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Conference Report: USD Digital Initiatives Symposium

The University of San Diego hosted their first annual Digital Initiatives Symposium on April 9th.  Librarians from all over the country enjoyed 2 keynotes, 11 topical sessions, and a Digital Commons user group meeting.

In her opening remarks, Teresa Byrd (USD Dean of Libraries) identified three motivations for hosting this symposium. First, she believes that California librarians are highly segmented, both geographically and by type of library.  Second, she wanted to provide affordable and accessible professional development for librarians in California and neighboring states.  Lastly, she wanted to showcase emerging digital initiatives, which she sees as the future of libraries.

Throughout the day, speakers focused primarily on institutional repositories (IR) and open access (OA) publishing in academic libraries.  Several OA organizations were highlighted, including SHARE, SPARC, and COAPI.  Although OA is often thought of in terms of journal articles, presenters also discussed Open Educational Resources (OERs), which serve as free supplements or alternatives to traditional textbooks.  Major examples of OERs include Boundless Open Textbooks and MIT OpenCourseWare.

IRs and OA have converged within scholarly communication, as more and more academic libraries are offering OA publishing services through their IRs. Digital Commons, for example, enables in-house journal peer-review and publishing as well as conference organization and archiving. The Library Publishing Coalition provides resources for libraries interested in providing publishing services.

Digital CommonsSelectedWorks software was demonstrated as an easy way to highlight, preserve, and disseminate faculty research (as well as acknowledge the impact of grant funders’ support).  The software encourages professors to submit their own material, and outputs clean, user-friendly CVs for use on faculty and departmental websites.  To see these services in action, check out the implementations at GVSU and Caltech.

Speakers noted that IRs can be used for much more than archival digitization projects and electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).  At least two presenters noted that administrators actively use their IRs to archive current university policies and related documents, giving the library high-level support for their efforts.  Panelists from the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library discussed how many of their services are geared towards undergraduates. During accreditation examinations, they have pointed to their IR to demonstrate how their library supports faculty and graduate students. They also noted that digital initiatives are often cost-prohibitive for small institutions, but feasible through consortia; likewise, many grants require inter-institutional collaboration.

Multiple presenters noted that developing IRs in-house with open-source software (such as DSpace and Fedora) is often not feasible, due to the need for computer programmers. Cloud-based, TRAC compliant, hosted services may be expensive, but are cheaper and more reliable in the long-run.  Panelists also recommended using the standard installations of IR software; customization will be lost every time the software is upgraded, requiring a programmer to maintain the system.

CalPoly provided an overview of digital preservation requirements related to IRs.  Many libraries participate in LOCKSS networks to back up their data among multiple servers in multiple geographic locations.  LOCKSS (which stands for “Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe”) is an open source Stanford project which facilitates mutual, web-based backup of IR data by partner libraries, and is compatible with most IR software.  The Global LOCKSS Network was designed to preserve purchased e-resources, and has open membership at tiered pricing levels.  Alternatively, any institution can establish a Private LOCSKSS Network (PLN) for locally created content, and govern the consortium however it wishes.  CalPoly also reviewed the pros and cons of various preservation services, including Portico, Chronopolis, Amazon Glacier, Digital Commons PLN, Preservica, EVault, and MetaArchive (which was the solution they chose).  They analyzed these services in terms of cost (upfront and ongoing), how well-established the services were (both for sustainability and to avoid tech glitches), the use of digital curation best practices, and the ability to handle multiple kinds of content.

A common theme throughout the symposium was the need to generate faculty support for and participation in both IR and OA projects, lest we create “services with no market” (Debra Skinner, GSU).  Likewise, since IRs are very expensive and must have sustained, secured funding, librarians must continually reach out to stakeholders and demonstrate the value of IRs.  Fortunately, most IR services provide several options for tracking download statistics; Digital Commons even integrates IP address data to generate a world map of the IR’s usage, which tells a compelling story to faculty and administrators. Finally, to successfully engage in digital initiatives, librarians must be willing to continually learn new skills and learn from each other through conferences such as this one.

Despite the relevance of the program and the low registration fee ($35), there was relatively low attendance among San Diego librarians, and especially low attendance among junior librarians—those who will be implementing digital initiatives over the next 20 years.  Furthermore, no strategic librarians presented about digital initiatives in corporate libraries.  I strongly encourage my SLA San Diego colleagues to attend the symposium next year and submit session proposals about special libraries!

Note: the program and session abstracts are available here, with plans to archive session PowerPoints in USD’s IR this spring.


-Tim Gladson, SLA San Diego Communications Committee

Posted in Q1-20140 Comments

Membership Happy Hour

Membership Happy Hour

Please join fellow chapter members and local craft beer enthusiasts for a happy hour event:

Tuesday April 22

Ballast Point Brewery

10051 Old Grove Rd

San Diego, CA 92131

We’ll start gathering around 5 PM, but feel free to come whenever you are able to. For those interested, there will be a brewery tour at 6 PM.

This is a great opportunity to meet or reconnect with other chapter members in a casual and social setting.

See you at Ballast Point!

Ali Hennessey

Membership Committee Co-Chair


Posted in Events, Food and Drink, Membership News, UncategorizedComments Off

Spring Update

Greetings SLA-SD!

Hope everyone’s 2014 is going wonderfully!

Several members stepped forward in response to our call for committee volunteers and we thank them very much: Pat Alderman and Charlotte King-Mills, who will assist the Fall Seminar directors Isabelle Garcia and Helene Idels; and Tim Gladson, who is assisting Jamie Lin with blog management. In a recent post, Tim highlighted a few valuable resources on the SLA website that are available to members – if you missed it, visit here.

President-Elect Amy Jankowski would appreciate having a volunteer work with her to develop programming and help with event logistics. We had a great group in attendance at the first program of the year: the March 20 tour of the Central Library followed by an informal happy hour. Thanks Amy for organizing this fun event!

Subsequent to the February 2, 2014 board meeting, the Executive Board had a series of business items to complete and these actions have now been incorporated into the minutes (Thanks Kathy Elliot!). The minutes are now posted for your perusal on the blog.

As one of these tasks, the Executive Board approved the 2014 budget via electronic vote. We are happy to share that with SLA-San Diego members, but decided against posting it to the open web. Contact me or Treasurer Jennifer Silverman for a copy. In recognition of the healthy state of chapter finances, including reserves, we allowed some budget to help offset having to change member fees for regular programming. We also have money in the budget this year that is to be utilized specifically for member social events, based on a vote of the 2013 board. These funds are largely available as a result of the efforts of the 2013 Convention Planning committee, led by Kathy Quinn, and especially to Bobbi Weaver’s work in raising donations for the raffle baskets – thanks again to Kathy and all those who participated!

We’ve also made a few modifications to the Chapter Practices Manual, and Past President Talitha Matlin has finalled these changes and updated a few links in the manual.  It is posted to the website here. Thanks Talitha! The manual is an excellent resource for understanding how the chapter functions and what the roles and responsibilities are for chapter leaders. Please do peruse  and consider in particular if there are leadership areas, either executive or advisory board, that may be of interest to you.

As a reminder, I also encourage everyone to register on the blog to receive email notices and/or RSS updates when new items are posted to the blog. You can sign up for either tool by clicking on the relevant links under “Keep in Touch” on the right-hand side of the home page .

Feel free to send comments and suggestions anytime! I look forward to seeing you at the next SLA-San Diego event!!

Jill Blaemers, SLA-SD President 2014

Posted in Announcements, Current Affairs, From the President, Q1-2014, UncategorizedComments Off

SLA Online Resources

Looking for information about special libraries? SLA has several online resources that can help you get started.


Enjoy 29 free, archived SLA webinars on introductory topics.  Webinars are categorized under Careers, Copyright, Information Services, Search and Research, Skills, and Social Media.  Specific topics range from “Moving into Management and Team Leadership Roles”, to “Salary Negotiation”, to “What Is a Special Library?”.  Please note that these resources may take several minutes to download.

 Resource Guides:

SLA’s Resource Guides provide citations to articles, websites, and books on 7 topics: Career Planning and Competencies, Copyright and Licensing, Disaster Planning and Recovery, Embedded Information Services, Information Ethics, Information and Knowledge Audits, and Knowledge Management.  Although these citations are neither exhaustive nor current, they are excellent places to start your research.

 Calendar of Events:

SLA puts on numerous webinars and programs every month of the year.  Although the Click University courses have registration fees, many chapter and division webinars are free.  Stay current and get in touch with colleagues who share your interests! Upcoming free events include WordPress (March 11), “The Accidental Learner: 40 sources (or more!) in 60 minutes” (March 12), Curriculum Media Centers (March 14), Business War Games (April 3), and Competitive Intelligence (April 17).


-Tim Gladson, SLA San Diego Communications Committee

Posted in News, Q1-2014Comments Off

SLA-San Diego Q1 Board Meeting Date Set for Feb 1

The SLA-SD Executive and Advisory Board will hold our first board meeting of the year on February 1, 2014, 10am-noon, in the Board Conference Room of the Grossmont Healthcare District, 9001 Wakarusa Street, La Mesa, California. Click here for directions .  The second and third quarter board meetings will be conducted virtually and the fourth will be held as part of the annual holiday event.

All chapter members are welcome to participate.

Chapter officers and committee chairs will report on activities and plans for 2014. We’ll discuss goals for the coming year as a group, the proposed budget, and committee needs. Initiatives of the 2013 board, led by President Talitha Matlin, and our amazing 2013 conference committee spearheaded by Kathy Quinn with the able assistance of Bobbi Weaver and a host of other chapter members,  have left us in a very positive financial position – many thanks to all! The new board will consider how to make the most of this position to benefit our membership while prudently maintaining the chapter’s financial security for coming years.

I’ve updated the blog with names and positions of Executive and Advisory Board members. If you are interested in volunteering for committee work, by all means let us know!

Please do consider attending on February 1 to learn more about how the chapter operates. I’d appreciate your letting me know if you will be attending. Also, note that parking is available at the facility; however, please do not park in spaces marked for staff or library use.

 Please contact me anytime with questions or suggestions.


 Jill Blaemers, SLA-San Diego President 2014


Posted in Announcements, From the President, Keeping Up With Meetings, NewsComments Off

San Diego Chapter receives the Chapter Membership Award for “Highest number increase” in 2013

President-Elect Amy Jankowsi and I are in Memphis at the 2014 SLA Leadership Summit. San Diego Chapter has received the Chapter Membership Award this afternoon as runner-up for “Highest number increase” (with nine new members) for 2013!!!

Congrats and thanks to everyone for their recruitment efforts in 2013! Many thanks especially to our 2013 President Talitha Matlin for her leadership, and to our Membership Co-Chairs Ali Hennessey and Kate Vigderson of course!! Let’s all carry this energy into our member recruitment and development efforts for 2014.

Winner was the Arabian Gulf Chapter with 154 new members! Our congratulations to this chapter as well.

We’ll be reporting with an update on Leadership Summit activities, news, and presentations next week, so stay tuned.

Jill Blaemers
SLA-San Diego President 2014

Posted in Announcements, From the President, Membership News, NewsComments Off

SLA-SD annual holiday dinner and business meeting Dec 4: Registration open!

Please plan on joining SLA-San Diego for our annual business meeting and holiday dinner on Wednesday, December 4th, at Apollonia Greek Bistro in La Jolla.

Where: Apollonia Greek Bistro, La Jolla

Date: Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013, 6 pm – 8 pm


Appetizers:  Hummos, spanaki lemonato, and pita bread

Choice of entrée: Chicken Kebab, Gyros Plate, or Imam Bayaldi

Dessert: Baklava and Galacto-Boureko

For menu descriptions and directions, please visit

Both open parking and garage parking are available.

Cost $25 (including tax and tip)


Posted in Announcements, Chapter Programs, Food and Drink, Keeping Up With Meetings, News, UncategorizedComments Off

SAVE THE DATE: SLA-SD Annual Business Meeting and Holiday Dinner December 4


Please plan on joining SLA-San Diego for our annual business meeting and holiday dinner on Wednesday, December 4th, at Apollonia Greek Bistro in La Jolla. We’ll be sending out menu options and cost, along with registration details, next week.

Where: Apollonia Greek Bistro, La Jolla

Date: Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013, 6 pm – 8 pm


Both open parking and garage parking are available.

Jill Blaemers
 SLA-San Diego President-Elect 2013 

Posted in Announcements, Chapter Programs, Events, Food and Drink, Keeping Up With Meetings, NewsComments Off

Thursday, Nov. 7, 4:30-6:30pm: Membership Happy Hour

Join Ali Hennessey, Membership Committee co-chair, for networking and SLA membership information during happy hour at Urbn Coal Fired Pizza and Bar in North Park. Urbn has a happy hour from 4-6 featuring discounted beers and cocktails. Pizza appetizers will be provided.

Take this opportunity to catch up with fellow SLA members or to learn more about SLA membership and networking benefits – like this one!

The details:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

4:30 – 6:30pm

Urbn Coal Fired Pizza and Bar in North Park

3085 University Avenue San Diego California 92104

Contact: Ali Hennessey at:

Posted in Announcements, Events, Food and Drink, Membership News, SLA AnnouncementsComments Off

*Reminder* – Join us this Thursday, May 23rd, for a happy hour!

Hi San Diego information professionals,

Don’t forget that our happy/social/networking hour is coming up this Thursday, May 23, 2013, immediately following the Nontraditional Career Opportunities panel discussion!  We’ll meet at 6(ish) at the Claim Jumper ( in Grossmont Center in La Mesa, conveniently located near the Herrick Community Health Care Library.  Directions here:  If you can’t make it to the panel discussion, just come by and join us after work!  Please RSVP to so we can get an idea of group size.

And remember to please bring a new or gently used book in English or Spanish for ages 0 -18 (especially 0-5) for our SLA-SD Words Alive Book Drive.  We’ll have a collection box set up at Herrick Library and we’ll also be collecting at the social hour.  If you’re unable to attend but would still like to donate, please email Charlotte King-Mills, Student Liaison (  Thanks for helping with this very worthy cause!

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Kate Vigderson and Ali Hennessey, SLA-SD Membership Committee

Posted in Announcements, Events, Food and Drink, Membership News, News, SLA AnnouncementsComments Off

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