Business Law

Rebuild, Restore, Renew

Moy H. McIntosh |

Moy McIntosh is the Librarian at Fitch Ratings in New York. She is on the SLA New York Nominating and Program Committees. She attended Pratt’s MLIS program where she was a former President of SLA@Pratt. She has an undergraduate degree in Art History and Anthropology. She worked in the museum field prior to changing her focus to business librarianship.
Like the city we have to rebuild with training
For me this trip to New Orleans was very special. Not only was this my first SLA Conference,  an opportunity to meet and be inspired by our best, but this city has held a mythical image in my mind since childhood. In 1969, my mother traveled from Sweden to visit a small town in Kansas to see her kindergarten classmate from Germany. My father lived next door and they met over coffee. Two weeks  later for their fourth date, he flew to New Orleans. They met at the famous Two Sisters Restaurant for dinner and he proposed with a simple gold band "in case she said yes." As if New Orleans didn’t have enough of a romantic mysterious image. To a child this glorious city could entrance my level-headed mother to marry a man she’d only met three times. What treasures could it teach me?

Recently I realized that our conference in New Orleans was near the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. While I was there the sentiment of fight and resilience was quite evident with the city and its citizens. With the recent oil spill, variations of the Katrina theme of "Rebuild, Restore, Renew" could be spotted everywhere, from tourist shop t-shirts and shot glasses, to elegant prints in art gallery windows. As I took a photo of one of these window displays it occurred to me that with my career I should always try to rebuild, retrain, and renew.

The similarities between NOLA and SLA kept hitting me in the head like beignets I couldn’t resist that I ate again and again. While on the Degas tour, our guide mentioned the city was spared the burning and destruction that befell Charleston during the Civil War due to the new importance of railroads in the country. The city’s port and businesses failed, yet with time the Crescent City rebounded. We, like New Orleans, have retained a great history and an image to which we are connected, but like the city we have to rebuild with training. Just as the city has shown through the press that the tourists are back, the number of small businesses are at a record high, and the gumbo is still grand. We have to prove with our own press that we are as vital and needed as before.

I can’t express how honored I felt to be a part of SLA-NY during the awards presentation. To see Guy St. Claire and John Ganly be honored and the many New York members speaking their praises was very inspiring. We are a very strong group with many having the drive to lead great careers and the desire to give back to their community. The evening filled me with enthusiasm and made me wonder of all I could learn from these fantastic careers. The next day with this new exhilaration still coursing through my mind, I attended the Rising Star and SLA Fellows Roundtable. I was eager to hear the panel’s thoughts. It was a well planned event with each award-winning Fellow paired with a Rising Star winner from the previous night and given a subject to discuss. To have each topic viewed through the enthusiastic eyes of the Rising Star and then counterbalanced by the insight of the Fellow was a fascinating approach and well worth repeating next year. I thought how could we bring this to SLA-NY and then realized that I have already seen this at work, from wonderful mentors and fellow members that have always been very willing to give advice, to the constant push to get recent members involved on boards and committees.

I would like to thank SLA for giving me the opportunity to attend my first SLA Conference in New Orleans. Without the scholarship I would not have been able to afford the venture. New Orleans was amazing and I can’t wait to go back. She taught me a lot about strength, courage, and originality. The conference and the city will forever be a source of inspiration on how I want my career to be, how I will achieve it, and the courage it will take to always rebuild, restore, and renew.

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