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Event Recap: DC/SLA Holiday Party & Annual Meeting

Event Recap: DC/SLA Holiday Party & Annual Meeting

By Jan Zastrow, DC/SLA Communications Team

Held at the National Press Club Tuesday, December  9, in downtown Washington, DC, 85 DC/SLA members and friends gathered to celebrate the holiday season, fete this year’s award-winners, thank the outgoing board for all their hard work, and welcome in the new board for 2015.

Between bites of seared ahi, baked brie, broiled shrimp and juicy mussels, your trusty DC/SLA Communications Team blogger took notes on what our members are up to:

Greta Ober of World Bank recently returned from Mexico City, invited by Central Bank of Mexico to give a presentation on resources in their library. She was also busy this year organizing the international reception at the annual conference last June. Good job, Greta!

Consultant and researcher Ceceile Richter is working on collecting information about the early development of the aviation industry for a special project. Kathy Kelly just got a job with ABRA (Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration) as Records Management Specialist. She’s enjoying the proximity to cuisine at such places as Yama’s and Ted’s Bulletin :)

Jane Meyers of Lubuto Library Partners recently returned from the Southern Province of Zambia where they opened their first rural library. Another big success!

Imogene Akins Hutchinson, Jack Levengard and Anne Marie Del Vecchio of Leadership Directories—and frequent sponsors of DC/SLA events—were celebrating a highlight this year: after the November  4 elections, they got their Congressional “Yellow Book” database updated by 11am the next day—truly amazing! BTW, they told me about a great end-of-year special: if you use export credits from the Leadership online products, re-up by December 31 and get this year’s pricing (saving $100)!

It was great catching up with consultant Mary Talley, just back from several months in Ireland, as well as past president Marie Kaddell. Visiting SLA member Dee Magnoni, of Los Alamos National Laboratory, dropped by after attending a conference with Clifford Lynch and the Coalition of Networked Information. She reports that the Open Science Framework—a collection of research tools for scientists—is becoming interoperable, mobile and collaborative.

And of course many thanks go to our generous sponsors that helped support the festivities: Special Counsel Information Governance, Safari Books Online, LexisNexis and IOP Publishing as our exclusive Catherine A Jones Memorial Scholarship Sponsor.


For the Annual Meeting portion of the evening, outgoing President Chris Vestal talked about endings–the perfect time to reflect on legacies and all the little things that we’ve done which add up to more than the sum of their parts. He affirmed that DC/SLA is the largest and most active chapter in the country and he only needed one word to sum up the 2014 DC/SLA legacy—“Amazing”!

Congratulations to our five DC/SLA members who won SLA-Level Awards:

Anne Caputo—SLA Hall of Fame Award
Angela Kent and Tanya Whippe—SLA Rising Stars (2 of 3 rising stars recognized in 2014!)

We also had two DC/SLA members that live outside the DC area receive SLA Awards (which just goes to show how large and vibrant our community is):

Tracy Maleeff from Pennsylvania—Dow Jones Innovate Award
Cindy Hill from California—John Cotton Dana Award

The SLA Student and Academic Affairs Advisory Council (SAAAC) also recognized our Student Group at Catholic University with a Merit Award for their Innovative Programming.

And for the DC/SLA Chapter Awards:

Kathy Kelly won the DC/SLA Member of the Year Award for all her hard work as our Volunteer Coordinator … Congratulations, Kathy!

And there was a new award this year—the DC/SLA Leadership Summit Stipend Award. This award pays for two members to attend the SLA Leadership Summit so they can network with leaders in the association and further develop their own leadership skills. Our first year recipients of this award are Kelly Knight and Karen Nimerick. Way to go, K&K!

Elizabeth Lieutenant won the Catherine A. Jones Memorial Scholarship. Special Counsel Information Governance won the DC/SLA Board of Directors Award for all their years of support for the chapter. A big shout-out to all the winners and participants!

In 2015 DC/SLA will use the member-generated content from our “What’s Your Theme” blog series to publish its first white paper in order to continue the conversation around professional development and branding.

Treasurer Ramona Howard brought more good news: we’re under budget and in great financial shape!

Next year is DC/SLA’s 75-year anniversary and in light of that, incoming president Deena Adelman unveiled her theme of “reflective momentum.” Adelman calls on all members to contribute reflections and favorite memories of how DC/SLA has moved them. “I feel privileged to serve as president for DC/SLA in its 75th year,” Adelman proclaimed. Sharon Lenius is the 75th anniversary coordinator … applicable, she announced, as her 75th birthday is February 3! (Plan to join her that evening at Hamburger Hamlet in Crystal City to help her celebrate :)

Stay tuned for lots more anniversary happenings coming up and be on the lookout for a kickoff event in early February (date TBD) … see you all in 2015!

Happy Holidays!

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Event Recap – Military Reference & Research: Sources & Research

Event Recap – Military Reference & Research: Sources & Research

By Malea Walker

There is more military information freely available online than you could possibly imagine, and even more held in the archives and collections of the many military and government libraries in the DMV area. Over the course of the day we heard from 27 speakers from various institutions that work with military information. This whirlwind of speakers only allowed for a brief glimpse into the treasure troves of each library, but gave us a massive amount of information to refer to later.

The day began with a generous continental breakfast and a chance for networking. As we settled into the program we heard brief introductions from Sharon Lenius and Wendy Hill before Lillian Gassie’s welcome address. Lillian, who is now working with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), gave us a look back at the progress of military information online, including the deep impact that 9/11 had on the type of information that could be disseminated. Over the past few years, she noted, there has been a slow and cautious reopening of information.

We continued the day by hearing from six panels. The first was the Academic Panel, which began with a presentation by Lily McGovern of the National Defense University (NDU), and then presentations from Faith Kanno of the Marine Corps University and Trish Bachman, also from NDU, who is working on the redesign of the MERLIN website. Trish explained that after MERLIN’s website was taken down, they have been working to put all of their material into different formats such as LibGuides. The new MERLIN homepage will be up soon! We also learned the difference between some of the military universities, and were cautioned by Lily that some have .mil addresses, but other have .edu websites.

Next, the Science and Technology Panel brought us brief overviews of DTIC (Wendy Hill), the Naval Research Labs (Carol Lucke), and the Naval Observatory (Sally Boskens). Wendy discussed the public resources (also available through NTIS, Science.gov, etc.) and reminded us of the benefits of being a DTIC customer including digitization on demand. Carol showed us that while most of NRL’s materials are behind a firewall, there are some items in their publications section that are freely available. Sally showed us some of the incredible items available at the Naval Observatory library including receipts that she just found for purchases in the 1800s.

After a break we continued the morning by hearing from the History & Archives Panel and Medical Resources Panel. We heard about the wealth of historical information available at history.army.mil (Carrie Sullivan), the Veterans History Project (Bob Patrick), and the the great collections of the US Naval Academy Archives (Jennifer Bryan), Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress (Patrick Miller), and the US Air Force Historical Studies (Terry Kiss).

The Medical Resources Panel revealed some different ways of searching for medical intelligence information (Matt Bachtell) with different languages and foreign websites, and the information available from various other medical and academic military institutions (Ann Holman, WRNMMC; Linda Spitzer, USUHS; and Debra Yourick, WRAIR).

After lunch we were able to hear from a panel on DoD Resources (Connie Wiley, US Army Corps of Engineers; Paulette Haiser, NGA GEOINT; Kristen Svendsen, Pentagon Library; Mary Hickey, DINFOS; Mary “Tuke” Klemmet, DAU) and a panel on Think Tanks (Gail Kouril, RAND; Lisa Pogue, Homeland Security Institute; Cy Behroozi, Brookings; Rebecca Morgan, National Academy of Sciences). These were very quick but showed how much could be found that I hadn’t seen before online. One thing that stood out for this particular recapper was that the Pentagon Library has digitized older Army Regulations available through their catalog.

Marie Kaddell then gave a wonderful presentation on non-governmental websites that provide military information of all types including military news, history, social media, veterans resources and more. Marie will be putting up her slides onto her website at http://www.governmentinfopro.com/

Finally, Wendy wrapped up this wonderful and informative day with thanks to the speakers, and a big thank you to the generous sponsors: Elsevier, Gale/Cengage Learning, Morningstar, Peterson’s, and Fedlink.

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Event Recap – Up in the Cloud with Google Drive

Event Recap – Up in the Cloud with Google Drive

by Carol Abrams

Renée Zellweger’s famous line in the movie Jerry Maguire was “You had me at hello.” Google Drive had me at 15 gigabytes of free storage space.

Maryland’s chapter of the Special Libraries Association held a workshop on Google Drive, which this Virginian attended and is summarizing for you.

Anyone with a Google account can use Google Drive, and you can establish a free Google account with any e-mail address, regardless of whether it is gmail. You launch Google Drive from the “app” icon on the top right of any page in your Google account. The icon looks like a three by three box of small dots.

I back up my more important files by uploading them to Google Drive and storing them in the Cloud. Uploading files to Google Drive also is an alternative to e-mailing them to yourself when you want to share files between your home and work computers. You won’t need to carry your files on a flash drive either. You will be able to access your files anywhere you have an Internet connection. At the workshop, I learned that given Google Drive’s roomy storage capacity, I could store more there if I needed to open up space on my computer’s hard drive.

Once a file is in your Google Drive, you can share it by emailing it or by sharing a link to it Then you can give your recipients privileges ranging from purely viewing the document to editing it. If you choose to allow your recipients to edit it, then it becomes a collaboration tool like a wiki where each person’s comments are visible to all in real time.

You can create documents, spreadsheets, slide presentations, surveys, and art in the Cloud using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms respectively. The first four are a lot like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Paint. The advantage is that you can create a Google Doc, Google Sheet, Google Slide, or Google Drawing wherever you have Wifi even if your laptop, tablet, or computer does not have the MicroSoft Office Suite. [You can even work offline through Google Chrome once you download a special app/extension].

Three tips from the workshop: as you work, your document automatically saves and syncs. There is no “save” button. You can save your work in a number of file formats including pdf, rich text format, or any of the Microsoft formats. You can use an application called Fogpad to encrypt your documents.

Using Google Forms has been called the hidden gem of Google Drive by Steve Dotto of Dotto Technology. It is easier to create a survey, poll, or quiz, or gather RSVPs than on the more comprehensive tool Survey Monkey. Once you are ready to share your form, you can email it to recipients, share it as a link, or even embed it on a webpage or in a blog post.

The workshop presenter was Dr. Sean Henry. He is the Library Webmaster and Coordinator of Library Instruction at Frostburg State University. You may know him as a Past President of the Maryland Chapter of the Special Libraries Association and its current webmaster. Dr. Henry has graciously shared his presentation with us.

Google Drive’s slogan “Keep everything / Share anything” sums up what you can do: store up to 15 GBs of any kind of data for free and share as much of it as you would like.


Carol Abrams is earning her MIS degree at the University of Tennessee.

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Event Recap – Career & Networking Happy Hour at Science Club

Event Recap – Career & Networking Happy Hour at Science Club

By Rick Kowalski

There was a crowd of about a dozen DC/SLA members at the Science Club on Thursday, November 13th for the Career & Networking Happy Hour organized by the Employment & Career Resources Committee. The Science Club was able to accommodate the gathering with a room on the second floor of the establishment (in which there was a huge wall hanging enumerating the popular inventors through history, naturally).

The event gave me a chance to catch up with a few familiar information professionals and to meet some new people. I enjoy learning about the day-to-day for other librarians at these events. We all do so many different things at the organizations at which we work, and we work on some interesting projects. I also bumped into a couple job seekers at the event and was able to provide a few tips on where to look and who to contact for job opportunities.

While talking to career committee member Dawn, she mentioned that requests for resume review usually peak around the end of Fall & Spring semesters as students graduate and start looking for work. Which brings me to an important point – any DC/SLA member can submit their resume for review by the Career Committee at any time. Those who wish to become resume reviewers can volunteer through that link as well.

DC/SLA job seekers can also take advantage of the Employment Portal and the mentoring program.

Laura Choyce, the committee chair, says that there are great ideas for future career-focused events, such as an interview coaching session and a hiring manager Q&A panel. Watch the list serve and the calendar for other upcoming career events.

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Event Recap: Open Data/Open Source: Promoting Social and Economic Good

Event Recap: Open Data/Open Source: Promoting Social and Economic Good

By Leia Dickerson and Marcy Carrel

The DC/SLA International Relations Committee (IRC) hosted an evening program on October 22h to discuss the changing roles of data and information in international settings. “Open Data/Open Source: Promoting Social and Economic Good” included speakers from a research services vendor and an international development organization.

The program began with networking and refreshments in the Washington, D.C. office of Drexel University. After the networking hour, attendees listened to presentations from Samir Goswami of LexisNexis and Stuart Ridgway of the International Trade Administration.

Samir Goswami is the Director of Government Professional Solutions at LexisNexis, where he manages renewal and growth of the Federal Government’s data integration business line and directs the development of a Rule of Law portfolio. During his talk, he reflected on the developments of and his experiences with data science and open data and the challenges they present. For example, Goswami discussed his time at Amnesty International USA and his involvement in organizing records of human rights abuses from Amnesty International’s Urgent Alert Network and finding a partner institution to digitize them. Following his talk, the audience engaged Goswami on the ethical issues raised by privacy concerns in opening data.

Following Goswami’s presentation, Stuart Ridgway spoke. Ridgway is a senior consultant with the International Trade Administration (ITA), a bureau within the Department of Commerce. During his talk, he gave a brief overview of ITA’s mission and how open data provides a link from U.S. businesses to overseas economies. The ITA’s Trade Developer Portal currently houses trade event schedules, trade leads, ITA office and center locations, market research, and trade news. Ridgway described how businesses and other stakeholders in both the U.S. and abroad can use the Portal and its data to build and develop trade relationships. Ridgway also discussed how he and his colleagues are involving different stakeholder groups in the Portal’s further development. He noted how information professionals are uniquely able to address issues in data organization and standardization, which is critical for the Portal’s success. At the end of his presentation, Ridgway answered questions about how he promotes ITA’s Portal. The event concluded discussion with both presenters and the audience on the ethical and policy challenges open data presents both developers and end users.

The DC/SLA International Relations Committee is grateful to the speakers Samir Goswami and Stuart Ridgway, and the venue hosts Trudi Hahn and Joshua Wilkins for making the event possible. Appreciation also goes to IRC committee co-chairs Leia Dickerson and Marcy Carrel; committee members Barbie Keiser, Victor Monti, and Lena Gomez; SLA President Chris Vestal; and the SLA Executive Committee for their support. The IRC is happy to bring 2014 to a close with this successful event.

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