2011 Vol. 14 Issue 3

Wired West volume 14 issue 3

News from Your Chapter Board

Professional Development

This issue of Wired West sponsored by:


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President’s Message

By Richard Matiachuk

SLA 2011 Annual Conference, Philadelphia.

In June I attended my first SLA conference.  The facilities were great, the sessions and speakers offered good opportunities for professional development, and it was wonderful to meet like-minded professionals (4300 attendees).

Throughout the conference the concepts of: collaboration, loyalty, flexibility, adaptive competence, values, relevance, relationships, trust, catalysts were repeated.

Two noteworthy sessions (of many)

Stephen Abram spoke, and as always, he looked to the future with bold, challenging statements to get his audience thinking and moving beyond the status quo.  He challenged us to be open to new technologies; we might not use them regularly but we should know how to use them.  Essentially, he asked ‘what does it say to the ‘world’ about our relevance if we will not even attempt to use or try new technologies that our clients will be using?’.  Good question.

James Kane, the closing speaker spoke on ‘loyalty’.  What is it that promotes a sense of loyalty which then leads to a commitment to supporting the library or staff?   Basically, if we want our organizations to continue funding the information centre, knowledge centre, or library during financially difficult times what do we need to do; how do we create an institutional loyalty to the library? Kane said loyalty is about: ‘trust’ (using words like competency, consistency, character, and capacity to do the job, to define loyalty), ‘purpose’ (vision, fellowship, commitment), and ‘belonging’ (recognition, insight, pro-activity, inclusion and identity).  What I heard Kane say was that . . . we prompt institutional loyalty when we contribute over-and-above what is expected from our job description.  This does not mean doing more work in the same amount of time but doing the value-added things in ways that get noticed. In other words, ‘know your client (employer), anticipate what they might need or appreciate then do it’.

Association Business

Of course there was Association business conducted at the conference.

Janice LaChance, SLA CEO, spoke about ‘flexibility’ needed for the changes ahead.  Janice referred to SLA strengths (Webinars selling out), challenges (economy and natural disasters), and future hopes (such as a chapter in Iran).  Full address transcribed.

Dan Trefethen, SLA Treasurer, spoke about budgets and the need to live within a balanced budget.  Dan indicated there have been significant cuts at SLA.  The 2011 budget is 10% less than 2010 which was 20% less than the 2009 budget.  These reductions mean that there are fewer people at SLA doing the work.  In 2012 there will be a change to the way the SLA provides allotments to chapters; they will be prorated by membership ‘level’ and the guarantee minimum allotment ($1120) will be removed.  The loss of the minimum allotment will impact on some very small chapters.  Prorating will mean our chapter will have a smaller allotment in 2012.  These changes will help keep the SLA budget balanced.

Cindy Romaine, SLA President, reiterated the 2011 theme and said Future Ready is an attitude, a mindset and skill set to think and plan and prepare ahead through the use of technology and agility.  Cindy also emphasized the concept of adaptive competence; the ability to rebound on the curve ball, to respond positively to an ever-changing scene.

SLA Board Candidates

During the Conference we heard from candidates nominated for leadership positions on the SLA board include former SLA WCC President, Debbie Schachter who is nominated for Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect (a three year commitment as Chair-Elect, Chair and Past Chair).

Canadian Reception

This year the reception was hosted by the Toronto Chapter and was sponsored by Cedrom SNI and was held in the conference hotel.  Next year (2012) in Chicago our Chapter will have the privilege of hosting the reception.  Cedron SNI has indicated they will continue to be a sponsor of the Canadian reception (Thanks Cedron!).

Looking ahead

In 2010 I attended the SLA Virtual Conference and this year in person.  Either way you attend, it is a great opportunity to connect, reconnect, learn and grow in our profession.  Next year the Conference is in Chicago.  2013 is San Diego and 2014 in Vancouver.

Other ‘business’

Our next Chapter Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9, 2011.


Richard Matiachuk is Reference Librarian at Regent College.





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Chapter & SLA News

By Adrian Mitescu

  • How can SLA reach out internationally? This candidate to the Chapter Cabinet Chair makes a compelling argument.
  • The April Board meeting minutes will be posted soon.

SLA News, Events & Conferences

  • The 2011 SLA Conference in Philadelphia has come and gone, but the contributed research papers have remained – take a look, you’re bound to found something of interest!
  • Everyone has an opinion on this – do you ? (via the SLA’s Future Ready).
  • SLA’s Rising Stars and Fellows have gotten together for a roundtable discussion at SLA 2011; check this report from one of them here.
  • Some helpful tips from Stephen Abram on Staying current (login required).
  • More SLA News can be found here

Thanks to our Sponsors

  • A word of thanks to our sponsors. We could not have produced the range of programs we have, or continued to produce quarterly issues of Wired West, without their support.  Many thanks to LexisNexis and to our Wired West sponsor – Andornot Consulting.

Adrian Mitescu is Communications Director at SLA Western Canada Chapter.

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By Allan Cho

Welcome to volume 14, no. 3 of Wired West: Web Journal of the SLA Western Canada Chapter. I’d like to extend a warm thanks to all who contributed to this issue. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.


As SLA 2011 has come and gone, a number of great presentations had been delivered and enjoyed by SLA members.   A great deal of the materials have been recorded and are readily accessible online.  This issue, Rachel Zhao gives us an impressive report about her experience in Philadelphia at SLA 2011.   A number of great articles are also included in this issue of Wired West; however, it is through your contributions that make this online publication possible.  We look forward to your ideas, news, and updates about your area of work — it’s our voices together that make our profession exciting and endless in possibilities.

Share your news

Have you changed jobs recently or been promoted? Have you received an award or recognition of any kind lately? Have there been significant movements or changes in your organization? Are you an SLA WCC member taking a leadership role in other library/information organizations? Did you participate (as panelist or speaker) at a conference recently? Wired West wants hear and publish your news!!!

Articles of interest to the SLA WCC community are always welcome, some suggestions for article topics can include:

  • interesting projects you’ve tackled
  • interviews with members
  • marketing your library or services
  • trends in library computing
  • new tools you like
  • cataloguing
  • managing an electronic collection
  • plus any other ideas…

Wired West is currently produced quarterly: November 15, 2011; February 15, 2012; May 15, 2012; and August 15, 2012. Deadline for text is normally the first day of the month before the next publication date e.g. November 1, February 1, May 1 and August 1.

Submissions to the SLA WCC Web journal are welcome at any time. Please send comments, ideas, or suggestions to the Wired West Editor.

Allan Cho is Program Services Librarian at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC Library.


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My first SLA experience in 2011 in Philadelphia

My first SLA experience in 2011 in Philadelphia

By Rachel Zhao

In June 2011, I attended the Special Libraries Association (SLA) 2011 Conference and Info-Expo as a first timer in Philadelphia, thanks to the travel grant from the SLA Western Canada Chapter. I am pleased to report on my conference experience.

The conference impressed me in many ways. I am sharing three of them in this report:

  • the thoughtful family member pass,
  • the remarkable opening keynote talk by Thomas Friedman, the Foreign Affairs columnist for THE NEW YORK TIMES, and
  • my fruitful networking and learning experience with many Knowledge Management (KM) practitioners.

When registering for the conference, I learned that it had the family member pass. My husband, a geophysicist and a heavy library user, was going to Philadelphia with me. Naturally I registered him as a family member. With the family member pass, he listened to the opening keynote talk, attended two non-ticketed receptions, and talked to many vendors at the INFO EXPO (as well as collected goodies from them). His comments? “This conference was very fun and inspiring. I liked it. I will go along whenever you go.”



The opening keynote featured Thomas Friedman, the Foreign Affairs Columnist for THE NEW YORK TIMES. Mr. Friedman claimed the world is becoming flatter and flatter with the merge of globalization and information technology. In this flat and connected world, ideas become the most important asset a person or an organization may have. Everyone will need to stop rote and routine activities and identify unique ways to contribute to the mission of their organization and support it. I believe this is particularly relevant to the library world as any user is able to find something on the Web without the assistance of the library staff. I can see library and information professionals are seeking out new ways and new opportunities to serve their organization better. Knowledge Management (KM) is such a new way found by professionals from the library and information field as well as many other fields.

I became very interested in KM since the Library Services in my organization joined our KM Department at the beginning of 2011.The 2011 SLA conference turned out to be a great opportunity for me to learn about KM and network with KM practitioners.

I attended five KM sessions and the most inspiring one was “Knowledge in Judgment: Making Good Decisions”, given by Larry Prusak, Professor of Practice at Columbia University and the founder and former director of the Institute for Knowledge Management. Professor Prusak discussed the wisdom of the crowd and the importance of understanding the experience of others before making decisions. He gave some powerful examples. I would like to share the NASA story here with you:

NASA changed its decision architecture following a review after the Space Challenger Shuttle blew up. They now ask for input from all levels. The chief engineer runs a meeting with employees from all levels and departments and asks if they have any concerns about the current project. To make sure those who tend to feel uncomfortable to speak up in a meeting, the chief engineer even walks around the room to read body language.

I met and networked with many KM practitioners at the conference. The KM Roundtable is a particular event worth of mentioning, where we had a lively discussion. The key theme of the discussion was how a library and information professional transitioned into a KM role from a library role. Now a mentor program is under discussion in KM Division. In this mentor program, experienced KM practitioners would be paired with transitioning librarians/new professionals. I am looking forward to the establishment of this mentor program.

The SLA 2011 Conference was one of best conference programs I have attended. I am looking forward to next year’s conference in Chicago in July.

Rachel Zhao is the librarian at Alberta Health Services Libraries.




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An Interview with SLA president-elect candidates

By Kathy Drewes

A few weeks ago we asked for your questions for the two candidates for president elect of the SLA.  We received some wonderful questions.  Below are the candidates’ answers to your questions.

1)    What is your personal view of the value of SLA?

David Cappoli

“I value the diverse network, the learning opportunities, and the chances to lead that SLA offers to all members.  The network has supported me throughout all of my positions while being able to learn about trends, new techniques, etc., at conference, at local programs, or virtually, has helped me move forward in my career.  Being able to develop my leadership potential by taking on a variety roles from chapter President, to conference planning committee member has enhanced my confidence allowing me to take on more professional challenges.”

Deb Hunt

“I’ve been a member of SLA since 1986 and continue to find value in SLA. When I first started out, I was a newbie, learning the ropes, getting involved in my local chapter and the Engineering Division and learning from colleagues who generously provided advice, mentoring and examples to me of the variety of career opportunities in our profession.”

“25 years later, I’m still involved in SLA and still learn from my colleagues, whom I also value as friends. More importantly though, for me, has been the opportunity to give back to the profession by mentoring others, serving SLA association-wide, and in divisions and my local SLA chapter.  My term on the SLA Board of Directors from 2008-2010 included the creation and team leadership of SLA’s 23 Things. The 23 Things contributed to a mindset change for SLA members and enabled us to embrace new technologies, new tools, get ahead of our users and to lead rather than follow. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve.”

“My career has taken many twists and turns and SLA has been there for me every step of the way.”

2)      A)  What do you enjoy most about the Information Outlook magazine?

David Cappoli

“Timely, issue-wide topics such as the “fragmentation of the profession” in the April/May 2011 edition appeal the most to me.  And I enjoy the member interviews as well, especially if they are tied to the overall topic of the issue.  I also gain a fair amount of information from the columnists, Lesley Ellen Harris and Stephen Abram, and I am very much looking forward to more in the Market Share column by Jill Strand.”

Deb Hunt

“I like the mix of research and practical articles from my colleagues. I learn a lot about what they are doing and how I can incorporate their insights and experiences into my own career. I especially look forward to the regular columns which provide continuing education in an informal way for all our members. Information Outlook is a valuable resource and part of my professional development strategy to keep learning and stay current.”

B)  Would you like to see any specific changes to this magazine in terms of access, strategy, or content?

David Cappoli

“I enjoy receiving the magazine in print as it is easiest for me to browse and return to the articles, but having it available online should continue to be an option.  In fact, it might be worth exploring to see if some members might want to only access IO digitally which could mean a savings in production and mailing for SLA.”

“Additionally I think that IO could be promoted more effectively so that when an issue is released digitally, there is a quick rundown of the content that is sent or made available to the members.  Also, efforts should be made to be sure that IO’s content is written from a global perspective since SLA is an international association.”

Deb Hunt

“The cost of printing and postal mailing each issue is expensive. However, I feel there are advantages to both the print and eformat. I like to be able to mark with a highlighter my print issue, but searching makes it easy to access the content of the digital version.”

“Pros and cons of the print edition include:

-portable and readable for those without digital access on their portable or other devices

-expensive to print and postal mail

-takes a really long time to be delivered to members outside of North America”

“Pros and cons of the eformat:

-little cost to produce

-no cost to email

-faster delivery worldwide

-easier to ignore or forget to read it if not received in print”

3)    A)  Should SLA work with other associations to co-host or co-sponsor events?

David Cappoli

“When I was President of SLA Southern California, I often sought partnerships with other organizations whose members I felt would benefit from attendance.  Other units are doing the same as is the case currently with SLA DC which is partnering local chapters of AALL and ALA on a joint spring program.  Moving co-sponsorships from the unit to the association level should definitely be explored especially if content would be appealing to members of other associations.”

Deb Hunt

“Yes, [SLA should work with other associations to co-host or co-sponsor events]. This is already happening in some units and association-wide, but there needs to be a central clearinghouse so that all units can see who is doing what, which associations are willing to partner with us, etc. SLA has co-sponsored events in the past. With the current budget constraints, ROI [Return on Investment] will need to be thoroughly researched in order to make sure SLA profits, both in terms of finances and member-benefit.”

B)  When planning conjoint programming, what principles are important to maintain to show respect to other organizations?

David Cappoli

“If a program is co-sponsored, then every effort must be made to show that the program is being staged by multiple organizations.  This needs to be indicated in publicity, welcoming remarks, and all announcements related to the program.  And members from all participating organizations should be recruited to offer presentations.”

Deb Hunt

  • “There needs to be representation by all parties involved. For example, the Northern California and Nevada Medical Libraries Group (NCNMLG) and the Southern California and Arizona Medical Libraries Group (SCAMLG) come together annually for a joint conference. Both organizations, which are MLA chapters, plan the conference, secure sponsorships, and alternate hosting every other year. “
  • “Coordination of sponsorships is really important so that sponsors receive only one request rather than multiple ones for the same event”
  • “Each organization needs to give, but also get back so that one organization is not taking on the entire or a disproportionate part of the workload”
  • “Honest and frequent communication is needed to keep everyone on the same page”

4)      What are some new services or strategies that you support that might provide outreach to isolated librarians?

David Cappoli

“Whether librarians are feeling isolated because of geography or industry, they need to realize that they are connected to a larger network of information professionals within SLA.  It may be challenging to identify those who are feeling isolated, but once such individuals have been identified, they should each be contacted by members of their units to create informal partnerships.  These one-on-one contacts can be quite meaningful and offer a gateway into other ways of being connected to the larger organization, such as virtual seminars.”

Deb Hunt

“Having been a solo librarian and now self-employed, I know that there are two types of isolation: physical/geographical and job type. I’d like to see SLA continue its virtual presence on the SLA site and on FaceBook and LinkedIn. One area where we can improve is by offering more online ClickU courses at a reasonable cost and repeated 2-3 times at different times of day so that members in some parts of the world can ask live questions without having to be online in the middle of the night their time.”

“ClickU low cost webinars such as the one Rebecca Jones recently did cost just $49 for members. The Illinois Chapter recently hosted a guest speaker and the cost to attend that webinar was $10. These low cost webinars often sell out and are just what our members need at a cost they can afford. And the SLA Europe Chapter provides valuable free continuing education podcasts in 15-minute segments that cover timely topics for our members.”

“I think the Asian Chapter does an amazing job reaching their members in several countries. They have board members from many countries, which I think is key to bridging huge geographic and cultural differences. I know the same is true of the Western Canada Chapter where you have board members from different provinces.  I’d like to hear YOUR ideas for how to better reach our members who are far away from other members.”

5)    The current economic downturn is negatively affecting conference attendance rates.  What should the SLA do to address this issue at our own annual conference?

David Cappoli

“The conference revenue model needs to be reviewed to see if it is sustainable, and if it is not, then alternatives should be explored.  Options include shortening the conference by a day or so and rethinking the layout of the conference with CE courses preceding the formal start of the conference.  Another possibility would be having a full conference every other year, while in the off years there are regional meetings or virtual meetings.  Collaborative meetings should also be considered.”

Deb Hunt

“We need to look at how other associations are thriving in this economic environment and learn from them. Then, we need to make some tough decisions of what works best for SLA and its members so that we are sustainable both as an association and as a profession. Everything, from the annual conference current model to continuing education, must be on the table for review. Are there ways to make the Virtual Conference more appealing to members with a price they can afford and an attractive package of sessions to view and have this available after the conference? It won’t be easy, but we must make tough decisions to survive and even thrive.”

“Like other professional associations, SLA is experiencing a downturn in member numbers but people will join and stay if it’s a sustainable and valuable professional association. “

6)    How do you propose to engage new information professionals?

David Cappoli

“New information professionals should be engaged while they are still in school by encouraging members to offer internships and independent study options to students which are some of the best ways in which to expose the students to the diversity of our experiences.  We can also reach these students via guest lectures in established courses (face-to-face or online); participating in panel presentations; volunteering for resume review sessions; and, offering tours.  For those just out of school, one of the best ways to connect with them is through one-on-one contacts at the unit level suggesting that they come to programs or utilize a resource supported by SLA such as the Future Ready Toolkit.”

Deb Hunt

“SLA as a whole and SLA units need to continue to interact and collaborate with other information and library associations. I believe we can learn from their successes and also recruit new members, especially when we show them the ROI on our membership fees with member benefits such as the Alignment Toolkit, the 23 Things, the FutureReady blog and ClickU.”

“Unfortunately, library and information schools are not geared to teaching about specialized libraries and some even give 1 year free ALA memberships to their students. SLA’s Professional Development Advisory Council, of which I’m a member, is updating the SLA professional competencies and is working with library and information school faculty to include the competencies as student learning outcomes so they are part of the curriculum.”

“A new SLA initiative that I was able to broker between SLA headquarters and San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) is a way for chapters to send event announcements to the SLIS listserv and it will automatically send it to the students within the geographic region of that chapter. SLIS has 2500 students who reside in many parts of the world (it’s an all distance learning program) and we can tap into them as members, now and for the duration of their careers.  Stay tuned for more information about this.”

7)      (A)  What value do you feel non-American Chapters such as the Western Canadian Chapter add to the larger organization?
David Cappoli

“One of the principle values of SLA is that it is an international association and, as such, members bring to SLA not just the diversity of their experiences, e.g., corporate, non-profit, academic, etc., but also the variety of their geographic perspectives.  And it is this variety that can easily shed new solutions on continuing challenges, such as responding to users’ needs in a multi-lingual environment.  It also allows for the possibility of real-time answers to questions posed to colleagues regardless of the local time because, at any time, somewhere on this globe, there is an SLA member ready to lend a hand.”

Deb Hunt

“I believe ALL our members have much to offer to enrich SLA. We all are working in the information profession, but we have many different job types, skills and ideas to share, yet so much in common too. The geographic distances the WCC successfully navigates for communications and events are a model for other chapters with members over a large area.”

(B)  How do you plan to support and nurture this value?

David Cappoli

“To best position SLA as an international association, it would be noteworthy for SLA to host an annual conference outside of the U.S. and Canada – but the challenges of attendance, mostly tied to tight budgets, would be significant.  But regional conferences focused on timely topics with the majority of the planning at the local level might work.  And virtual meetings with times set by local chapters so as to best accommodate their members are an option.  SLA can also encourage its units to jointly fund stipends for international members to attend the annual conferences.  These scholarships, such as the ones developed by the Business and Finance Division, SLA Europe, and the SLA Asian Chapter, can help lower the major cost of traveling to and registering for conferences.”

Deb Hunt

“We should not assume that we are all on the same page. We have a very diverse membership in terms of jobs, culture and geographic area, and we need to be focused on being less America-centric.”

“Here are some things SLA can do:”

  • “Provide more low cost webinars which I mentioned above and at different times so that they are not during the middle of the night for some of our members. The SLA Europe podcasts are an excellent example of free valuable professional development for members that are just the right length and in a format that makes them easy to listen to at any time.”
  • “Poll our international members to see what they want and need from SLA so we can engage them more fully”
  • “Identify growth areas and opportunities for all geographic  areas”
  • “Reach out more to our international members”

Kathy Drewes is EMBA / MBA Liaison Librarian at the University of Calgary’s Libraries and Cultural Resources.





Posted in 2011 Vol 14 Issue 3Comments Off on An Interview with SLA president-elect candidates

Creating A Resource-rich Health Library Website

By Denise Bonin

Fraser Health, with its 13 hospitals and 5 main and 8 smaller library locations, is one of the largest authorities in British Columbia in terms of population served and health and medical resources collectively held.  The web-interface for the library catalogue, which has been hosted by Andornot since 1999, has recently been completely revamped.


The new site, at http://library.fraserhealth.ca, uses the Umbraco content management system, allowing authorized library staff from any location to quickly add and change content on the site.  The new catalogue interface using Inmagic software, features quick and advanced search pages and many other options from the Andornot Starter Kit, as well as an RSS feed for recent acquisitions on the Quick Search page.  Fraser Health staff can search the catalogue, determine the material type at a glance from the small icon and view more information about items through the links to Google Books.  They can also add selected items to an ordering cart and send in a request for delivery to their nearest hospital library location.

Perhaps the most fabulous new feature of the site is the Subject Guides.  Fraser Health Librarian Niki Baumann coordinates this area and has moved all the information from individual BlogSpot (now Blogger) websites.  She has completely revamped the interface to this resource rich area of the website by dividing each Subject Guide topic into What’s New, Journals, Books, Databases and Websites. For added continuity between the Subject Guides and the catalogue database, Niki has used the catalogue’s permalink attribute to link from the featured new books to the actual record in the catalogue so that users can easily click through and request an item.

The Subject Guide pages are kept constantly up-to-date with embedded RSS feed headlines from various journal websites.  The titles within each of the feeds link to the articles themselves through the library’s EbscoHost and Ovid subscriptions.   If the user is within one of the Fraser Health hospital locations the link via IP address authentication is seamless, or from outside the hospital, the link is through a user name and password combination.   These resources are now readily accessible to all Fraser Health professionals, from their offices, their homes or on the road.

Contact Andornot for more information on any of the above features.

Denise Bonin is co-founder and Director of Andornot Consulting Inc.