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Summary & Presentation Materials: SLA-SD’s Virtual Reference & Research Services Panel

On May 28th, librarians from Ashford University (AU) and the University of San Diego (USD) delivered an excellent overview of innovative strategies for providing reference and instruction services virtually. The event was generously hosted at AU’s San Diego headquarters.

Elizabeth Grossman, AU’s Senior Director of Library Services, together with librarians Dana Haff and Rebecca Nowicki, discussed the unique challenges of providing information literacy services to an all-online student body. She discussed several analytics and metrics evaluations performed by her team to assess the value of library services and target those services most effectively. Tools and methods included a Qualtrics survey, Google Analytics of website traffic, and phone/chat metrics (using Desk Tracker, LivePerson chat transcripts, and Avaya phone reports). Among other findings, the librarians discovered:

  • students preferred asynchronous instruction over live interaction with a librarian
  • student demand for library services peaked on Sunday afternoons and evenings (when library staff is not available for customer service), and on Monday afternoon and evenings (when library staff is now available)
  • live chat provided the highest ROI of all contact methods, measured by percentage of time the service was used out of time the service was available

As a result of these observations, library staff scheduling has been optimized to meet student demand. The library team has also adjusted its call-center system for fielding incoming calls. They now rotate staff members into phone-reference duties throughout the week, allowing staff members dedicated time for other projects without interruptions. (Before, several librarians were available during their entire shifts, with calls trickling in sporadically).

AU’s librarians have also increased the impact of their services by working with the school’s online course system. When answering a student reference request, they can log directly into the student’s course and see what the actual assignment and learning objectives are. They also relate reference requests to the course that generated the request, allowing them to see which courses are most difficult and warrant extra information literacy instruction. The library team then develops targeted video tutorials and subject guides to be embedded directly into specific course learning modules. Instructional tools AU has used include: Articulate Storyline (which includes a map-building feature), Sparkol VideoScribe, Adobe Captivate, Adobe After Effects, LibGuides, and Springshare LibAnswers (an FAQ knowledge base which includes analytics and a call center style platform for routing new questions). Through targeted course-level instruction, the librarians have significantly replaced one-on-one reference and instruction with instructional tools available to the entire student body.

Librarians Anna Russell, Jane Larrington, and Judith Lihosit from USD’s Pardee Legal Research Center (PLRC) rounded out the evening by demonstrating and comparing several screencasting solutions. They began by explaining the benefits of “flipping” classes—that is, having students watch lecture videos at home before class, then use class time for exercises, questions, and discussion. They proceeded to discuss several technical and administrative issues to consider before you start screencasting, and presented some pros and cons of numerous products on the market. In general, the more features your project requires, the more expensive the requisite software and the more difficult that software is to learn. Lastly, the PLRC librarians demonstrated how you can use PowerPoint as a substitute for screencasting software for very simple projects. Although PowerPoint only produces still images rather than capturing a dynamic screen, you can create projects very quickly and be assured that your users will be able to access the files. Another benefit to using PowerPoint is that the audio is recorded separately for each slide. If you need to go back and update or add a slide, you may easily make those edits in the PowerPoint file and create a new video file. If you need to demonstrate complicated maneuvers, you can create short screencasts (less than 5 mins.) with another screencasting program (like Jing or Screenr) and insert the video file into your PowerPoint.


-Tim Gladson, SLA San Diego Communications Committee

Presentation Materials

Ashford University Library Group

USD Pardee Legal Research Center Group

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SLA – Core Competencies Revision

Created by SLA’s Core Competencies Revision Task Force, the draft revision of SLA’s 2003 Core Competencies statement (available here)  is intended to reflect current realities and emerging opportunities while describing the competencies that will best position SLA members to lead–or create–those opportunities.

The Task Force requests feedback from the SLA community, both current and future (i.e. students).  (The draft is presented as a “text” document, and the final iteration will incorporate design elements to improve overall reader friendliness and navigation.) To provide feedback, please complete the survey form available at
Please share your comments on the draft by Friday, May 16th.  Thank you in advance for your time to review the document and provide feedback.  Your input is appreciated and valued. Results of survey responses will be made available on the SLA website.  The document will be presented to the SLA Board of Directors at its June meeting by the Revision Task Force members (Kim Dority (chair), Kate Arnold, Anne Caputo, Susan Fifer-Canby, Cindy Hill, Deb Hunt, Carolyn Sosnowski, and Jan Sykes).

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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


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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

Networking Happy Hour at Toast Enoteca, March 20

Greetings SLA-SD Members and Friends!

Come and join us for a no-host networking happy hour this Thursday, March 20, 2014, immediately following the SDPL Central Library tour! Around 5:15pm, we’ll head over to Toast Enoteca & Cucina (‎), just two blocks west of the Library and one block north of Petco Park, for networking, socializing, and sustenance. Directions from the Central Library to the happy hour location are available here:

Toast Enoteca & Cucina
927 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 269-4207

We are happy to report that we received a great response from our members and associates for the SDPL Central Library tour but didn’t have to turn anyone away. If you can’t make it to the tour, swing by and join us at the happy hour after work anyhow for a laid back chance to chat with fellow information professionals about projects, new opportunities, library trends, job hunting, and beyond!

RSVP to Amy at to help in estimating the group size.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Leadership Summit Update

Amy Jankowski, 2014 President-Elect, and I went to SLA Leadership Summit in Memphis, January 14-17. Chapter and Division leaders attend this summit to learn about SLA resources, governance, and tools. The agenda and more detail are available here:

We received several compliments and thanks for SLA-SD’s host chapter activities and help during the 2013 Annual Conference – thanks again to all!

A few highlights:

Open Board Meeting: Agenda and reports are available here: The documents mentioned below can be accessed via this link.

  • Executive session:
    • Valerie Perry was elected by board to fill Division Chair vacancy, due to death of Ann Koopman
    • Passed a balanced budget; details were not distributed.
    • 2014 is final year of 3-year strategic plan; review started.
  • Conference Re-Envisioning Task force established was established two years ago to address declining attendance. Final report and recommendations delivered.
  • Financial wrap-up. Numbers not yet available for 2013. SLA continues to have cash flow problems and took out a $300K+ loan during 2013 to meet obligations. Changes to session formats will include Quick Talks, Spotlight sessions, and closing session will be a Ted Talk format.
  • Unit treasurers’ wiki has been relaunched, along with discussion list, and newsletter. Incoming treasurers will be signed into the wiki in February.
  • Committee members then summarized reports that are available in full on the SLA website.
    • Public Relations Advisory Council: See report “The Evolving Value of Information Management based on Financial Times Survey”: . Communication tools are also available on Public Relations wiki.
    • Chapter Cabinet: 2013 annual reports and 2013 financial reports due January 31. Nearly 50% of branches had budget shortfalls
    • Online Content Advisory Council – Twitter users should watch for #SLATALK discussions; see discussion archive.
    • Student Ambassadors – Suggest more collaboration between First Five, Fellows and Student Groups.

Highlights of Summit sessions:

  • Presidential Vision and Theme: Concept of extending our borders, as an organization and as professionals. Theme is “Beyond Borders” – Watch SLA website for detail.
  • Membership Tips:
    • Recognize Past President contributions and encourage continued participation.
    • Partner with other organizations locally and with divisions for programming.
  • State of the Association: Membership is holding steady; finances are tight. Everyone is encouraged to complete the Every Member Survey in February.
  • Treasurers Report: Expenses and income are in alignment.
  • Other sessions included Demystifying Running for the Board and Tips on Using the SLA website. Note that there are many resources available for membership. The links in the bottom footer are useful for navigation.
  • No business for either Chapter or Joint Cabinet.


Jill Blaemers, SLA-SD President 2014

Posted in Announcements, Conferences, Events, From the President, UncategorizedComments Off

A Warm Welcome to our 2014 Student Liaison

Introducing Zemirah Lee, SLA-SD’s 2014 Student Liaison! Zem works as a Project Manager on a federally funded research project studying young adult space practices in public libraries. She is currently in her last semester at San Jose State University.

We are so happy that she has agreed to be our Student Liaison for 2014. Zem is eager to meet everyone and looks forward to working with and supporting our students. Welcome Zem!

Contact Zem at, with your questions about our annual scholarship or being a student member of SLA-SD.

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Congratulations to 2014 SLA-SD Scholarship Recipient!

A big congratulations and welcome to Zemirah Lee, SLA-SD’s 2014 scholarship recipient! 

Zem works as a Project Manager on a federally funded research project studying young adult space practices in public libraries. She is also currently interning at Grossmont Community College. Her educational focus is on reference & instruction with an emphasis on information and digital literacy, instruction design and community outreach.

She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of California in San Diego and will be earning her Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State University this coming spring.

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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

SLA-SD 2013 Fall Seminar: Registration Now Open!

The 2013 SLA-SD Fall Seminar offered great networking opportunities.

The 2013 SLA-SD Fall Seminar offered great networking opportunities.

Our 2013 Fall Seminar attendees enjoyed a day of interesting and informative presentations.

Our 2013 Fall Seminar attendees enjoyed a day of interesting and informative presentations.

SLA-SD 2013 Fall Seminar:

Connecting the Dots of Creative Innovations…

When: Friday, October 4, 2012, 8:00 AM – 4:15 PM

Where: Starboard Room, Marina Village Conference Center, 1936 Quivira Way, San Diego, CA 92109 [map]


Are you eager to learn about creative projects and innovations pursued by colleagues in diverse facets of librarianship and information services? Do you find yourself looking for new ideas to spark your own workplace initiatives? If so, please join the Special Libraries Association San Diego chapter at our annual fall seminar. The seminar will include an invigorating day of presentations by speakers from a variety of information settings, who will share insights, real-life examples, and practical tips on how their innovations are making an impact in their organizations.

Attendees will also have opportunities to explore a vendor showcase, hear short vendor presentations, and enjoy a delicious continental breakfast, box lunch, and snacks catered by Panera Bread.


8:00 – 8:30    Registration, Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45    Welcome

Talitha Matlin, SLA-SD President

8:45 – 9:30    KEYNOTE — Our Next Chapter: San Diego Public’s New Central Library

Bruce Johnson, MLS, San Diego Public Library Deputy Director of the Branch Libraries Division

Bruce Johnson will start off the day on a high note by introducing one of the latest big innovations in the San Diego library community: the San Diego Public Library Central Library Expansion Project. Attendees will hear an inside perspective on the planning, reorganizing, and re-envisioning of the new downtown Central Library.

The next chapter in San Diego Public Library’s story is about leveraging, establishing partnership and working differently to provide superlative service.  From the challenge of raising $65 million in private funds to securing and retaining a $20 million construction grant administered by the State Library and working with the San Diego Unified School District with the establishment of a new charter high school in the Library the New Central Library features a variety of technological innovations from automated materials handling to the Gigabyte Passive Optical Network (GPON).

9:30 – 10:00    Beyond the Needs Assessment: How a Knowledge Audit Informs Strategic Planning

Cindy Shamel, MLS, President, Shamel Information Services

A knowledge audit provides the kind of information an organization requires in order to address organizational goals.  It includes an implementation plan and feeds into an overall strategy for knowledge management.  This presentation provides background on the knowledge audit process and actual project outcomes, using real life examples.

10:00 – 10:30    Search Log Analysis: Surfacing Information Seeking Trends & Narratives

Tim Gallati, MLIS, Senior Librarian, Qualcomm, Inc.

This presentation will discuss a unique and ambitious initiative currently underway at the Qualcomm Library to analyze and report on the information seeking trends within the company.  The presentation will detail particulars of the initiative (as inspired by the Google Zeitgeist) and it will discuss why the library is the ideal place to house this initiative.  Attention will be put to reviewing specific strategies, tools, and methods including text mining, taxonomies, keyword analysis and beyond.

10:30 – 11:00    Break, Vendor Showcase

11:00 – 11:45    Visually Connecting the Dots: Video Information Delivery at Qualcomm

Scott Brown, MA, MLIS, Manager of Library Services, Qualcomm, Inc.
Shannon Malcolm, JD, MLIS, Senior Librarian, Qualcomm, Inc.

Librarians from Qualcomm, Inc. will demonstrate InfoHacks—Qualcomm’s innovative, on-demand videos teaching effective research skills to support learning unconstrained by location and time—and ResearchViews, which use video to enhance deliverables by providing a complete package of analysis, presentations, and video so users are able to focus quickly on the most relevant information.

11:45 – 12:45    Lunch, Vendor Showcase

12:45 – 1:30    Vendor Presentations, Chapter Update

1:30 – 2:15    The CSUB Faculty Excellence Showcase: Collaborative Information Sharing

Johanna Alexander, MBA, MLIS, Librarian, California State University Bakersfield

Attendees will learn about the CSUB Faculty Excellence Showcase, a collaborative information initiative developed at California State University, Bakersfield. The project was implemented to highlight the scholarship and achievements of CSUB faculty but is relevant and adaptable to many organizations. The presentation will cover Showcase features as well as design and implementation issues.

2:15 – 2:30    Break, Snacks, Vendor Showcase

2:30 – 3:15    Knowledge Creation and the Expanding Role of the 21st Century Library

Kathlin Ray, MLIS, Dean of Libraries and Teaching & Learning Technologies, University of Nevada, Reno

Learn how one library is rediscovering its relevance to its academic communities by removing over half of its print collections, radically redesigning user space and providing 3D printing services to the entire campus. Using the DeLaMare Engineering and Science Library at the University of Nevada, Reno as a case study, this presentation will discuss how UNR Libraries applied theoretical models of learning and innovation to a real world problem and transformed DeLaMare Library from a dusty little-used backwater into a lively incubator for collaboration, innovation and knowledge creation.

3:15 – 4:00    Cultural Intelligence: Are You Culturally Competent?

Michele A. Lucero, MLS, MBA, Director of Client Development, LAC Group

This program will discuss an overview of cultural intelligence (CQ), its four capabilities and how it may be applied within your organization. It is only recently that cultural intelligence has surfaced as an element that can increase job performance, personal well-being, cross-cultural adjustment and profitability. It is essential that information professionals recognize their CQ level and how they can use it within their role as an information professional.

4:00 – 4:15    Closing, Evaluations

Helene Idels & Amy Jankowski, SLA-SD Directors


Registration includes presentations, a vendor showcase, continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Act fast — the early bird rate ends Friday, September 27!

  • SLA members: $70
  • Non-members: $85
  • Students/unemployed/retirees: $35


Registration has now closed.

If you have any questions about registration, please contact Lauren Rasmussen at


Registration: Lauren Rasmussen,

Seminar information: Helene Idels & Amy Jankowski,

Thanks to our generous exhibitors:

Thanks to the contributions of our exhibitors, who help make the Fall Seminar possible! Each exhibitor will have a table at the seminar, and attendees will have several chances to visit with these vendors throughout the day.

  • Click Scan Share
  • EOS International
  • IEEE
  • ProQuest
  • Soutron Global

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