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Summary of Consultants Recommendations Report

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UPDATE: Please listen to the SLA Town Hall Recording or check out the Notes from SLA Town Hall.


To All SLA NY Chapter Members – Currently, SLA is facing a serious financial situation at a national level. A steady decline in membership and revenues over the past few years has placed the future of the organization in jeopardy. The national Board engaged change consultants who have recently published a report (see attached) to provide recommendations for the future strategic direction of SLA. You can also find the full report without needing a login at the link below:

Below is a summary of the consultants’ Recommendations Report (although we encourage you to read all 49 pages for yourself in your free time!). Please note that the Consultants’ report is a recommendation to the board. The board must vote and pass the recommendations at a Special Board meeting on June 24th. The SLA NY chapter has a limited period of time between now and June 16th at 5:00pm (the cut-off period for the board to receive comments) to communicate to the SLA national board the interests of the NY chapter. At the end of this email is a summary of next steps for chapter leadership and for you as an individual member.

Consultants’ Recommendations Report Summary: Centralize educational, sponsorship and networking opportunities as much as possible so that SLA functions as one association rather than as individual chapters and divisions acting independently most of the time (see Area IV – Key Strategy 1 on p. 5).

Key proposals & the impact of the proposed recommendations affecting NY chapter members are listed below with section and page reference numbers. Please note that the recommendations are proposed to be implemented as a package.



  • Chapter Finances


  • 7.2.a.2 Terminate annual allotments to units (p. 35)
  • 7.1 (p. 34) & 7.5 Assess up to 40% of chapter funds (p. 37)
  • 3.1.3 Sponsorship is centralized at the SLA HQ level and revenue shared 50/50 with chapter and SLA HQ only when unit contributes to successful conclusion of a sponsorship agreement (pp. 9 & 35).

Potential Impact:

  • The Chapter’s annual operating budget will be severely curtailed. It is unclear how social / conversational / networking type programming will be funded along with any financial grants to members such as scholarships and awards. We do not know how business partners feel about this arrangement.



  • Chapter Education & Networking Events


  • 4.1 Centralized provision of educational content by SLA HQ (pp. 13-14)

Potential Impact:

  • The Chapter’s role as a provider of educational programs will be removed or reduced. Large and expensive programs like SLA NY’s annual conference may discontinue, and it is unclear what role the chapter would play in providing educational programming.



Chapter Representation at the SLA Board level


  • 6.1.e.2  Reduce the Board’s size by sunsetting the cabinet roles (p. 29)

Potential Impact:

  • Less or no representation for the Chapters and Divisions at Board level, with potentially fewer opportunities for sharing ideas and knowledge, especially local innovations, between units.


Below is a link to a brief survey with a deadline of Tuesday, June 2nd to find out how you, as a SLA and SLA NY chapter member feel about key recommendations in the report affecting the NY chapter.


Next steps for chapter leadership and for you as an individual member:

  • Chapter leadership will submit questions in advance to the May 27th Town Hall meeting. Emma Davidson SLA-NY President-Elect will send notes to the membership after the meeting.
  • Survey results will inform chapter leadership comments to the SLA National Secretary, who will share them with the SLA National Board. Comments will also be used to create SLA NY chapter talking points for conversations with SLA National Board members at SLA Boston in June. We will share these talking points with the chapter in advance, and NY chapter members are encouraged to use them when speaking to SLA national leadership.
  • At SLA Boston, SLA NY chapter leadership will attend the Open Session Board meeting on Saturday June 13th as well as the Business Meeting on Tuesday June 16th at 5pm. These events will be summarized for chapter members.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out to Marcy Winkler, SLA NY Chapter President, Emma Davidson SLA NY Chapter President-Elect, as well as to any of the chapter Executive Board members. Our contact information is listed below and we look forward to hearing your thoughts. And please join the discussion via social media on Twitter at hashtag #SLANewYork.


Marcy Winkler, President

Emma Davidson, President-Elect

Kara Masciangelo, Treasurer

Tom Nielsen, Professional Development

Helen Sobolik, Secretary

Nicole Dupras, Communications Chair

Nick Collison, Past President

Sarah Davis, Mentee

Jeanine McPartlin, Mentee

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Save the Date! SLA New York 2015 Conference & Expo

Save the Date! SLA New York 2015 Conference & Expo

SLA New York 2015 Conference & Expo

SLA New York is pleased to announce that the second annual Conference & Expo will be held on Friday, September 25th at Baruch College Vertical Campus.


Following the runaway success of our inaugural 2014 Conference, which drew over 170 information professional, we are planning another day of quality learning and networking. Once again the Expo will showcase top suppliers to New York’s information community.


This event brings together SLA members and non-members in the New York Metropolitan area to focus on the current issues and technologies that impact information professionals. The theme for this year’s conference is “Your Future is Now,” which will encompass a variety of programs on technological trends and intensive professional development sessions. The tone for the day will be set by Zena Applebaum whose keynote will focus on competitive intelligence and leveraging soft skills.


Zena Applebaum is the Director of Competitive Intelligence at Bennett Jones LLP, a leading International law firm based in Canada. Zena’s primary responsibilities include practice development, market and competitor performance analysis, client relationship management, counter-intelligence and marketing. Zena brings a unique perspective to intelligence and market dynamics as a result of broad business development, data management, marketing, and corporate research experience in a variety of sectors. Zena has a joint academic and applied Master of Arts degree in Communication and Culture from York and Ryerson Universities. A regular speaker and writer on competitive intelligence topics in Canada and abroad, Zena authored “Business Intelligence for Law Firms” published in November 2012, by The Ark Group. Zena currently serves as a The Chair of the Special Library Association Competitive Intelligence Division Board of Directors and is a former member of the SCIP Board of Directors.


We hope that you will join us at the SLA New York Conference and Expo to hear Zena Applebaum as well as other top experts in our fields.


Further details about programs and registrations options will be forthcoming.


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SLA NY member Tom Nielsen will receive the Rose L. Vormelker Award

SLA NY member Tom Nielsen will receive the Rose L. Vormelker Award

SLA NY is delighted to hear that our very own Tom Neilsen has been selected to receive the Rose L. Vormelker Award this year!  This award is presented annually to members who actively teach and mentor other library professionals, and anyone who has had the pleasure of attending one of Tom’s programs will know that this accolade is well-deserved indeed.
Congratulations Tom!
You can read more about the award and its recipients here.

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Bridge to Excellence: The Sandbox


Taking inspiration from the Use SLA NY As Your Sandbox theme 2015 Chapter President Marcy Winkler presented in our last issue, the next B2E will be The Sandbox Issue.

Are you interested in exploring a new topic or field related to special librarianship? Now is the time to go for it and take advantage of a unique opportunity to share your journey with the chapter!

Your contribution could include:

  • Personal reflections on your experience.
  • A review of a publication, digital tool, event, or class.
  • An interview with an inspiring person.
  • A profile of an institution or organization.

Ready to join in? Pitch your idea to the Editorial Board at by March 16, 2015.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Rachel Finn

Helen Sobolik 

Co-Editors, Bridge to Excellence (B2E)

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Greetings from California: Former SLA-NY Member Starts Anews at CAAM

Following months of challenges to fill key positions at the California African American Museum (CAAM), Executive Director, Charmaine Jefferson is pleased to announce three new hires to fill long-standing vacancies. These recent hires include a research librarian, a visual arts curator and a history curator to help move forward the institution’s important mission “to research, collect, preserve, and interpret for public enrichment of history, art and culture of African Americans with an emphasis on California and the Western states.”

As CAAM’s new research librarian, Denise L. Mc Iver is managing projects to upgrade library operations and is responsible for the information needs of CAAM’s curatorial and programming staff, scholars, students and the general public. Mc Iver will also develop programming to promote and increase access to CAAM’s Research Library and Information Center for the public. A graduate from Fordham University in New York, Mc Iver earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology. Mc Iver also earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science from St. John’s University. She is the author of the Random House title, “Droppin’ Science: Straight Up Talk From Hip Hop’s Greatest Voices” and was a contributing essayist of “Black Like Me?” which appeared in the collection of “A Family Affair: What it Means to be African American Today.”

“CAAM continues to be one of the best institutions in which to house the history of African Americans. As the library continues to evolve, I look forward to assisting students, a variety of stakeholders and potential constituents and users,” Mc Iver said.

The California African American Museum (CAAM) researches, collects, preserves and interprets for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans.

Chartered by the California State Legislature in 1977, CAAM is a state supported
institution and a partner with the 501(c)(3) non-­‐ profit organization Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum. In addition to its permanent collection of over 6,000 objects of art, artifacts and historical documents, CAAM also houses a research library containing more than 20,000 volumes, employs and trains high school students through its Young Docents program, and hosts in-­‐house curated exhibitions and traveling exhibitions on a regular basis. The museum also tours CAAM exhibitions throughout California and the nation.

Located at 600 State Drive in Exposition Park, the museum is open to the public Tuesday-­‐ Saturday 10am-­‐5pm, and Sundays 11am-­‐5pm. Admission and workshop participation is always FREE. Parking in the adjacent lot is $10.00 all day at Figueroa and 39th Streets And provides access to all of Exposition Park. For more information on the California African American Museum visit


“Promises of Freedom: Selections from the Arthur Primas Collection” through September 2, 2012

“Löis Mailou Jones – A Life in Vibrant Color” July 12, 2012 through September 16, 2012 “Shared Thread/CAAM’s Courtyard” June 28, 2012 through December 30, 2012

“Legacy of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company: More Than a Business” through March 3, 2013

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Professional Development – The Garden of Knowledge

Eileen Elizabeth Rourke |Professional Development Chair, 2013-14

SLA created Competencies for the Information Professional of the 21st Century

While that almost decade old document is still valid, the skill sets needed to fulfill our professional roles are even more demanding, especially with the ever changing technology applications, including social media. Library school curriculums have adapted to the changes while still needing to maintain traditional courses like cataloging. Yet, in the short time frame of an MLS program, it is unlikely that one will be able to take all the courses and learn all the skills one will need during one’s career. Some of our SLA members’ point of entry was not the traditional MLS, but related areas like Knowledge Management, Records Management or being a database vendor. The diversity of our profession is reflected in the vast amount of job titles we hold. That abundance is like a blossoming garden. So, like the garden, how can information professionals keep growing and try different varieties?  That’s where Professional Development can help!

“The diversity of our profession is reflected in the vast amount of job titles we hold. That abundance is like a blossoming garden.”

As the incoming SLA-NY Professional Development Chair, I intend to offer a variety of programming that will address some of these needs at all stages of your career. So whether you just got your degree and are at the start of your career, or a mid-career or seasoned professional, Professional Development can enhance your career and make you more marketable. Retired members –don’t slip away! There’s Lifelong Learning, or YOU might be the teacher- you’re valuable experience is an asset to be shared with your colleagues!

Professional Development can be the experimental lab to try out new things.

The delivery and format of programs may vary from lectures by leadership thought experts,  best practices panels, hands-on vendor trainings and webinars- the latter is especially geared to provide easier access to learning for busy working professionals. The way to reap the richness of our profession is through collaboration with one another and partnerships with other professional organizations, including SLA headquarters and other chapters and divisions. So, I look forward to working with you and hearing  what you want to learn- define your brand!


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