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Event Recap: IFLA Presidential Theme – “Libraries: A Call to Action”

Event Recap: IFLA Presidential Theme – “Libraries: A Call to Action”

By Jan Zastrow, DC/SLA Communications Team
Photos by Julia Leggett and Jan Zastrow

DC/SLA–Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

Gathering at Bloomberg BNA’s Crystal City offices on the cold evening of Wednesday, January 20, 25-plus DC/SLA members met for a program on IFLA’s Presidential Theme, “Libraries: A Call to Action.”

According to its website, “IFLA—the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions—is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.”

Scheeder_DonnaAfter enjoying time for networking, hearty sandwiches and snacks, Julia Leggett, DC/SLA International Relations Committee Chair, welcomed the audience and introduced Donna Scheeder, 2015-2017 IFLA President, who outlined the “IFLA Outlook: 2015, 2016 and Beyond.” Scheeder began by charting five trends in society affecting libraries:

1) New technologies will both expand and limit who has access to information;
2) Online education will transform and disrupt traditional learning (particularly true as both students and employers are doubting the ROI of expensive degrees);
3) The boundaries of data protection and privacy will be redefined (such as the EU’s “Right to Be Forgotten” initiative);
4) Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new groups, as with Social Media; and
5) The global information economy will be transformed by new technologies.

These all represent change: change is constant and is happening faster than ever. Scheeder asserts that it’s better to lead our own changes rather than have them imposed from the outside. The best time to change is before you have to!

IFLA’s four strategic directions for 2016 are:

Libraries in Society: promoting literacy and media literacy, introducing libraries on the agenda of international organizations, promoting standards to support libraries in the provision of services to their communities;
Information and Knowledge: defining a long-term sustainable information environment, advocating for an equitable copyright framework, influencing the future of Internet Governance (such as Net Neutrality and citizen-created content);
Cultural Heritage: further developing Preservation & Conservation Centers (PACs), preservation of content in its diverse forms, safeguarding cultural heritage through Disaster Risk Reduction, etc.;
Capacity Building: advocacy agenda such as promoting libraries as part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, positioning libraries as critical community assets, and advancing librarians as leaders.

Scheeder closed by quoting President Obama: “We are the change that we seek!”

Gassie_LillianNext, Lillian Gassie, chair of the IFLA Standing Committee on Library & Research Services for Parliaments (IFLAPARL), spoke about this section—one of 43 in the organization—which shares best practices, networking, promotes regional groups and more. See the 2015-2017 Parliamentary Libraries Section Action Plan at http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/services-for-parliaments/strategic-plan/action_plan_iflaparl_2015.pdf

McCallum_SallySally McCallum, IFLA Knowledge Management/Classification & Indexing Standing Committee Member, discussed the group’s project to edit a book of 21 articles on Knowledge Management titled, “Knowledge Management in Libraries and Organizations.” Published in December 2015, it focuses on KM for Library Users and KM as a Tool for Changing Library Culture. To order or learn more about it, visit http://www.ifla.org/publications/ifla-publications-series-173 (and IFLA members receive a 30% discount!).

lavernepageFollowing McCallum was Laverne Page, IFLA Reference & Information Services Section Standing Committee Member. She recounted how one day in 2004, an IFLA–Buenos Aires publicity poster featuring tango dancers caught her attention and ever since then she was hooked. “I have moved yearly with the IFLA pack around the world … it has been pure enjoyment!” The highlight of her 2015 IFLA meeting in Cape Town was the successful outcome of a children’s book donation project.  Learn about their efforts to develop strong communities through libraries at http://www.ifla.org/africa.

Finally, DC/SLA 2016 Board Member & 2017 President Elect Blane Dessy gave a few closing remarks and encouraged as many members as possible to attend the 2016 IFLA conference in (relatively nearby) Columbus, Ohio!

Many thanks to our speakers for sharing their IFLA experiences and broadening our professional horizons.

IFLA Outlook: 2015, 2016 & Beyond

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2015 Holiday Party Recap – Catching up with friends and looking forward to the New Year

2015 Holiday Party Recap – Catching up with friends and looking forward to the New Year

By Rick Kowalski, DC/SLA Communications Secretary

The DC/SLA Holiday Party and Annual Meeting at Front Page had a great turnout on December 15th. Being one of the larger gatherings for the chapter, I always enjoy the holiday party because I can catch up with a lot of friends that I have met through SLA over the years. And I enjoy meeting and greeting the people who are new to the chapter.

This year I reminisced with some people about the great events we had throughout the year (the 75th Jubilee events being a highlight). Worklife was a popular discussion, naturally – new jobs, old jobs, job hunts, career paths, etc. I spoke to others about the uncertain future of the association as a whole. And other conversations spanned a variety of topics such as technology, music, travel, hobbies and personal endeavors. Just as I enjoy the association for the breadth of specialties it encompasses, I am equally amazed at the variety of personalities and backgrounds of our members.

The holiday event also serves as the Annual Meeting, at which the annual awards are announced (congrats to the 75th Jubilee Task Force and George Franchois). The 2016 Board of Directors was also announced. Dee Magnoni, SLA President-Elect, just so happened to be in town, so she shared a few words about how she looks forward to working with the chapter in her coming years on the Board.

Overall, it was a very fun social event. If you didn’t make it this year, make a point to attend it next year!!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

2015 DC/SLA Holiday Party and Annual Meeting

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Chapter Members Celebrate (and Crowd the Photo Booth) at DC/SLA 75th Jubilee Gala

Chapter Members Celebrate (and Crowd the Photo Booth) at DC/SLA 75th Jubilee Gala

By Alicia Pappas, DC/SLA Treasurer-Elect and Lead Organizer of 75th Jubilee Gala

On Saturday, November 7th, over 90 DC/SLA members got together at Maggiano’s in Chevy Chase, DC to celebrate 75 years of our chapter’s excellence!  An evening complete with dinner, dancing, and even some photo booth fun!  Check out the album to see a collection of the night’s attendees making silly faces and lasting memories.

Much of the current board was in attendance and even got in on the fun by squeezing into the photo booth!  Our chapter’s current president, Deena Adelman, addressed the crowd to thank volunteers past and present.  With a focus on our Jubilee year’s events and activities, we need to take this momentum into the next year and use it to promote and further improve the benefits our members receive.

While SLA as a whole undergoes major changes and developments, it is important for us to reflect on our history and what’s brought us to this place.  Many of our past presidents were at the event and reminded many of us how special this organization is, with dedicated and loyal members who continue to work toward a valuable network of information professionals in DC.

Check out the Flickr album from the Gala!
2015 DC/SLA 75th Jubilee Gala

[If you appear in a photo in this album and you wish for us to take it down for privacy reasons, please email communications@dc.sla.org]

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Recap – 31 Apps in 31 Days – October’s #DCSLATreats

Recap – 31 Apps in 31 Days – October’s #DCSLATreats

By Rick Kowalski

Last month, the DC/SLA Communications team shared their favorite can’t-live-without apps via our Twitter and Facebook accounts. (If you aren’t connected to those accounts – please connect!)

For those of you who missed the apps, here is a full list of the ones we recommended. You’ll probably need to clear out some space on your phone to make room for these:


Can’t remember all your passwords? or running out of ideas for new passwords. 1Password is an app that stores, creates and logs into your apps and websites.


A good one if you’re looking for something fun to watch this weekend, and if you have access to streaming services like Hulu, Amazon Prime or Netflix. Tells you where you can download, stream, or buy movies and TV shows.

Day One

Day One is a simple way to journal. It’s as easy as tweeting. Journal photos, thoughts, tag them, search them, view in a list, gallery or calendar formats. Add weather, location, photo, text, time and tags to each entry.  Sync automatically between devices. Available in IOS and Mac desktop versions.


Available for Apple, Android, Windows and available online, Duolingo is a free gamified environment for learning up to 21 foreign languages.

eclick presenter

Tried keynote and looking for another presentation app? What about eclick presenter? You can even ask attendees to answer questions during your presentation


Keep your notes, checklists, voice/photo memos and news clips all in one space – the cloud – accessible across all your devices. Great for keeping all your devices on the same page.


Quick and comprehensive legal research app, Fastcase “puts a comprehensive national law library and smarter and more powerful searching, sorting, and visualization tools at your fingertips.”


Are there any old Google Reader users who don’t love Feedly? Manage your RSS feeds with this versatile app available on multiple platforms. #dcslatreats

Flu Near You

Flu Near You is a website and mobile application that tracks the spread of the flu through participant reported symptoms. The data is gathered and updated weekly.


Info Pros can quickly build newsletters with Goodbits.


Start your day with a management tip from Harvard Business Review. See how many tips you can put into action each week!

Heads Up!

Info Pros are often great at trivia and clues. Try Heads Up! Guess the card on your forehead from your friends clues.

Hopper – Air Fare Predictions

Know when to fly & buy, instantly identify cheap dates, buy or wait with confidence and get notified when it’s the best time to purchase


Turn your smartphone into an instant road friendly navigator for low visibility conditions.Hudway projects an eay to view realtime image onto your windshield to help driving in unsafe conditions.

IFTTT (If This Then That)

If This Then That is here to connect your favorite apps. Trigger actions in one app when something happens in another app.


What does information profressional mean? Look it up in the InfoSci-Dictionary app for Android or iPhones. While you’re at it, find concise definitions for over 79,000 other terms in our field provided by IGI Global.


Need to access or edit a presentation quickly? Try Keynote. This presentation app, made for IOS devices, allows you to edit slides, add transitions, and even animated charts all from your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Khan Academy

Need to get a quick refresher course on a wide range of subject matter? Pick a course in Khan Academy to get you started. Khan covers seven broad subject areas.


We can’t talk about professional development without mentioning LinkedIn! Get the app to network on-the-go.


Say you get a spark of inspiration for some library outreach but you aren’t at your desk. What do you do? Moodboard to the rescue! Quickly assemble graphics and information in a stylized poster that can be printed for your library or information center!


Need to continue your research without wifi? Use OfflinePagesPro to download/save websites


Are you a podcast junkie? Try Overcast!


Helping with math homework but maybe you forget the order of operations? Try the app PhotoMath! Take a picture of the math problem, get the answer with the work shown!


Find an article you want to read later? Put it in your Pocket! This app quickly saves and organizes articles you want to read (with tagging capability!). Great for infopros during a search, or for personal reading.

Push Bullet

Bridge the gap between your devices with Push Bullet, an app that allows you to access files and information across your devices.


The biggest trivia game in the world. Every topic you can imagine. Play against strangers or your friends. Available on all platforms.


The simplist alarm clock app with no annoying clutter and beautiful sounds to wake up to. One of the most talked about alarm apps.


Sometimes you just need to get around the DC metro area quickly. “Call” Uber with the Uber app. Select your type of ride and payment (including tip!) is automatically pulled in from your credit card.


Love the filters on instagram but aren’t as into the social aspect? Try VSCO Cam. Their beautiful presets (i.e. filters) will elevate the photos taken on your phone from average to awe-inspiring


How do info pros find the fastest way home through DC traffic? Waze! Save time with this community based traffic app.


Create, organize, and share (or delegate) your to-do lists with this intuitive app.

[Photo Credit: “App Store.” Cristiano Betta. CC BY 2.0]

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DC/SLA As a Global Voice: The Triumph of an Association

DC/SLA As a Global Voice: The Triumph of an Association

A Personal Account By Zeinab Mansour

As the Washington, DC Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) celebrates its 75th Jubilee, it is important to reflect on the tremendous role the association plays as an internationally-minded organization. We have affirmed our commitment to international issues since the association’s creation in September 1940 and provided a forum for major global issues of concern. One cannot ignore its extraordinary efforts through the years, most significantly, the “Global 2000 Initiatives.” The association played a vital role in reaching out to librarians from developing countries, providing educational and training opportunities in order to enhance their professional development. Over the past year, we have focused on war-threatened areas.

Crowd at World Heritage Event - Bloomberg RoomThe information professionals took a stand against the recent destruction of cultural heritage sites in Iraq and Syria. The March 10, 2015 rally in front of  the White House  included activists and diplomats protesting the brutal and systematic destruction of cultural heritage sites in Iraq and Syria. The  information professionals were among the crowd carrying banners and calling on the international community to condemn such  devastating  destruction to world heritage sites.  The protesters urged the international community not to standby and witness such  destruction: indeed, it is “a war crime against humanity,” as stated by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.

Continuing on this theme, on October 1, 2015, a forum was convened at the Bloomberg BNA in Crystal City, Virginia. The program, entitled “World Cultural Heritage Sites at Risk: Preservation Efforts in Iraq & Syria” included three prominent speakers who shared their stories of their roles in preservation efforts.

The forum began with the moderator of the program, Mr. Michael Albin, retired Librarian at the Library of Congress who once served  in Egypt and participated in the preservation efforts in Iraq. Mr. Albin discussed the “Vulnerability of Libraries & Archives and Ongoing Efforts in Restoration of What’s Been Damaged.”

Heritage1 all speakersThe second speaker was Mr. George Papagiannis, External Relations & Information Officer in UNESCO New York Office. In his presentation, entitled, “Legal and  Organizational Contribution of UNESCO to the Preservation of Antiquities in Iraq & Syria,” Mr. Papagiannis shared his passion for collaboration on this important issue and UNESCO’s critical role.

The final speaker was Dr. Mary Jane Deeb, Chief  of  the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress.  She shared her work on the historic and cultural importance of specific sites in Iraq and Syria.

The audience included information specialists, Middle Eastern scholars and cultural activists, all united in the urgency to counter the systematic destruction of heritage of mankind. The question and answer session expressed the audience’s great concern for the international community to act and form a united front to face this major threat to the  world’s treasures.

The remarkable forum reflects the association’s role in raising awareness of crucial global issues in mobilizing support among members of the international community. It constitutes a call for partnership to face together the grave threat to the world’s cultural heritage. By providing such a forum, the association has strengthened its global voice.

Michael Albin World Heritage Event“If you’re looking for inspiration you can find it right here this evening at the DC-SLA meeting.”  – Michael Albin

In this celebration of the 75th Jubilee, it is also a recognition of the association’s triumph in its evolving role as a true player of global dimensions.

[Zeinab Mansour, Retired Librarian, The Peterson Institute for International Economics.

She is a member of the DC/SLA International Relations and Encore Caucus.]

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