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Event Recap – Chapter Open House 2014: A Celebration of Members and Volunteers

Event Recap – Chapter Open House 2014: A Celebration of Members and Volunteers

By Kathy Kelly

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DC/SLA drew over 80 attendees at its chapter Open House/Volunteer Appreciation event and membership reception on September 16. The event was held at the National Geographic Society (NGS) Library in D.C., and was sponsored by Proquest and Dow Jones.

As an icebreaker, attendees were asked to write the name of a place, real or imaginary, that they have visited or would love to visit on their name tags. Some interesting places like “The Shire” elicited some interesting ice-breaker chats. The registration table volunteers, Charles Perkins and Lois Steinberg, also distributed Starbucks gift cards to members who had served as volunteers during the year.

Deena Adelman, chapter Program Planning Committee Chair and President-Elect, welcomed attendees, thanked the program host, sponsors, and the event’s planning team of Eileen Deegan, Kathy Kelly, Alicia Pappas, Lois Steinberg, and Maggie Turqman. Chris Vestal, chapter President, described his own interesting career path in terms of how it intersected with his chapter involvement. He provided “Top Banana” figurines to honor all the chapter committee heads, and a Member of the Year Award to Kathy Kelly, the chapter Volunteer Coordinator.

Kathy Kelly is presented with the Member of the Year award.

Kathy Kelly is presented with the Member of the Year award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter committee heads with their “Top Banana” figurines.

Chapter committee heads with their “Top Banana” figurines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris also announced that Kelly Knight and Karen Nimerick were the recipients of the Leadership Summit stipend award, which will support their attendance at the upcoming SLA Leadership Summit in Baltimore (January 21-23, 2015). Jill Strand, President-Elect of SLA, reminded attendees that the SLA Board Election and By-Laws vote was open through September 24th, encouraged attending the 2015 Leadership Summit and Annual Meeting, and discussed other SLA developments.

Alicia Pappas, chapter Membership Director, and Kathy Kelly, chapter Volunteer Coordinator, introduced themselves and gave a warm welcome to members and volunteers. They introduced 9 Committee representatives who came forward to provide 60-second overviews of their committee activities and to encourage joining their groups. The committees included the 75th Anniversary Committee; the Book Club; Communications and Marketing; Employment and Career Resources; International Relations; Military Librarians Group; Program Planning; Social Events; and the Web Team.

Attendees enjoyed an ample beverage bar, and a delightful buffet of Whole Foods goodies, including wraps, quesadillas, cheese and fruit, veggies, and desserts, while they mingled to meet other members, visit with sponsors, view a Prezi presentation compiled by Membership Director Alicia Pappas about the chapter year, and learned about the chapter’s various committees, groups, and activities. The evening provided an opportunity for friends to catch up and members to form new connections, and a chance to participate in a raffle, the prizes for which were 3 beautiful books and some edible treats provided by National Geographic. A committee sign-up sheet attracted people indicating shows of interest in 16 chapter committees.

There was also an optional tour of Hubbard Hall, the original Headquarters building of the National Geographic Society, towards the end of the evening.

There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available in the chapter, such as participating on a committee or hosting an event. Members interested in volunteering should visit the chapter’s Get Involved page or contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@dc.sla.org.

Thank you to the following people for having volunteered throughout the year to date!

Deena Adelman

Rebecca Aftowicz

Kari Anderson

Raven Austin

Joyce Baker

Jessica Bland

Paul Boccaccio

Jennifer Boettcher

Anne Caputo

Marcy Carrel

Jacquline Chapman

Laura Choyce

Eileen Deegan

Claire D’Mura

Leia Dickerson

Diane Falk

Lila Faulkner

Barbara Ferry

Jon Fiencke

Jessica Fomalont

Morgan Grimes

Trudi Hahn

Layla Heimlich

David Hemingway-Turner

Lisbeth Herer

Wendy Hill

Ramona Howerton

Richard Huffine

Lois Ireland

Michael Jourdan

Marie Kaddell

Samantha Kaplan

Barbie Keiser

Kathy Kelly

Angela Kent

James King

Kelly Knight

Karen Krugman

Alison LaBonte

Betty Landesman

Julia Leggett

Sharon Lenius

Elizabeth Lieutenant

Anne Linton

Mariana Long

Shirley Loo

Jill Lynch

Zeinab Mansour

David McBee

Lily McGovern

Stephen Mellin

Hannah Miller

Victor Monti

Abi Morgan

Susan O’Brian

Greta Ober

Chris Olson

Norma Palomino

Alicia Pappas

Amber Paranick

Charles Perkins

Asheleigh Perry

Kelli Peterson

Lisa Haakon Pogue

Stacey Redick

Dawn Reinhardt

Trudie Root

Bruce Rosenstein

Gretchen Sauvey

Megan Smith

Gabrielle Spiers

Lois Steinberg

Mary Talley

Angela Titone

Maggie Turqman

Kris Vajs

Chris Vestal

Catherine Wagner

Malea Walker

Connie Wiley

Lynora Williams

Ming Wong

Jenny Wood

Diane Wunsch

Jan Zastrow

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Event Recap: Happy Hour/Taco Tuesday at RFD

Event Recap: Happy Hour/Taco Tuesday at RFD

More than 20 DC/SLA members and guests networked and socialized during Happy Hour/Taco Tuesday at RFD in Chinatown on July 29th. The event was organized by Jon Fiencke.

Are you interested in hosting a happy hour, dine around, or other social event? Please contact Jon Fiencke at social@dc.sla.org

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Event Recap – SLA Annual Conference Recap & Visit by SLA President-Elect Candidates

Event Recap – SLA Annual Conference Recap & Visit by SLA President-Elect Candidates

by Jan Zastrow, DC-SLA Communications Team

Sipping wine and noshing on tasty appetizers from the rooftop of Drexel University’s DC Office (and what a view of the White House!), DC-SLA members and friends (38 onsite and 17 virtual attendees) convened the evening of Monday, July 14, to hear the best of the2014 SLA Annual Conference in Toronto and to meet SLA President-Elect candidates Jim DelRosso and Tom Rink. Jim and Tom kicked off the evening with their respective visions. Jim’s theme is “move forward,” every day, every year, leaving things better than we found them. Tom’s vision is sustainability. Despite a downward trend in membership and annual conference revenue, he wants SLA to provide continuity and transparency.

Anne Caputo discussed the SLA Competencies document, saying we’ll be doing more in the way of collaboration, providing decision support (analysis and synthesis) and developing data management skills, i.e., extracting meaning from Big Data. Our skills are highly valuable but we need to be more proactive and entrepreneurial.

Sharon Lenius’ takeaway from Dave Pollard’s presentation on “How Not to Run a Meeting” was the importance of room layout. Not surprisingly, round tables are much more effective for eliciting group participation. The Military Librarians Division will be sponsoring a workshop on this and other topics such as leadership and training in Arlington, VA, Dec. 6-9 (details TBA).

Barbie Keiser reviewed the session on “Borderless CI: Researching International Intelligence.” She reported that the trend is to look at the global aspect in emerging markets: Brazil, Latin America, India and South Africa. How to do this? Partner with locals, and learn what the ethics and legalities are in different countries.

Richard Huffine gave a whirlwind summary of the Opening Keynote speech, the Annual Business Meeting, and the Closing Session. He recounted the moving experience of having an elder from a First Nation conduct open ceremonies with a chant and blessing. The theme of the conference was “Crossing Borders” and keynote speaker John Wilbank urged conference-goers to “think of borders as intersections, not divisions.” Huffine reported that the business meeting had a “distinct lack of information” but to make up for it, the Closing Session offered four “TED-style” talks that were inspiring—so much so that he felt they should have been at the beginning of the conference!

Last but definitely not least, Chris Vestal reviewed Mary Ellen Bates’ presentation on “Information Alchemy: Adding Value Where It Counts.” Bates explained that our perception of our value is more generous than our funders’ perceptions of our value. Executives want librarians to provide insight, not just data. Know your audience: senior executives prefer to reduce risk rather than save time. Sales staff, on the other hand, want quicker and better answers. Bates urges us to “ask for complaints.” Ask, “Did you get what you needed? How could it be better?” BYOD—Build Your Own Data—when there’s no database for your query. Use Google Auto-Complete to see what others are thinking. Try “[search term] vs.” and see what comes up. Use Google Trends; try datamining government sources. Finally, provide visually valuable results by using InfoGraphics. Bates admonishes us to: “Be brave … try new stuff!” Bates’ slides can be found at http://www.batesinfo.com/extras/files/sla-2014-information-alchemy.pdf.

Recording of the recap

Thanks to Safari Books Online and Drexel DC for sponsoring this great professional development opportunity!

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Event Recap: Communicating through Infographics: Visualizing Scientific and Engineering Information

Event Recap: Communicating through Infographics: Visualizing Scientific and Engineering Information

By Suzanne Grubb

This July 10 webinar was presented by Christa Kelleher of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and sponsored by the Transportation Librarians Roundtable along with DC SLA.

The amount of data being generated every two days as of 2013 was equal to the amount of data created up to 2003. We need to simplify that information to better communicate it to the public.

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar on how to present clear, effective charts and graphs.

 1. Don’t rely on defaults. For every aspect of your charts and graphs, think about ways to maximize effectiveness and reduce clutter.

  • Rule 1: Choose an effective plot type.
  • Rule 2: Remove “chart junk”.
  • Rule 3: Display the same number of dimensions as the dataset
  • Rule 4: Consider the use of color
  • Rule 5: Maintain axes when comparing subplots

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2. Understand human strengths and weaknesses in interpreting visual information.

  • Some “encoding attributes” are easier or harder for people to assess: Color saturation, shading, and area are harder to perceive more effective for highlighting patterns. Length and position are more effective for highlighting details.
  •  For bar charts: Reference the y-axis to zero, rotate the chart (to horizontal) if there are too many categories, and be aware of scaling issues. For line charts: Choose an aspect ratio that banks to 45 degrees.

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3. There are a lot of tools available to help you get started.

The presentation recording and slides are available on the Transportation Librarians Roundtable website. Make sure you download the PowerPoint slides, which are a wonderful resource with detailed examples of each rule in action, along with an extensive list of resources.

 Suzanne Grubb is a digital librarian/instructional designer and all-purpose info-geek, currently building a Clinical Research Education Library for a DC-based association.

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Event Recap: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War: Author Book Talk and Dinner

Event Recap: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War: Author Book Talk and Dinner

By Jill Lynch
On May 14, 2014 the DC SLA Military Libraries Group hosted an author talk with Kayla Williams at Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro in Old Town Alexandria. Kayla was invited to talk to us about her newest book, Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War over an intimate dinner with a small group of 16 librarians and guests.

Kayla-Williams-Dinner
The dinner was located on the second floor of the recently opened, Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. We had the entire space to ourselves and it was elegantly decorated for our event. The upstairs facility had a view overlooking King Street, a private bar and restrooms. DC/SLA member and CUA library student Elizabeth Lieutenant was posted downstairs at the entry to the Bistro to hand out name tags and direct attendees upstairs.
Guests started arriving just after 6:00 PM for cocktails, appetizers and networking. While sipping on drinks and enjoying bites of spanakopita, fried calamari and triple dip on pita bread slices, we caught up with old friends and new acquaintances. Kayla arrived early and socialized with us before the talk started.
Time quickly carried us later into the evening and everyone settled into their seats close to 7:00 PM. Salad was served as Kayla was being introduced. She told us all to enjoy our meals, as she had no problems with talking over clinking forks and plates.
Kayla started her talk by giving us some background information about how she met her husband, Brian McGough, during her year-long deployment to Iraq during the early years of the war, which is documented in her first book, Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army. The remainder of the talk centered on the years that take place after she returned home from war. Kalyla shared details of the many challenges she experienced as a female combat veteran and new wife including the lack of care returning war veterans receive, the difficulties of reintegration into civilian life, and the strain of caring for Brian during his rehabilitation from traumatic brain injury he received during an ambush in Iraq. Kayla also described how energizing it is for her to advocate for better care for future generations of returning warriors.

Dinner was a choice of Chicken François or Eggplant Parmesan and was served just before the end of the talk. Kayla is a vegetarian and her first book details how difficult it was for her to find healthy meat-free meals while on deployment. It was a blessing that Vaso’s gave us a vegetarian option.
Kayla sat down to eat as most of us were finishing up. She sat in the center of the “T” shaped table and entertained questions while dessert and coffee were served. She answered all of our questions with a combination of directness, allegory, and wit and she left us laughing frequently with a point well-illustrated through clever humor. Once again we found ourselves short of time and unfortunately the fellowship couldn’t continue as long as we might have liked. The dinner was scheduled to end at 8:30 PM but we were still chatting well past 9:00 PM. Before leaving for the evening, Kayla reminded us that she would be more than happy to speak at any of our libraries.
The DC/SLA Military Libraries Group is grateful that Kayla Williams spent an evening away from her family to share her story with us. We were also pleased with Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro and would like to thank the management and staff for facilitating this wonderful and informative event.

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