Washington, DC Chapter

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Event Recap – DC/SLA Board Retreat

Earlier in the month, the DC/SLA board gathered for its annual retreat. The meeting serves as a way to get all new board members on the same page as they begin to plan for the year ahead.DCSLA Board Retreat 2015 2

This year’s retreat focused on the 75th Jubilee celebration in 2015.

Among tentative program plans this year are a Jubilee Gala, a museum scavenger hunt, and a DC/SLA Past Presidents’ TED Talk Favorites presentation.

The chapter’s new president, Deena Adelman, presented her theme for this year: Reflective Momentum. She kicked off this year’s theme with a blog post; check out her reflections on Volunteering, Momentum, and Legacy. Board members will also be sharing their reflections on how their membership in SLA and DC/SLA has impacted their lives and careers. Deena asks all members of the chapter to share their reflections – see the Share Your Reflections post for ideas.

You can get a chance to meet the board and learn more about 75th Jubilee plans at the upcoming 2015 DC/SLA Kickoff Event on February 11th at Cleveland Park Library.

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Event Recap – Leadership Summit

DC/SLA had a big presence at this year’s SLA Leadership Summit in Baltimore, MD this weekJubilee Display SLAleads.

First of all, the chapter hosted a refreshment break celebrating our 75th Jubilee Anniversary.

Stacey Redick, chapter archivist, pulled together a display of photos from DC/SLA’s history. Donning patriotic hats, the attendees enjoyed a cake in honor of the Jubilee. Naturally, George Washington followed us up to Baltimore for the event. He turns up in the strangest places.

DC/SLA also co-sponsored the welcome reception with the Maryland chapter. On Thursday night, Leadership Summit attendees enjoyed drinks, food, and a great view at the top of the Hyatt hotel. A few of our chapter’s members had their portraits drawn.

slaleads_cvIf you missed the Leadership Summit, there are a couple of ways to catch up on the event.

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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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