities that arise.
All year I’ve been talking about community, and coming up at the end of this month we have an excellent opportunity to build our community connections as we host our annual joint meeting with Silicon Valley. You’ll have a chance to meet old friends and learn what your colleagues down in the valley have been up to, in a great location not too far from home. Delancey Street Restaurant (http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/enterrestaurant.php) will have a private room for us with a beautiful view of the bay. It will be a fine night out.
Socializing is important, but we’ll also have an exceptional speaker panel, including Janice Lachance, SLA’s CEO; Brent Mai, the association’s President; and our own Deb Hunt, President-Elect. Chapter member David Grossman will lead the panel discussion with our three guests, who will give their perspectives on trends in information industries, as well as the SLA organization. We’ll be looking for audience participation, so get your questions ready.
I also want to update you all on our newsletter, Bayline, which has been conspicuous in its absence. As I announced in February, we’ve moved Bayline out of PDF and into a web-based format. Our plan had been to feed new content from the website weekly, and send you all e-mail updates on content approximately once a month. Unfortunately, our Bayline editor, Alys Tryon, has had to step away from the newsletter for a little while, which has put a crimp in our plans. We wish Alys the best, and look forward to having her back with us soon. In the meantime, as news comes in, I’ll incorporate key Bayline updates in my President’s Messages. In April, we had two posts.
Ian Palmer looks at content curation technologies: http://sanfrancisco.sla.org/category/bayline/
Mosaic: What’s Happening With Our Members: http://sanfrancisco.sla.org/2012/04/mosaic-whats-happening-with-our-members/
If you’ve got news worthy of Bayline, please send it along!
Finally I want you all to know that the board has recognized a need to give our members more specific opportunities to get involved with the chapter. As we’re beginning to look at our plans for next year, and build out our Advisory Council, we’re looking at ways we can provide opportunities beyond these board positions and get our members interacting with each other. I want to hear from all of you about the kinds of opportunities you’re looking for, and the skills you’d like to develop.