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SLA NY Conference and Expo September 18

SLA NY Conference and Expo September 18

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DC/SLA Leadership Summit Stipend Award

DC/SLA Leadership Summit Stipend Award

Happy Friday Everyone!

I just wanted to share with you all an exciting new opportunity for professional development!

With our theme of Community and Fundamentals this year we really wanted to go the extra mile with investing in our members and providing opportunities to grow fundamental skills. One amazing opportunity would be for members to attend the SLA Leadership Summit. During SLA summit attendees are able to network with leaders in the profession as well as SLA staff and further develop their own leadership skills.

To empower more members to we’ve created the DC/SLA Leadership Summit Stipend Award to reimburse 2 members up to $1000 each for all travel, registration, and expenses associated with Leadership Summit. To be eligible to apply, the applicant must be a member in good standing with DC/SLA. The DC/SLA Awards Committee will verify each applicant’s membership status using the SLA online tools. DC/SLA student members, retired members, and those who are simultaneously members of other SLA Chapters may also apply.   Current DC/SLA Board members are not eligible.

While any DC/SLA chapter member is eligible heavy preference will be given to current DC/SLA volunteers. The deadline for applying for the award is August 21 at midnight.

You can apply online at: http://dc.sla.org/awards/annual-leadership-summit-stipend/

The  2015 SLA Leadership Summit will be held at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore on the Inner Harbor, January 21-24, 2015.



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DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – July 2014

DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – July 2014

Food for Thought

  • The Big Data Landscape: A Field Guide for the Rest of Us by Suzanne Grubb – For those of us that have no need or resources to start wrangling massive data sets in our small libraries — here’s a quick look at some important big data trends to keep an eye on.
  • More Food for Thought

o   More Data for Your Dollar | Data-Driven Libraries – Library Journal

o   Librarian Nancy Pearl Maps Out A Plan For Your Summer Reading – NPR

o   Library of Congress to Display Interviews With Blacks, Noted and Unsung – New York Times

o   The contributed papers from SLA 2014 Annual Conference are now available.


President’s Message

  • Focus on the PositivebyChris Vestal, DC/SLA President – In general I try to stay positive but sometimes it’s hard, especially if I’m working on a project with someone where there’s bad feelings between us.

Event Recaps


What’s Your Theme? By candidates for SLA President-Elect

  • Move Forward By Jim DelRosso – When I was in college, my grandfather — the original Jim DelRosso — would send me notes in the mail, usually with a bit of cash.* Most of these notes were short but heartfelt words of encouragement, the most common of which were simply, “Move forward.”
  • Service Before Self! By Tom Rink – My dad was fond of cautioning my brothers and me about the inherent pitfalls of thinking too highly of ourselves. We were constantly being reminded about the consequences of walking around with a big “M-E” etched on our chests and that we needed to focus more on the needs of others. Humility and being of service to others were virtues that were stressed early and often in our lives.

Upcoming DC/SLA Events

Professional Development

​​Chapter eNotes is an e-newsletter from the DC/SLA Chapter.

  • DC/SLA Communications Secretary – Lisa Haakon Pogue
  • DC/SLA Communications Team – Suzanne Grubb, Jill Lynch, Zeinab A. Mansour , Amber Paranick, Megan Smith, Malea Walker, Jan Zastrow

DC/SLA Social Media Directory

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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









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.
















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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