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Autumn Update From the President

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!


Amy Jankowski
2015 President
SLA San Diego Chapter

Amy Jankowski, SLA-SD 2015 President

Posted in Announcements, Current Affairs, From the PresidentComments Off

SLA Strategic Recommendations: SLA-SD Discussion Session, Monday, June 8 @ Ashford University, 4:30 – 6:00 pm

Dear SLA-SD Members,


As you know, SLA President Jill Strand recently announced that the SLA Change Consultants, Cindy Shamel and Ulla de Stricker, who were engaged by SLA to provide strategic recommendations in areas such as marketplace positioning and viability, membership revenue and growth, and conference modeling forwarded their report to the board – See more at: tasked with providing strategic recommendations to the organization in areas such as marketplace positioning and viability, membership revenue and growth, and conference modeling, forwarded their report to the SLA Board. The report is currently available to all SLA members through the following link: (SLA login required to access report). If accepted and enacted, many of these recommendations will translate into significant changes in the organization. It is an exciting time to be an active member, and all are encouraged to engage in this discussion of our future!


SLA has provided several opportunities for member feedback, including:


  1. By e-mailing your comments to the secretary of the board, Tara Murray, who will organize the comments by recommendation and forward them to the board on a weekly basis;
  2. By submitting questions for consideration at a virtual Town Hall for SLA members on May 27 – recording now available through Key Board Initiatives page:, “Change Consultant” section (SLA member login required)
  3. By sharing your thoughts in person during the comment periods at the board meeting in Boston on Saturday, June 13, prior to the start of the SLA 2015 Annual Conference;
  4. By speaking directly with board members throughout the conference; and
  5. By asking questions during the annual business meeting, to be held at SLA 2015 on Tuesday, June 16, at 5:00 p.m. (This will mark the cut-off for the board to receive comments.)
In an effort to engage our chapter members – and ourselves – in this discussion, SLA-SD will be holding a discussion session on the evening of Monday, June 8, 4:30 – 6:00 pm at Ashford University. During this time, members are encouraged to discuss the recommendations’ strengths and weaknesses; address strong points, concerns, confusion, and additional ideas; and ask questions among each other to clarify how these recommendations may affect us as individuals and as a chapter.


Example questions:


  • How will the recommended changes to business partnerships / vendor sponsorship rules (centralizing requests for funding; sharing revenue 50/50 with HQ) affect our ability to fund SLA-SD Chapter programs (particularly Fall Seminar)? (section 3.1)
  • Regarding recommended changes to SLA’s educational products and services — such as positioning SLA as a lifelong career school for members — is there a strategy to encourage broader recognition of the value in SLA certifications and coursework by employers and other related industries? (section 4)
  • How do the recommended changes to leadership training (eliminating the January in-person Leadership Summit and replacing this with web-based training) affect our future leaders? Will web training be sufficient, or even better? (section 5.1.a)
  • Should content management of the SLA Annual Conference be entrusted to a single professional (or two), shifting content selection away from SLA units? Would this planning position be outsourced, or should this individual be a member or otherwise affiliated with SLA? (section 5.1.c)
  • What are your thoughts on the recommended consolidation and standardization of SLA Divisions? How would these affect members — positively and negatively? (section 6.1.a)
  • What implications do the recommended changes to Chapter organization have for our San Diego Chapter? (section 6.1.b)
  • Are the recommendations for securing immediate operating funds for  SLA Headquarters appropriate? Should SLA HQ plan to access unit funds to avoid deficit? (section 7.1)
Discussion attendees are encouraged to come prepared by reading the full recommendations and noting any particular areas that merit discussion. We will have several copies of the recommendations on hand just in case they’re needed. If anyone is unable to attend but has discussion points to offer, please send them along to me, and I will pose them to our group.


Event Summary
What: SLA Strategic Recommendations Discussion Session
When: Monday, June 8, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Where: Ashford University
           8620 Spectrum Center Blvd
           San Diego, CA 92123
           **Note: Elizabeth Grossman, Ashford’s Senior Director of Library Services, will greet attendees in the Ashford lobby beginning at 4:15 pm. We will be meeting in a 10th floor conference room. Light refreshments of cookies, coffee, and water will be served!
Questions: contact, 630.251.3735


Please RSVP to Amy at:


Thank you – and I hope to see you next week!


Amy Jankowski
2015 President
SLA San Diego Chapter

Posted in Announcements, Current Affairs, Events, From the President, SLA AnnouncementsComments Off

Event Recap: Braille Institute’s San Diego Center Library Tour & Happy Hour

Event Recap: Braille Institute’s San Diego Center Library Tour & Happy Hour

On Tuesday, September 23, a group of curious SLA-SD members and colleagues gathered at the Braille Institute’s San Diego Center location in La Jolla to tour the organization’s library. Librarian Louise Zuckerman hosted our group and discussed the various library and community services that the nonprofit Braille Institute provides free of charge to the blind and visually impaired.

Our afternoon kicked off with a walk-through of the library stacks, which primarily feature audio media on flash drives circulated within hard plastic cartridges that can be sent through the mail for expanded accessibility; audio cassettes and braille books are also available. We then learned about electronic handheld magnification devices used to enhance sight for the visually impaired and viewed a number of models housed in the Library for patron use. Moving into the facility’s computer labs, our group learned about the various programs used to teach typing and make general computer, iPad, and iPhone use more accessible to those with visual impairments. Concluding the tour, we saw some of the table-top magnification devices, the NLS digital talking book player, and other assistive technologies in action. Along the way, we spoke with a technology lab assistant, a low vision consultant, and the facility’s Executive Director, Richard M. Ybarra, to get a well-rounded understanding of the Braille Institute as well as the role that the library plays within the various programs and services the organization provides.

After an interesting and informative time at the Braille Institute, our group headed over to happy hour at Seasons 52 for lively conversation and networking. Thanks to all who came out to make this a great event! For those of you who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you at our next SLA-SD Chapter event!

For more information about the Braille Institute’s San Diego Center location and library, please visit

For a list of free iPhone and iPad apps developed by the Braille Institute — including VisionSim, an app developed “in order for people with healthy vision to experience the world through the eyes of a person experiencing one of nine degenerative eye diseases” — please visit:

Braille Institute's San Diego Center Executive Director Richard M. Ybarra talks to our group about the organization's work, programs, and growth.

Braille Institute’s San Diego Center Executive Director Richard M. Ybarra talks to our group about the organization’s work, programs, and growth.

A view of the stacks at the Braille Institute Library, featuring shelves of popular literature in digital audio cartridge format

A view of the stacks at the Braille Institute Library, featuring shelves of popular literature in digital audio cartridge format

Librarian Louise Zuckerman demos the NLS Digital Talking Book Player, a machine free to all qualifying individuals through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)

Librarian Louise Zuckerman demos the NLS Digital Talking Book Player, a machine free to all qualifying individuals through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)

A view of the Braille Institute's courtyard, with one of two fountains that use different water sounds to indicate physical orientation to visitors with visual impairments

A view of the Braille Institute’s courtyard, with one of two fountains that use different water sounds to indicate physical orientation to visitors with visual impairments

Posted in Announcements, Chapter Programs, Current Affairs, Events, Images, 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 Fall Seminar director Isabelle Garcia; 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

Fall 2012 Newsletter is here!

The SLA-SD Fall 2012 Newsletter is now available!  Read a message from our president, get all the details if you missed the fall seminar, and view information on our upcoming annual meeting.

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Fall 2012 Newsletter is here!

The SLA-SD Fall 2012 Newsletter is now available!  Read SLA Conference chatter; meet one of our chapter members; and read about the keynote speaker at our upcoming Fall Seminar.

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Keeping up with … SLA-SD!

May Social: Come to the SLA-SD social planned for May 3rd and bring a book to support the Words Alive book drive at the Rock Bottom Brewery, La Jolla, 5:30-7 pm.

Program Meeting: The next SLA-SD program meeting will be at Qualcomm on May 9th.  This program will feature short talks by Qualcomm information professionals who will walk us through “A Day in the Life of a Fortune 500 Firm”. You’ll also have a chance to tour the newly remodeled Qualcomm Library.  This is a program you won’t want to miss.  Click here to register.

SLA Conference: Have you registered for Conference yet?  Register before May 11th and catch the “early-bird” registration price and save!  Let me know if you’re planning on attending. We’re hoping for a big delegation from San Diego to help promote next year’s conference right here in our home town.  We’ll need helpers to man the 2013 conference promotion booth at Conference 2012. Please contact Kathy Quinn if you can help at this year’s conference and/or to volunteer with 2013 planning activities.

Did you know?  Amy Jankowski (SLA-SD Programming Committee) is listed in the Class Notes section of a recent edition of the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science Alumni Bulletin.

Posted in Current Affairs, Events, Food and Drink, From the President, Membership NewsComments Off

Spring Newsletter!

It’s that time again! Check out the new version of the SLA-SD  newsletter.  Highlights include a member profile of Beth Autin, job interview tips from Anne Turhollow, and an Alignment Project update from Talitha Matlin.

Download SLASDNewsletterSpring2011

Continue Reading

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Cindy Romaine, SLA President Elect, Congratulates the San Diego Chapter on 50 Years!

Cindy Romaine, SLA President Elect, commented to the SLA-SD Board, "I saw Janice LaChance's video wishing you a happy
50th anniversary. I'd like to add my voice to hers and congratulate
your chapter. Its a big deal–congratulations!"

Posted in Current Affairs, SLA Announcements1 Comment

SLA Headquarters Marks San Diego Chapter Anniversary

We've made the big leagues! SLA PR Director Cara Schatz has published the San Diego Chapter news as a post on the national SLA Blog:  San Diego Chapter Celebrating 50th Anniversary in 2010.

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