Milestones

Chapter Milestones 1922 - Present
Information was gathered from the Pittsburgh Chapter Archives Annual Reports & Bulletins 

The 1920's

  • December 5, 1922 – Pittsburgh Special Libraries Association is formed.
  • November 25, 1924 – Formal application is made to join National SLA.
  • January 27, 1925 – National SLA sends a formal letter of acceptance.
  • October 28, 1927 – Chapter unanimously votes to become a local chapter of national SLA.
  • The first Union List of Periodicals is published in 1928.

The 1930's

  • The first Bulletin is published. Vivian McDonald is the editor, and Virginia Garland is the cover designer.
  • The first Duplicate Exchange List is published in 1932.
  • January 19, 1934 – The chapter makes a constitutional name change to SLA, Pittsburgh Chapter.
  • The chapter’s first Directory of Special Libraries (a regional listing of libraries and librarians) is published in 1936.
  • The 1938 SLA National Convention is held in Pittsburgh.

The 1940's

  • “Due to War Conditions and the increase in prices, it is impossible for us to continue issuing a printed Bulletin. We, therefore, have reverted back to a mimeographed Bulletin.”
  • Eight large cartons of periodicals are forwarded to the American Book Centers at the Library of Congress for libraries in war areas. An additional shipment is made to the Netherlands Institute of Engineers and Technicians, The Hague.
  • Aid is pledged and individual members offer their services to the Pittsburgh Defense Council, October 6, 1941.
  • The Chapter cooperates with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on the War Emergency Committee for the purchase of books for the Signal Corps, 1942-43 (Victory Book Campaign).
  • The Chapter participates in the collection and distribution of periodicals for libraries in war areas. Large shipments of scientific and technical journals are sent to Europe, the Philippines, and Washington, DC.
  • December 5, 1947 – Seventy-five members and friends gather for the Silver Anniversary Dinner marking 25 years of the Pittsburgh Chapter.

The 1950's

  • The 1956 SLA National Convention is hosted by the Pittsburgh Chapter.
  • The Union List of Periodicals is enlarged to become the Union List of Serials. Thirty-seven women of the Secretarial Association do the typing and 32 SLA members volunteer to  proofread it. Work begins on September 25, 1950 and continues every night, Monday through Friday, from 7-10, until the end of February, 1951, for the typists and March for the proofreaders. Unfortunately, due to various complications, the Union List is never published. The List later emerges as part of the Union List prepared by the Pittsburgh Regional Library Center and includes academic libraries.
  • The Recruiting Committee sends out 158 letters to high schools with 3 pamphlets. “Make Your Career in a Special Library,” “Paging….Your Future,” and “The Challenge of Modern Librarianship.”
  • The Superintendent of the Government Printing Office, Carper Buckley, is a guest speaker.
  • In May 1958, the Chapter’s Consultancy program is started to offer advice and referral services for libraries.

The 1960's

  • Membership decreases by 23 people, reflecting current business conditions.
  • Dr. Harold Lancour, Dean of the newly established Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, addresses the Chapter in 1961.
  • The 1966 H. W. Wilson Company Chapter Award is presented to the Pittsburgh Chapter “for an exceptionally well-coordinated, chapter-wide, year long approach to the communications role of the special library – including but not limited to communicating with library colleagues and business leaders, communicating the information needs of the region, and the study and use of mass communications and new communications media.”

The 1970's

  • The Pittsburgh Chapter hosts the 1973 SLA National Conference.
  • The Employment Committee is affected by the general slow-down in the nation’s economy with very few job openings.
  • December 5, 1972 – 50th Anniversary of the Pittsburgh Chapter.
  • In 1976, a Bicentennial Special Meeting is held with the Pittsburgh, Virginia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, New York and New Jersey Chapters attending. Distinguished speakers include the President of SLA, the Librarian of Congress, and the Chief, National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.
  • October 31 – November 1, 1977 – Josephine Quartey and Mary Lee attend the PA Governor’s Conference on Libraries and Information Service.
  • Mary Vasilakis is elected as Library-Related Alternate Delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Service held in 1979.
  • The University of Pittsburgh Student SLA Group is formed in 1979.

The 1980's

  • A reception is held for 50 students from the  University of Pittsburgh Library School. As a result of closer ties with the Student Group, a student will sit on the Program Committee and serve as liaison between the two groups.
  • The Bulletin is renamed The Pointer.

The 1990's

  • The 1990 SLA National Convention is held in Pittsburgh.
  • Thanks to a generous gift from Knight-Ridder, SLIS students are able to attend Chapter meetings at a reduced cost.
  • April 12, 1997 – Chapter’s 75th Anniversary is held at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.
  • The Pittsburgh Chapter pulls off a hat trick in 1999 with SLA International Awards going to three of our members: Ange Pollis, Barbara Speigelman and Lynn Berard. This may very well be a singular accomplishment in the history of SLA, and certainly the Chapter.
    • Ange Pollis, recently retired Manager of the Knowledge Resource Center at US Steel Technical Center and Adjunct Professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, enters the SLA Hall of Fame for her distinguished service to the association in all capacities
    • Barbara Speigelman, Manager, Technical Information Services for Westinghouse Electric Company, is SLA Fellow for 1999 in recognition of her inspired and creative leadership in the profession. Barb has served SLA in numerous positions and has chaired some of the most influential committees, including the Competencies Document Publication Committee and the SLA Logo Committee.
    • Lynn Berard, Head of the Engineering and Science Library at Carnegie Mellon University,receives the Rose L. Vormelker Award for her exceptional service in the area of mentoring students and influencing practicing professionals. A successful product of mentoring, she has sought to carry on this tradition throughout her career.

The 2000's

  • In 2001, two Pittsburgh Chapter members are nominated for positions within the International Association. Barbara Speigelman is nominated for a Director position and Lynn Berard is nominated for SLA President.
  • At the end of 2001, the Chapter’s (print) bulletin, The Pointer is renamed The Confluence, and is distributed only electronically.
  • Pittsburgh Magazine and WQED select chapter president, John DiGilio, as one of their “40 Under 40” for 2002.  This honor recognizes 40 people under 40 who make the region a better place to live, work, and play. As such,  John’s profile is included in a special issue of Pittsburgh Magazine.
  • Lynn Berard is named SLA Fellow in 2003 ….and in 2004, she receives a SLA Presidential Citation for her work as chair of of the SLA Executive Director Selection Committee.
  • In 2007, Lynn Berard is nominated for SLA President and the Pittsburgh Chapter celebrates its 85th Anniversary with a special event at Carnegie Mellon University’s Posner Center.  SLA President, Rebecca Vargha is invited speaker.

The 2010's

  • Denise Callihan, manager of Research and Development Library Shared Services at PPG Industries, receives the 2012 Rose L. Vormelker Award for her exceptional service in the area of mentoring students and influencing practicing professionals within the Pittsburgh Chapter and SLA’s Chemistry Division.
  • September 15, 2017 – Chapter marks the occasion of its 95th Anniversary with a special dinner at Heartwood Acres.