The Special Libraries Association

Categorized | ChapterNews Archive

SLA- NY Annual Meeting

Jack Styczynski

The highlight of the SLA New York Chapter’s annual meeting on October 4th was the presentation of the Inaugural Dana Gordon Innovation Award to Pam Rollo, past president of both SLA and SLA NY.

Gordon was the long-time chapter member who passed away earlier this year.  At the meeting, she was remembered in speeches by friends and colleagues Seth Bookey and Judy Ganeles, as well as in a written tribute by Susan Szeliga, which was read aloud by Ganeles.

Upon receiving the award, Rollo’s first words were “this feels fraudulent,” although she immediately made clear that was meant as a compliment to Gordon, calling it a “tremendous honor” and returning the $250 that came with it back to the chapter for professional development use, believing that’s what Gordon would have wanted.

After the meeting, Rollo shared further thoughts.

“Dana was such a tremendous, tremendous person because she was this wonderful bridge between what we have historically been and what we are now,” Rollo said.  “Dana was really a scholar.  She read incredibly; she really did serious research.  She was a great news librarian and I think the thing we admire her for is that she always accepted the waves.  She was like a surfer.  Whatever technology came along, whatever new management capability came along, she not only engaged into that personally, she insured that her team had appropriate skills, had appropriate capabilities.  And then through the financial crisis of 2008, she really was very inspirational.  She’s such a can-do girl.  She embodies so many wonderful values that we admire professionally and that we admire personally.  We’re alike in many ways, but we’re different in many ways, and so I think it’s important for me to acknowledge the uniqueness that Dana brought to her career and that Dana brought to the chapter.”

Rollo’s latest project with the chapter is the new Leadership Speaker Series, which she told members should inspire them to be more “selfish,” meaning not so reliant on employers to manage their careers.

“What we’re suggesting is that it’s perfectly acceptable and more importantly it’s proper that people have to go ahead and take care of their own career,” she said.  “We want our members to be selfish.  We want our members to have aspirations.  We’d like our members to become hiring managers, senior executives, because the people who really understand what we do best are people who do it.”

The speaker series is designed to accomplish that, Rollo added.  “I hope it’s going to provide some inspiration.  I hope that it’s really going to broaden their horizon, make them think bigger.”

The new program is actually part of a larger membership campaign that SLA NY President Donna Severino addressed at the meeting.  It includes a variety of events, promotions and other endeavors, and as of October had helped increase chapter membership from 751 to 777 in the calendar year.

“If this was 15 years ago, I would say, not so good, but in this economy and the way the profession has changed, I’m jumping for joy,” Severino said.  “So if I can increase 50 to 75 new members by the end of the year, that would make me happy.”

A restructuring of communications was also discussed at the meeting.  Severino said the chapter has always had a communications program, but it was very small, being run by one or two people.  After a committee was formed, there’s now a division of labor with different members handling social media, listservs and the website—with everyone backed up in case they’re sick or otherwise unavailable.  “We’ve also scheduled communications so we’re not bombarding people,” she added.  “We thought about the saturation level.”

Related to communications is SLA NY’s current effort to transform ChapterNews into an e-publication.  “It went from a print publication to a blog, and what we want to do is bring it into the 21st century and make it an online publication, an e-publication,” said Severino.  A subcommittee has been crafting an editorial policy, with the aim of turning it over to the full publications committee for design and construction.

*   *   *   *   *

In other chapter business:

  • Also honored at the meeting were Vida Cohen, who received the Mergent Distinguished Service Award, Nick Collison, Amy Sarola and Matthew Brown, who each received President’s Awards, and the chapter’s Communications Committee, which earned the Mergent Outstanding Achievement Award.  The committee includes Sarola (Director of Communications and SLA NY listserv), Nicole Dupras (Secretary and LinkedIn/Twitter), Katie Hut (Facebook), Davis Erin Anderson (student listservs), Rebecca Chadwick (student listservs), Stan Friedman (Webmaster), Hannah Behrens (non-announcement social media postings), Jackie Rider (website), Jodi Nelson (website), John Tomlinson (website) and Johanna Goldberg (website).
  • The Ellis Mount Scholarships were presented to Gretchen Nadasky and Eimmy Solis.  These scholarships for local library school students were created this year in Mount’s memory, after the passing of the long-time Columbia professor and SLA NY member.
  • The 2013 Executive Board candidates for open positions were all approved by unanimous consent.  They are Nick Collison for President Elect, Krissa Corbett-Cavouras for Secretary, Happy Blitt for Finance and Fundraising Chair and Eileen Rourke for Professional Development Chair.
  • SLA NY finances were announced, which includes approximately $131,000 in various accounts.  “For a not-for-profit chapter, that’s very good,” Severino said.

Comments are closed.