Washington, DC Chapter

Archive | President’s Message

DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – May 2017

DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – May 2017

President’s Message

Greetings to everyone in our Chapter and to those who may be interested in becoming members of our Chapter. We’re at the end of spring and there are already many things taking place. Our Chapter Board is focusing on increasing membership this year. As you’re well aware, our Chapter membership has decreased over the years and we want to make an effort to regain some or all of those members. We’re segmenting our efforts to focus on current LIS students, current Chapter members, and those individuals who have not renewed their SLA membership. Our Chapter Board receives membership data from SLA Headquarters so we are able to track our efforts on a regular basis. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a few new memberships, but more would always be better.

We have many Chapter programs coming up over the next few months so I hope that all of you will take advantage of them. Our members work hard to produce these programs and we need to show our support for them. At our last Chapter Board meeting, it was decided that we would make sure that at least one Board member attends each program; “being there” is part of our professional commitment, so please take a look at the upcoming programs and make an effort to support our Chapter and our colleagues.

After our last Chapter Board meeting earlier this month, I was really thrilled to see so many Board members staying later to discuss issues and plans. Our meetings take place at the end of the work day and our meeting didn’t end until almost 7:15pm. Several of our members stayed past the conclusion of the meeting to work for the betterment of our organization. It was extremely gratifying to see the dedication of our Board members in making our Chapter better and stronger. We have a wonderful Chapter Board!

If you’re fortunate enough to be going to the SLA Annual Conference, please let me know so we can find a chance to get together. I know several of our DC colleagues who are going and our Chapter is always a co-sponsor of the East Coast Reception, so please make yourself known if you’re going. Also, if you’re going, please volunteer for SLA opportunities that may arise. It’s good professional development for you and it helps to build the reputation of our DC Chapter.

Let me close by encouraging everyone to be fully engaged with the DC Chapter; give of yourselves and encourage others to join or rejoin SLA. We all know the importance of networking; here’s our chance to make it a reality.

-Blane Dessy, DC/SLA President


Our Events in May

We hope you can come and attend our events in the future, but if you missed them here is a write up of each of them. We hope to see you there for the next ones:

May 16th Happy Hour

Cheers to all that came!

To the first of many happy hours we hope to have this summer, the one at Bar Deco worked out very well. We all enjoyed our libations and food. The price on their Hawaiian beer as well as having funnel cake fries on the menu made it even more enjoyable.

Thanks to Jonathan Fiencke for organizing an opportunity for 10 librarians to come together and have a social happy hour. There were some new librarians who joined us for their first DC/SLA event, as well as members who have been a part of DC/SLA for some time, so we are glad everyone who took part.
May 18 Networking Event
Special Library Association, DC Chapter members and some non-members joined Diane L Cohen at the law firm of Arent Fox, LLP for a fun evening of coaching in the area of networking and just plain getting over ourselves.

We practiced laughing yoga and listened to our breathing – all part of the preparation to relax. Diane led us through this process because people tend to get stressed when we set out to “network” and during interviews. We noted to ourselves in laughter that one can not practice laughter yoga during an interview, but one can listen to one’s own breathing as a technique to relax and take your mind away from itself.

I took away two major points among the numerous ideas presented:

1) One should have a 30 second personal narrative prepared in advance of going out to events at which we present our professional selves.

2) Networking, like riding a scary roller coaster, is an activity that requires proactive movement in events and scenarios. We need to embrace the ride and seek out opportunities.

It was useful event all around – and fun. All learning moments that require systematic or consistent interaction with other people also entail some self analysis. These moments can be challenging for precisely that reason in my humble opinion. But this is how we become better professionals and better people.

If you are interested in joining DC/SLA, please reach out to me to see about how you might get involved at jesse(at)meta21st.com.

Joining DC/SLA is a perfectly good way to engage in the networking process.

-Jesse Lambertson, DC/SLA President-Elect

 

May 23rd From Belize to Bermuda Travels of a Librarian at the SQCC

IMG_20170523_192112488

E. L. Doctorow once said, “The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a library card, and a passport” While the second one is obviously the most important, for Mary Berghau Levering the third one has been very helpful in her travels to 163 countries. A librarian who was a senior leader at the Library of Congress from 1966 to 2011, Mary has been involved with many aspects of the library field.

Her travel philosophy can be summarized into two quotes:
“The World is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page”
-St. Augustine
“Don’t tell me how smart you are. Tell me where you have traveled”
-Mohammed

Her first journey was to the South Pacific where she went to countries small and tiny. Whether it was visiting Micronesia, Marshall and Solomon Islands, or scuba diving in Tuvalu she took a first step into her great journeys.

Next she was in the Southern Balkans, visiting countries that are still reeling from the war and recovering from the changes, a few decades is still too short a time frame. Unfortunately her least friendly people were there in Bosnia, but every experience is a learning one.

After that she went to the Amazonian Delta Region where she visited the first of her Guinea countries, Devil’s Island, Guyana with their 877 species of birds, and Suriname.

Then she embarked on a set of two different African trips. First was to East Africa and South Asia taking a loop from Djibouti, Burundi, the Seychelles, Maldives, Kerala, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.And the most recent set of journeys took her to West African nations of Mali, Guinea, Liberia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Algeria, and Western Sahara. One very touching moment was visiting a soccer (football) game played by former child soldiers who are also amputees. They played the game with crutches.

Not all of her adventures were part of grand trips, some were direct trips such as her favorite countries include: New Zealand, Turkey, Costa Rica, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Laos, and even Antarctica (it counts even if it is not a country).

While we all hope we might be able to go to a percent of the countries that she has been to, it is still inspiring of the opportunity to see so much of the world.

I just renewed my passport, where are you going next?

-David Blum, DC/SLA Communications Secretary

 

May 27th Privacy Session

The first rule of Privacy Club is you talk about Privacy Club.

The second rule of Privacy Club is you make sure that others know about Privacy Club.

Or so to say, as Jesse Lambertson (DC/SLA President-Elect) explained in his information session at the Mt. Pleasant Library. As he explained there are a variety of tools and techniques that we can all incorporate into our daily life that makes the balance between technology access and personal security easier.

As privacy is no longer a given due to information collection by both governments and companies, it now falls on the individual to seek out their own privacy.

There are introductory steps such as using Duck-Duck-Go (https://duckduckgo.com/) as your default search engine instead of Google, Yahoo, or Bing. You can make your SMS services go through Signal (https://whispersystems.org/) to ensure that all messages between Signal users are completely encrypted, you can even re-verify phones using QR codes the next time you see each other in person for added benefit.

The next step is ensuring that your passwords are secure, so resources such as Last Pass or 1Pass Password Managers are a good way of putting highly valuable information into a secure lock box, not a list in front of your screen. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are another way of putting even higher security in your browsing habits if you are at a coffee shop or traveling.

On a deeper level, there is the well known TOR Browser and system (https://www.torproject.org). TOR or The Onion Router, is a way of using relay points to mask your searches and internet use. In addition there different operating systems that are also inherently secure due to their make-up. One of them called Qubes, which compartmentalizes your Operating System so that if you are browsing online and are infected with malware, it will only impact that one section you have been using, while a different section with banking or personal details are secure in a different one.

You might ask yourself why be worried about Privacy, but Glenn Greenwald makes a valid point in this Ted Talk that Why Privacy Matters, and the mindset that having nothing to hide is wrong.

-David Blum, DC/SLA Communications Secretary


Upcoming Events

Join us for a GIS Workshop with Samuel Russell
::::::::::::::::::::::::::
June 6, 2017 – 6:30-8 pm.
Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
Room 303.

Register and more information located here: http://dc.sla.org/events/?ee=438

If you have any event suggestions to highlight, please use this form to contact the Communication Secretary or the Programming Chair through this portal http://dc.sla.org/about/committees-groups/program-planning-committee/

Keep an eye on our events calendar for other upcoming activities.

 


Bookmarks

Informational topics and articles you might have missed

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

DC/SLA Communications Secretary – David Blum

Posted in Announcements, Chapter eNotes, Event Recap, Events, Featured, President's MessageComments Off on DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – May 2017

President’s Message: An Exciting Year To Come!

By Beth Maser, DC/SLA President

 

Wow! I cannot believe it is already December. It seems like I was just handed the gavel from Deena.

What a year we have shared together as a chapter. DC/SLA still continues to be a thought leader within

SLA. Working with incoming President, Blane Dessy, we have reached out to the staff at HQ and offered

our chapter up to be the pilot for new membership initiatives. Both parties are extremely excited about

seeing how we can increase our membership numbers and our reach within the DC-area and expand the

number of job titles to which we can market. If you have any ideas or thoughts you would like to share

regarding these efforts, please do not hesitate to reach out to Blane or myself.

 

Throughout the year, I have continuously promoted the call for volunteers. SLA continues to thrive

under our collective volunteer leadership. Many of our volunteers have made long term commitments

to SLA and have continuously served in leadership positions of note, both at the local and national

levels. There is ample room for new and emerging leadership at DC/SLA. In fact, many of the names on

the incoming Board are new to leadership. Some are new to the profession and others have been

members for well over a decade. I could not be more excited to see what next year brings as they begin

to work together and reach out to their networks for new ideas and their successors. Our membership

can only continue to benefit from these combined efforts. This is a great time to be a part of DC/SLA!

As they year draws to a close and I leave the chapter in very capable hands, I wish all of you a very happy

and healthy holiday season. I hope 2017 is a professionally rewarding one for all of you. Be encouraged

to volunteer, grab a leadership opportunity, mentor a new member of our community, and embrace

change. Cheers and best wishes.

Posted in President's MessageComments Off on President’s Message: An Exciting Year To Come!

President’s Message – October 2016 – Volunteers Welcome!

By Beth Maser, DC/SLA President

I cannot believe it is already fall. Time is passing by so quickly. Our Chapter election has been concluded and I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Board Members. The following members will be working hard under the leadership of our incoming President, Blane Dessy:

President-Elect: Jesse Lambertson
Treasurer-Elect: Layla Heimlich (Current board member)
Programming Chair: Helen Keil-Losch
Communications Secretary: David Blum
Recording Secretary: Karen White
Sponsor Relations: Chris Lao-Scott
Technology and Innovation Director: Lissa Snyders

[You may read more about the new board members here]

This year has been one of change for our association. MCI has worked hard to reinvigorate our national organization, but DC has continually stayed vibrant and strong. I am very encouraged by the new names on our Board. Please help them make the chapter the best it can be next year.

VOLUNTEER!!!!

New faces and names help strengthen our chapter and encourage new leaders to emerge in DC. You cannot expect to see change if you sit on the sidelines and let these opportunities pass you by. Local leadership opportunities will not only raise your visibility in the chapter and introduce you to your local peers, but these skills will also aid in your professional development outside of SLA. Writing a blog post for the website, planning an event, speaking at a conference, running for an office, or applying for an award. All of these activities assist with building your leadership skills. They not only add to your resume, but can also be considered as additional activities in a performance review, or when applying for new positions.

I realize that for some taking a risk and doing something outside of your comfort zone can be difficult. The one thing about DC/SLA is that it is a community of peers who encourage and support these types of risks. All it takes is one success to get over the fear of taking future risks. What is the worst that can happen? Not enough people show up to your event, or something that you may have proposed does not pass? BIG DEAL!! The fact is that you tried. Your SLA community gave you the opportunity to try and will give you the opportunity to try again and again. Becoming involved at the local level is a springboard to a myriad of different leadership possibilities.

I encourage all of our members and potential new members to join us and volunteer for at least one new activity in 2017.

You can learn about opportunities to get involved by contacting volunteer@dc.sla.org

I believe the best is yet to come for the new SLA and our profession as a whole.

Beth Maser
President, DC/SLA

Posted in President's MessageComments Off on President’s Message – October 2016 – Volunteers Welcome!

President’s Message – Engage on the Local Level

By Beth Maser, DC/SLA President

It seems that no matter where you turn these days, there is a candidate saying something you agree with, and another is not. There are politicians passing legislation that pushes us forward and others that set us back decades.  How can we coexist in such a dichotomy as a society, individuals, and information professionals?  While I do not want to turn this into a political commentary, I do believe that current events have made many of our members’ emotions run the gamut. I am very proud of our Chapter Board and our members in the way we thoughtfully discussed and handled the current events of the past month. While everyone may not share the same points of view, our membership was comfortable sharing their personal views, no matter which side of the debate they were on. [See the DC/SLA Board’s statement on SLA HQ’s motion to move the 2018 conference out of Charlotte, NC]

As information professionals we are intelligent, curious individuals with a desire to keep learning. We are passionate in our beliefs and tolerant of others’ opinions. While the political melee may be the hot button issue at the moment, we as a profession have been experiencing professional changes for quite a while. I do believe that current events will resolve themselves in a timely manner, but the challenges we are facing in the profession will not.

I would like us to take our collective activism and engagement with SLA to another level and work together to promote and encourage an increase in your participation at a local level. DC/SLA has always been one of the largest and most active chapters within SLA. Membership has been on the decline as information professionals have either left the profession, or have just let their membership lapse. Whatever the reason, I want to extend a very warm invitation to you to come back.

Just last week the chapter sponsored a wonderful event at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center with over 40 members and invited guests in attendance. The event: World Cultural Heritage Sites at Risk: Preservation Efforts in Libraries & Archives in the Middle East was a follow-up to an equally successful program on the same topic held last fall. Our members are mentoring other members, assisting with resumes, and facilitating introductions to employers. We are capable of so much more. Together we as a chapter can continue to do great things. Take all of the energy you have shown us when becoming involved in the various current event debates and channel it back into the chapter.

I am excited to see what we can do.

Posted in President's MessageComments Off on President’s Message – Engage on the Local Level

It’s Time To Turn This Rig Around!

It’s Time To Turn This Rig Around!

By Blane Dessy, DC/SLA President-Elect

I am deeply honored to have been chosen as the President-Elect of the DC Chapter of the Special Libraries Association. At the same time, I am humbled in thinking about working with such a large and successful Chapter of SLA.  When I consider the many events, the hundreds of members, and large amounts of time and energy that constitute DC/SLA, I feel challenged to live up to the standards of current and former officers of the Chapter. Given that we’re also in an enormous time of transition for the Association, I hope that you can understand both my excitement and anxiety in accepting a management position in this great organization.

DC/SLA has always been one of the largest chapters in the entire Association and our members are among the leaders in our profession. All of us are lucky to be a part of DC/SLA and to work in a community that is so rich and diverse in its talent and resources. Each member of our Chapter brings  knowledge and perspective that can be helpful to others and that sense of comradery is one of our Chapter’s distinctive features.

We each need to make a commitment to ourselves, to each other, and to our Association that we will do what we can to keep our Chapter active and prosperous. We’ve seen a decline in DC/SLA membership and our membership roster is now half of what it used to be ten years ago. As President-Elect, I’ve been asked to devote my time to Chapter membership and determine what can be done to maintain and grow DC/SLA members.  I’ve done some research and I’ve met with the DC/SLA Chapter Board and here’s what we’re planning to do.

DCSLAMembershipChart2006-2016

Between now and September, 2016, we are going to be encouraging each member ready for renewal to maintain their SLA and DC/SLA membership. We want to let our current members know that the Chapter is important to all of us and that we need continued commitment to move forward. At the same time, we will be looking at those individuals who have not renewed recently and will try to bring them back into the Chapter and the Association.

Beginning in the fall of 2016, we will be launching a larger membership drive to increase our Chapter numbers by a reasonable number. I don’t think that we can expect to double our membership, but I think that we should aim for a reasonable increase in our Chapter membership. Can we increase our current membership by 10% or so in this first year? Or is even 10% too ambitious for a first year effort? We’re not talking about a large number here, but I think it’s going to take a lot of us to raise that membership number. We will be working with SLA Headquarters to determine if we can create some financial incentives or rewards for new members in an effort to boost membership numbers.

The bottom line is this—we need to increase our Chapter membership to maintain the vibrant special library community we have in the DC area. We need current members to stay with us and to help recruit new members. We need new members to see the value of membership and to make a commitment to our professional association. So, I want to ask each one of you for your help. Can you recommit yourself to our Association and can you help to increase our membership? Please let me hear your thoughts about this. I know that this is never an easy job, but together we may be able to create a much brighter future for all of us.

Blane Dessy: PresidentElect@dc.sla.org

Posted in President's MessageComments Off on It’s Time To Turn This Rig Around!

DC/SLA Tweets

Photos on flickr

Archives