Posted on October 20, 2015.
A Warm Hello, SLA-SD Members!
With October now in full swing, is it more than high time to come together for a recap of the year so far and share a summary of our chapter’s activities, both past and planned for the future. It has been a whirlwind since taking the reigns as SLA-SD Chapter President in January, and at last, I’m writing to take stock of what we’ve accomplished as a chapter so far this year, connect with happenings at SLA HQ, and look forward to our final plans on the calendar this fall and winter.
Some highlights of SLA-SD Board activities so far in 2015:
President Elect Eileen Schnur put together a creative and fun set of chapter programs so far this year, including:
- March: A tour of the NOAA SW Fisheries facility and library, followed by dinner at El Pescador Fish Market in La Jolla
- July: Our chapter’s first ever webinar, “Creating the Future for Information Professionals the Peter Drucker Way, led by Bruce Rosenstein and hosted by Safari Books Online
- October: A tour of the California Surf Museum, followed by dinner at Ruby’s Diner on the Oceanside Pier
Eileen also organized several happy hours get-togethers this year, including two “mixers” co-hosted by SANDALL and a mid-summer happy hour to kick off the SLA-SD’s annual children’s book drive. All together, these events brought unique learning and networking opportunities to our chapter members. Thanks to Eileen for all of her time and hard work in organizing our chapter programming this year!
Student liaison Marie Myers organized a successful 6th Annual Words Alive Book Drive from June – October this year. In total, Marie helped collect 255 children’s books to donate to Words Alive, and we thank her for all of her hard work!
Marie is also administering the chapter’s 2015 Student Scholarship competition, through which SLA-SD seeks to award a local San Diego County MLIS student interested in a career in special libraries with $1,000 plus a one-year student membership in SLA-SD. The successful applicant is also asked to participate on next year’s 2016 SLA-SD advisory board as the Student Liaison. This year’s application deadline is Monday, November 9, 2015. Please spread the word to any local MLIS/MLS/MIS students!
Past-President Jill Blaemers has been working tirelessly on this year’s nominating committee as she aims to find candidates for all vacant executive board positions, including President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Directors. Any SLA-SD member interested in volunteering to run for any of these positions is encouraged to contact Jill for more information.
Directors Penny Coppernoll-Blach and Deborah Kegel are currently moving full steam ahead in the final planning and organization stages for our anual SLA-SD Fall Seminar, scheduled for Friday, October 30th. This year’s seminar theme is Forging Forward: Techniques & Technologies for Gauging Success, and Penny and Deborah have a great slate of speakers lined up to talk about diverse topics related to evaluation and assessment. Registration for the Fall Seminar is now open – but act fact, as registration closes at the end of the day on Friday, October 23! This event is always our biggest program of the year, and we’re hoping for another success in 2015. Please share the seminar announcement with any colleagues who may be interested!
Our full SLA-SD Executive and Advisory Boards have been putting great effort into providing engaging resources, communications, and programming for you, and I extend my thanks to everyone for all of their time and hard work so far in 2015! This includes several new Advisory Board members who we welcomed to our team this year, including Elizabeth Grossman as Vendor Relations Chair, Kelly McKeever as Membership Chair, and Kristi Ehrig-Burgess as Hospitality Chair, each of whom has been a great addition to SLA-SD.
Please keep your eye out for more news on the SLA-SD Blog (sign up here!) and listserv (sign up information here). In addition, all are welcome to attend SLA-SD quarterly board meetings and/or access approved board meeting minutes on our Blog.
Beyond our local chapter, 2015 has been a big year for SLA as an organization. For better or for worse, now is a time of strategic change. As communicated by SLA HQ to all members, the organization is at a point of analysis and restructuring – in large part due to financial difficulties, which have grown significant enough to require a critical examination and swift change. In an effort to provide SLA members with a “one stop shop” for information about significant events and initiatives happening with the SLA Board and HQ, a Key Board Initiatives page was created, with links to relevant reports and discussions. In SLA President Jill Strand’s message for 2015, she emphasized the theme “Lean into the curve,” which indeed the organization has, as we all face inevitable change head-on.
At the beginning of 2015, the organization hired two Change Consultants on a contract basis (Cindy Shamel, of SLA-SD, and Ulla de Stricker) to review the organization and surrounding climate in its current state and create recommendations for the board in building a road map for positive change moving forward. The Change Consultants finalized and delivered their ”SLA Recommendations Report” to the SLA Board in May of this year, followed by much discussion and commentary by SLA leaders and members, including a June discussion session organized by our local SLA-SD chapter. After the open comment period closed in June, all comments were reviewed and shared among the SLA Board members. After a thorough Board review of the Recommendations Report and member comments, the Board voted to “receive” the report (meaning Board members read the report and acknowledge work done but no action had been taken on it).
In July of this year, the Board voted to receive a new edited version of the Change Consultants’ original Recommendation Report, titled “Board-Revised Recommendations”, updated in part in response to a review of member comments. In July, the Board also voted to accept a high-level document titled the “Road Map for the Future of SLA”, prepared jointly by the SLA Board and HQ staff; the road map includes a general summary of steps by which the Board will move SLA forward. This document was accepted, which means the Board approves the content and direction of the document and will work toward implementation. The Change Consultants were also directed to work alongside the Board and HQ staff to prepare a detailed, multi-phase implementation plan for the general road map. This detailed plan is currently in development and will be shared with all SLA members upon completion.
So far, we have already seen bits and pieces of significant change in SLA, including the announcement that SLA will engage the services—at least temporarily—of an Association Management Company (AMC) rather than hire new executive leadership at this point to replace former CEO Janet LaChance. SLA also announced a significant member dues restructuring this month.
More news of change will certainly be on the horizon, and all SLA members are encouraged to be engaged in discussion on these important issues.
All that said, it has been a big year for SLA as an organization, and a good year for SLA-SD as a chapter. I look forward to seeing and connecting with many of you at the Fall Seminar later this month. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about the chapter or open up a conversation about ideas for the future—we love receiving feedback from our members! Please also be on the lookout for an announcement about our annual SLA-SD Holiday Dinner and Business Meeting, which will be scheduled for a weekday in the first two weeks of December – details to be announced in early November via our blog and listserv.
Thank you again for your engagement and support so far this year. SLA-SD would be nothing without its active volunteers and members!
SLA San Diego Chapter
Amy Jankowski, SLA-SD 2015 President