Washington, DC Chapter

June 2013 President’s Column – Connect, Collaborate, and Strategize

June 2013 President’s Column – Connect, Collaborate, and Strategize

By Marie Kaddell, President, DC/SLA

I’m a summer person. I love putting away the last vestiges of cold weather – my winter scarves and sweaters – and digging out my sandals and flip-flops. It feels like freedom! Summer is about getting out there for some adventure and also stopping to smell the roses along the way.

One manifestation of this is the summer conference season and my personal favorite of all the summer library conferences (and I go to quite a few each summer) – the SLA Annual Conference and Info Expo.

The 2013 SLA Annual Conference is being held June 9th – 11th in San Diego, CA. Here are a few quick resources about the conference:

The theme for the conference is Connect, Collaborate, and Strategize. This synchs up well with my theme as DC SLA President:  Connecting, Collaborating, and Expanding Our Potentials. With DC SLA members attending, presenting, and in active leadership roles in SLA, there will be many opportunities not just to learn about these themes, but to embody them through our activities at conference and throughout the year.

Some Thoughts on Conference Going for Those Who Attend and Those Who Don’t

If you’re attending:

Like everything else in life, you are going to get out of a conference what you put into it. If you are able to attend, make the most of it. Take some time to plan. Print out your personalized schedule. Bring your business cards with you and network. Learn every way you can each day you are attending. With over 200 events, including educational programs, networking events, receptions, and tours happening at SLA, you can create a conference experience that really suites your needs with some planning.

Take some notes. And don’t just stick them in your desk drawer afterwards. If you go to sessions and take some great notes, we’d love for you to share them as a guest post on the DC SLA blog. Think “Top Things I Learned at….”

Just one more thing – push the envelope a little.  If you are a bit timid about networking, build in some receptions or breakfasts and make yourself talk to people you don’t know. Not on Twitter yet? There’s no better time to start than at conference time. Think of Twitter as providing you your own open notebook of conference takeaways and a new way to build up your professional network.

And while you are at the conference, find one cool thing to do that’s not part of the conference programming. This is the stop-and-smell-the-roses part of the conference experience I was talking about. Go to a restaurant you’ve read about, do a tour, visit a landmark, see an exhibit. There are lots of great ideas on the SLA San Diego Chapter Wiki.

If you’re not attending:

Learn virtually.

On Twitter:  The conference Twitter hashtag is #sla2013. Follow @sla2013 for official SLA conference tweets. I’ll be live tweeting from sessions throughout the conference @libraryfocus. Chris Vestal, our DC SLA VP, will be tweeting at @Guybrarian1. Come follow us around!

Check out what’s going on over at the SLA Facebook page.

Hit the DC/SLA and Maryland SLA Joint Happy Hour on June 13, 5:30 – 8:00 pm.

Later this summer, attend DC SLA’s 2013 SLA Recap program for a lively presentation of conference takeaways by conference-goers and conference presenters.

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