Posted in conferences, presentations

Society of American Archivists 2008 Conference

by Monique Lloyd

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the Society of American Archivists 2008 Annual Conference, Archival R/Evolution and Identities , held August 26-30 in San Francisco . Many of the sessions I attended focused on the issues of diversity, technology, and ethics. One session, chaired by John Fleckner, past president of SAA , and author of Native American Archives: An Introduction , discussed core values, professional identity, and the spiritual impact of what archivists do. I also attended sessions on the impact of technology on ethics; one which examined the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials from different perspectives, and another on archival ethics and social justice. Some of the section and roundtable meetings I attended included College and University Archives, Archives and Archivists of Color, and Native American Archivists. I will be writing more about my impressions about these sessions and meetings on my blog in the coming weeks.

In between attending sessions and meetings, I took full advantage of the services offered by the Career Center, met with Mary Jo Pugh, editor of the American Archivist, to discuss several ideas for possible journal articles, and attended poster sessions. It was delightful to reconnect with people I’d met at conferences I’d previously attended in Baltimore, Albuquerque, and Anchorage, as well as having the opportunity to meet many new people from around the United States. One especially fun evening was spent watching “Archives in the Movies”, a program by Leith Johnson showing 24 film clips showing how archivists were and are portrayed in movies from the 1920’s to the present.

I also took some time to explore San Francisco. I saw dozens of beautifully and intricately carved ivory Japanese figurines in an antique store window display. I also explored several art galleries; my favorite was the Weinstein Gallery which features the work of Marc Chagall. I spent several hours wandering through Britex Fabrics, four stories (!) of fabrics of all kinds–cottons, wools, silks, brocades, lace– trims, ribbons, accessories as well as a collection of over 30,000 different buttons.

I stopped and listened to street musicians and singers, heard people speaking (and sometimes arguing) in languages I didn’t recognize, and generally reveled in the chaos of the crowded streets with tourists (like me!) stopping to take photographs, locals walking quickly as they smoked their cigarettes, police walking, in cars, and on bikes, panhandlers asking for change, a few people who seemed as though they might be both homeless and mentally ill, women beautifully and elegantly dressed in high heels, and construction workers who took the time to look at them appreciatively.

A personal highlight was attending the Awards Ceremony and being acknowledged as one of two recipients of the 2008 Howard T. Pinkett Minority Student Award . This award “recognizes minority graduate students who manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA, and do so through scholastic achievement”. The award provided full complimentary registration to the SAA Annual Meeting, as well as related expenses for hotel and travel for attending the SAA Annual Meeting. I was honored to be presented this award and would like to publicly thank Erika Castano, Curator for the Oregon Multicultural Archives at Oregon State University; Tiah Edmunson-Morton, Reference Archivist, Oregon State University and my workplace mentor, and Mary Jo Pugh for nominating me for this award.

Posted in conferences, events

Infocamp Seattle

A cool upcoming “unconference”:

InfoCamp Seattle 2008 – an “unconference” for anyone interested in user-centered information and design issues.

Infocamp Seattle had almost 100 people participate last year, including students from all over the Pacific Northwest, librarians from universities and public libraries, entrepreneurs, professors, information architects, user experience designers, leaders of local non-profits and businesses, government employees, and more.

The cost for students is only $10 ($50 for professionals; free for volunteers), and the dates/times are September 27-28, 2008 (9am to 5pm on both days, plus an optional social event on Saturday night).  The main web site is

The event was covered by the Silverfish, the UW iSchool’s student newsletter:

And, the ASIS&T Bulletin published a story about InfoCamp too:

Posted in conferences, events

SLA Conference report from April

April Younglove reports from SLA:

On Tuesday night I returned from the Special Libraries Association convention in Seattle. I had two simple goals:

  1. To accept my scholarship award.
  2. To get through the entire conference without paying for any of my own food.

I am happy to report that I was wildly successful in both ventures. I did not need to purchase so much as a soda at the convention. There were plenty of opportunities to stop by division breakfasts, attend vendor lunches and hit the many nightly receptions. Before I left, I told my husband about my aspirations. He said with concern, “But what about networking? What about professional development? Shouldn’t you focus on those goals?”

The secret genius of my original goals, I later discovered at the convention, is that they actually caused me to do far more networking and professional development than I might have otherwise. Getting an award became a natural conversation starter, and by forcing myself to find out where the food was, I had to sit at tables with strangers and meet them. I had to attend events sponsored by divisions like the agricultural division and the military division that I never would even have dreamed of attending otherwise, had it not been for my personal scavenger hunt.

I met and talked with librarians and information professionals from all over the world and from many different organizations. A few of the organizations represented by those I met personally included:

  • Liblime
  • Rolls Royce
  • The Getty
  • Kraft Foods
  • The ARMY
  • IEEE
  • The Presidio of San Francisco
  • The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  • NBC

Many other information professionals simply worked for themselves. I was so busy going from event to event and seeking the holy grail of a completely gratis convention that I didn’t even have time attend a reception at the Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle. There was so much networking and professional development going on that I even missed out on a behind the scenes trip to the Seattle Art Museum.

What I learned as a first timer at an SLA convention:

  • SLA is truly international and is strongly represented in the UK, India and much of Asia.
  • SLA Chapters are regional groups. SLA Divisions are groups with a common interest.
  • My SLA membership includes access to dozens of free professional tutorials via the Innovation Lab ( and will soon grant me free access to Adobe software. You should take advantage of these benefits if you are a member!
  • SLA is hungry for Gen Xers and Millennials and spends a lot of time, effort, and money trying to attract students and young professionals. I got three separate job offers at the convention!
  • Vendors don’t actually know how to answer any of your questions, so you should just take a flier and enjoy the free ice cream/blinky pen/stuffed flying monkey.

Valuable tips that I learned from the sessions I attended:

  • Find a person with a job you aspire to have. Ask that person to email you his or her resume. This way you get to see what a successful resume for the job you want looks like.
  • On a similar note, ask to job shadow a professional for a day. Most people are flattered and very few people say no.
  • The traditional corporate librarian title and job is disappearing. Apply for positions that include the phrase “knowledge management” in the job description.
  • Law librarians are increasingly being called upon to do business research, so if you want to do business research consider getting a job in a law library.
  • Visual literacy skills are transferable to many areas outside of art museums. For instance: training doctors to read medical images.
  • Attitude and aptitude are more important than experience and subject matter mastery.
  • Vinton G. Cerf, one of the creators of the Internet and the acting vice president of Google feels awkward on Second Life too.

I posted a Flickr set with some pictures of my SLA 2008 adventure:

Posted in conferences, events

Report on Northwest Archivists Conference

This year’s Northwest Archivists Conference New Frontiers in Archives and Records Management was held at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska at the end of May.   The sessions were on a variety of topics, ranging from usability studies to minimal processing, managing digital photographs to a discussion about the protocols for Native American archival materials.  Two highlights of the conference included the screening of Eskimo,a classic 1933 film, shot on location near Teller, Alaska, which depicts the daily life of the Inuit people and a session on collections from several Alaskan repositories.

Many attendees took advantage of the long daylight hours to hike in the wooded areas near campus with the hope of spotting a moose or two.  Next year’s conference will be held in Portland, Oregon.

At the conference, it was announced that Robyn Ward (OR-7) had been awarded the Northwest Archivists At-Large Student Scholarship.  Congratulations, Robyn!

Posted in blogging about LIS, conferences

Robyn Ward shares her OLA/WLA conference experience

The showcases at the OLA/WLA joint conference covered a broad range of programs and initiatives being created and implemented around libraries in the Northwest. Showcases were presented in three categories. These being: outreach, training and instruction, and grant funded and innovative programs. The showcases represented a diverse assortment of programs from open access institutional repositories, to gaming, to grants for digital initiatives, and to literacy, just to name a very few. There were over 40 showcase presenters from public, academic, school, and private libraries. I was impressed by the quality of the showcases, the information that was provided, and the interest and enthusiasm of each presenter on her/his topic. This was my first time participating in a conference in such a format. I thought it a good experience and something upon which I could build either for further display or instruction in other environments. I would encourage other students to participate in poster or showcase opportunities, as these are really less of an intimidating way of participating in conferences. If you aren’t familiar with conferences at all, it is a good way to get your feet wet so to speak and to meet individuals that you would not necessary ever get to meet. Even if you may not work in a library, you have ideas and interests that are worth hearing and presenting. This is a good way to get your name out there and network.

Posted in blogging about LIS, conferences

OLA/WLA Conference Report

by Gordon Turner

SLIM-OR SCALA Vice-President

After sorting through the handouts and swag that I got from the recent OLA/WLA conference(thanks to the folks at Alldata for the spiffy mouspad!) I thought I would write a few words about last week’s conference. I arrived bright and early on Thursday and Friday to help out with registration, helped set up the Outreach Showcase with Candise Branum, and went to the SLIM reception on Thursday. In between doing all that stuff I went to some workshops and seminars.

The topics of said workshops ranged from setting up a content management system to advice on how to win a library bond election. The one that I enjoyed the most was by SLIM PHD student Brenda Hough entitled “Experts? We don’t need no stinkin’ experts! Authority, legitimacy and liability in a wiki world”. Brenda is researching how people use wikipedia, and has come to the conclusion that most of its users go to it for fast, quick information and probably don’t use it for advanced research. As a Wikipedia skeptic, I was struck by the fact that many people only use it to look up basic factual information–it’s kind of the information equivalent of McDonald’s.

Before I go, I would like to say many thanks to all the people who volunteered to help at the registration desk. Special thanks needs to go to Erica Johnson, who I think may have moved her address temporarily to the Vancouver Hilton, being as she volunteering pretty much all day Thursday and Friday.

We would love to hear from anyone at the conference about their experiences! Please post!!

Posted in conferences, events, volunteer opportunities

Sign up to volunteer at the OLA/WLA Joint conference!

OK – as most of you know, SLIM-OR SCALA will be staffing the registration desk registration for the conference. Please take a look below and see if there’s some time you can help out. Thanks!To sign up for one of the open slots, just leave a message in the comments. We’ll update the post and add your name in. If all the slots are full during the times you can help, let us know – we may be able to find something else you can help with.

OLA/WLA Joint Conference April 16-18, 2008

Hilton Vancouver Hotel in Vancouver, WAMore information on the conference:

3/21/08 – THE VOLUNTEER SIGN UP IS NOW CLOSED. Please send an e-mail to ejohnso3 [at] emporia [dot] edu if you have any questions or changes to your schedules.  We will be following up with you on 3/21/08 via e-mail to confirm the times you have signed up for.