Business Law

1st Spring Happy Hour Held on April 1st: Six SLA-NY Members Receive Scholarships To Attend Annual Conference in New Orleans

Leigh Hallingby, SLA NY Chapter President |

SLA-NY 2010 Conference Scholarship
Winners with Leigh Hallingby, Chapter
President: Robert Drzewicki, Seth
Bookey, Leigh, Kerry Prendergast, and
Moy McIntosh.
Leadership Directories Sponsors Jim Marcus
and Adam Bernacki with Leigh Hallingby,
SLA-NY President, and Pam Rollo, SLA-NY
President Elect.
The Spring Happy Hour on Thursday, April 1, 2010, was the perfect occasion for presenting the SLA-NY scholarships for attending the New Orleans conference to the four recipients who were able to be present. Sponsored by Leadership Directories, this was already a special Happy Hour with an open bar, lots of appetizers, and, in honor of April Fool's Day, a tarot card reader! Actually the Happy Hour also fell on National Census Day, when all Americans were supposed to mail in our census forms. What could be a more auspicious day for a group of information professionals to get together than this most important of all days for gathering information?

After a brief introduction by President Elect Pam Rollo and a short presentation by Leadership Directories, SLA-NY President Leigh Hallingby presented four Chapter members with checks to cover most of their conference-related expenses. As far as anyone currently active in SLA-NY can remember, the Chapter has not previously awarded scholarships for attendance at any of the annual conferences. SLA-NY’s ability to do this at this time is due to the grand job of fundraising that John Ganly and Bill Noorlander did in honor ofthe SLA Centennial in 2009. Many thanks are due to them.

Each recipient was asked to say a few words about what s/he is doing in the information profession now and what s/he hopes to get out of the conference:

  • Seth Bookey, former librarian with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Library, is the Chapter’s current Webmaster. He has also worked with the Employment Task Force during the past year, helping develop surveys, and suggesting ideas for programming. Of his reasons for wanting to attend the annual conference, he says: "One thing that I hope to get out of this year's conference is more information about using the Web as a way of communicating, for both a future employment opportunity, but more immediately for our Chapter. Every year that I have gone to SLA, I have heard about new technologies and Websites well ahead of them becoming popular. . . . Being able to learn about new technological advances, and sharing ideas in person with colleagues at SLA, are probably my highest expectations of going again, along with maintaining my existing relationships with out-of-state colleagues in different chapters, and meeting new people as well."

  • Robert Drzewicki is currently enrolled in the St. John’s University MLS program, following 20 years as a financial services technology manager. He says that "attending the annual conference will greatly expand my network globally, way beyond the New York border. In addition, the conference will certainly provide incredible opportunities for learning and information sharing. However, the greatest benefit of attendance will be as follows: having the opportunity to understand and internalize first-hand the results of the Alignment Project. Libraries are going through unprecedented change brought on by the promise of technology and the changing needs of clients. Hiring executives do not understand how and what 'value added' services special librarians can contribute. SLA has studied these trends and as a result of the Alignment Project, has adapted a powerful platform to refine the positioning of the information profession in the marketplace."

  • Moy McIntosh is a former President of SLA@Pratt and graduated from there in 2008. Currently employed by Fitch Ratings in New York, Moy is on the Nominating and Program Committees of the SLA New York Chapter. This will be Moy’s first SLA conference, and she is eager to experience SLA on the global level. Happily, since she has received this scholarship to attend the conference, Moy has also been able to garner her employer’s support to take two courses ("Understanding Copyright in a Web 2.0 Culture" and "Developing an Effective Strategic Plan for Your Library") that SLA offers right before the conference begins.

  • Kerry Prendergast has been to half a dozen SLA conferences since 1994. This one will be different for her because of her new position with the Wildlife Conservation Society. She said: "As a 20+ year library professional, I understand and value the benefits of attending the SLA annual conference. This year is particularly important for me in that I have only recently joined the Wildlife Conservation Society as its new Library Director. This will be an excellent opportunity for me to meet colleagues in my new field. I have worked in several industries; but working at the WCS means learning a whole new industry, new resources and new technologies. It is also my first experience working with a non-profit. So I have a great deal to learn and I believe that attending the SLA annual conference will help me gain the professional knowledge I need to succeed here at the WCS."

Unable to attend were Crystal Cutler and Shirley Zhao. They each wrote statements about their attendance at the conference:

  • Crystal Cutler is currently enrolled in the Palmer School, as well as working as Records Coordinator at Consumers Union/Consumer Reports Magazine. She said in her application that attending the SLA Annual Conference would give her the opportunity to become engaged in the Association, to meet librarians working in different roles and organizations across the U.S. and other regions. "As an active member of ARMA (records management association), I know well the value of being active in a professional association. The greatest benefit of attending the Conference will come from my colleagues - hearing generally about their experiences, careers and organizations; specifically how others are maintaining quality services (even thriving) given less staff and budgets in this difficult economy."

  • Shirley Zhao is currently a dual degree masters student at NYU and LIU, and works part-time at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences Library and part-time for the Dual Degree Administrator. She sent this statement in her absence: This will be my first national conference! I hope to network and learn from other professionals, while exploring the current issues and innovations in the field.

    I graduated from Smith College in May 2009 with high hopes of pursing a career in special libraries. I worked at Smith's Performing Arts Library for three years as a student assistant in circulation, acquisitions, and basic cataloging. In Summer 2008, I interned at New York University's Courant Library, which specializes in the mathematical sciences. Because of the inspirational professionals and paraprofessionals I worked with, I am convinced that this is the career path I want to pursue.

    Today, I am a graduate student at Long Island University, studying library and information science, and at New York University, studying mathematics. I hope to graduate in May 2011 with both degrees. My next goal is to intern at a medical library because medicine is another interest of mine.

    For getting me one step closer to my dreams and giving me this wonderful opportunity to expand my horizons and become part of an active group of information specialists, thank you.”
Each of these six conference attendees will be writing an article after the New Orleans conference about the experience. Please stay tuned to hear much more from each of them in the September 2010 issue of the SLA-NY Chapter Newsletter.

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