What's SLA?SLA is a bit of a misnomer - it stands for Special Libraries Association but actually my experience suggests that the 'libraries' bit (in the traditional sense) is in the minority. The tagline 'Connecting people and information' is more appropriate, painting a much larger picture. Through SLA I've met a really wide range of people from corporate and academic contexts, ranging from knowledge managers and vendors of information products through to user experience librarians and library/information service directors.
What about Leadership Summit?
|The Engineering Division was well represented...|
This would be a daunting task, but Leadership Summit was hugely reassuring. My main reason for going was so that I could attend the planning meeting that kickstarts the whole thing. The message I got from this session is that I am definitely not alone - there are lots of dedicated, creative and inspiring people planning sessions for all the other divisions of SLA and collaboration is encouraged to ensure a practical, relevant programme for all attendees. The other Engineering Division members were also hugely supportive - I'll be working closely with Chair-Elect Giovanna Badia on this and already have a volunteer willing to talk about copyright issues in the corporate sector (thank you Gabriele!)
|...as was the Leadership and Management Division|
Just to make me feel at home, one of the evening receptions took place in Tír na nÓg, bringing a whole new angle on the conversations about my name, how to pronounce it (Nee-uv) and its meaning and origin (a totally normal Irish name, there were four of us in my class of 30 in primary school and Niamh Cinn Óir was the Princess of the Land of Youth in a well-known Irish legend).
So what's this about a virtual caucus?During one of the sessions, someone suggested in passing the idea of a virtual caucus as the first step towards developing a Chapter that is not geographically based, reaching members in any part of the world whether or not they belong to a local chapter. (See here for more on SLA Caucuses, Chapters, Sections and Divisions.) If you know who that was, please let me know in the comments - I'm a strong believer in credit where it's due!
I loved this idea and a main reason for putting this blog post out here is to get a feel for whether or not we could make this happen. Are you interested in getting involved? Do you have thoughts on how we could make it work? What kinds of things could a virtual caucus or chapter do? Maybe we can start this conversation in the comments of this blog post and develop it in an #SLATalk Twitter chat at some point? I'll be talking to Kate Arnold, Past-President of SLA, about the logistics of it all as well.
Looking forward to your feedback!