Business Law

Year-End Message From the President

Leigh Hallingby, SLA NY Chapter President 2010 |

First, many thanks for giving me the honor of being SLA-NY President for 2010. My theme of “Forging a New Identity” seems like a good lens through which to view the work and activities of the Chapter this year. When I introduced this theme at the SLA-NY Annual Meeting in 2009, I was referring to our individual members needing to forge new identities in the workplace as our traditional library jobs change and vanish. Also our Chapter was about to launch into the Strategic Planning Process to forge our Chapter identity for the next 3 years. And finally our Association was in the midst of the Alignment Project to forge its own new identity for the 21st century.

I am pleased to report that SLA-NY, through the hard work of many members, has fulfilled this theme of Forging a New Identity on multiple fronts during 2010. At the individual member level, we have presented many professional and career development programs focused on helping our members who are in transition in the workplace and our members who are rethinking their careers in light of technological and other changes. Special thanks go to all of our program planners for providing us with so many programmatic opportunities for professional growth and development.

At the Chapter level we made great strides this year, starting with creating and introducing a new Strategic Plan including vision, mission and goals. Coming up with the new Plan was a long journey by a dedicated committee initiated by Steve Kochoff and brought to completion by Pam Rollo. The Plan is posted on the SLA-NY website. Its bold vision says:
Situated in a global center of knowledge and knowledge professionals, the SLA New York Chapter identifies, defines, and communicates the value of its members. The Chapter anticipates and evaluates trends with the intention of exploring and creating opportunities to influence the knowledge industry.
There are several associated calls to action including:
  • Membership
  • Fundraising
  • Updating of Library and Information Science Schools Curricula
  • Information Policy
I am happy to report that the Chapter has already mobilized to tackle the first three areas, and is also hard at work on another, not on this list, but underpinning of all of these, which is the redesign of the SLA-NY website.

Regarding Membership, the SLA-NY Board has passed a proposal for implementation in 2011 to engage more fully the several hundred people who are on our discussion list but are not actually members. They are our most obvious source of potential new members and we want to recruit as many of them as we can to be full participants in SLA for their benefit and for ours.

In the Fundraising arena, Bill Noorlander is chairing the new Vendor Partnership Committee to strategize about the Chapter’s relationship with vendors so that it is mutually beneficial to both them and us. This committee has come up with recommendations for a new way to approach vendors, asking for support for the year rather than event by event. There will be various levels of sponsorship, each with special benefits. The Committee is also coming up with suggested lists of vendors to approach for support in 2011. Letters will go out in late 2010.

A Library and Information School Curriculum (LISC) Committee has also begun working. A terrific group of volunteers came forth in response to an email requesting committee members to look at the relevance of library school curricula to the realities of today’s job market. The Committee is now working on a literature search on the topic at hand. Also, the individual members are looking at all the ALA Library School websites for evidence of such activities as surveying alums re their job experiences and opinions, holding job fairs, etc.

Underlying the Chapter’s ability to market itself to potential new members and to work more effectively with our vendor partners is our website which has gotten seriously out of date technologically. So I am truly delighted that we have a terrific committee which met in person a number of times this summer and fall to come up with a new plan for the site. The Committee has decided on all the information that needs to be included in the site and how it should be organized. At the same time, SLA global headquarters has selected a WordPress template theme for all the chapters to use which happily seems to work well with the Committee’s plan for the site. SLA-NY has been selected as a test site and thus now has access to the template. At this moment, members of the Website Redesign Committee members are writing text for pages which are being created by a Web Development Subcommittee. Committee members are committed to having the test version of the new site up before the end of 2010. This is a Great Leap Forward for the New York Chapter!

So those are the highlights at the Chapter level for 2010 in terms of carrying out my theme of “Forging a New Identity.” The SLA global level embodiment of this theme, the Alignment Project, has unfortunately gotten bogged down in the Association’s financial woes. Happily the New York Chapter has been on sound financial footing all year thanks to the great fundraising done by John Ganly and Bill Noorlander for the SLA 2009 Centennial.

I want to mention three other notable 2010 SLA-NY accomplishments:
  • The Chapter will have had an amazing total of 36 programs and events by the time that 2010 is over. Three activities per month for our members is an impressive level of activity and, most important, of service to our members and value for their investment in membership. Please do spread the word to the information professionals you know who are not current Chapter members.
  • The Chapter gave six scholarships to information professionals and students to attend the Annual Conference in New Orleans. All of them have written impressively about their experiences there for the current September issue of the chapter newsletter. If you have not read these reports yet, please do take the time to do so.
  • And speaking of the newsletter, Toby Lyles, the editor, has revived it in blog format with issues coming out in March, June, September, and December this year. Many people told me last year how much they missed the SLA-NY newsletter, so it is wonderful to have it reborn and thanks also to everyone who has written for it. 
SLA-NY is fortunate in the extreme to have Pam Rollo, the current President Elect as incoming President for 2011. She is so bright, enthusiastic, energetic, visionary, and dedicated to our profession and has already been President in 2005 of the global Association. Please do get in touch with Pam if you would like to work on one of the Chapter’s many worthwhile projects and committees in the coming year. I can promise you a rewarding experience working with a terrific group of information professionals!

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