Thursday, February 4, 2010

SLA Leadership Summit - Highlights, January 27-29

Sabah Eltareb, Chair of the SLA Government Information Division, did a great job writing up a summary of the recent SLA Leadership Summit. I’ve obtained permission to share it with all of you.  - James King, MLS, President (2010), Washington, DC Chapter, Special Libraries Association,

Greetings Everyone,  The SLA Leadership Summit was held in St. Louis, Missouri this year, January 27 - 29. One of the themes of the Summit was how do we engage and foster engagement, at work as well as through our volunteer efforts in SLA and other organizations. How we act, what we do, what we choose to do, how we interact with each other - all are interconnected, with each of us in charge of creating our individual role while shaping and being shaped by other factors.

Planning for the 2011 Annual Conference to be held in Philadelphia. Marie Kaddell, Chair-Elect of DGI is leading our division planning efforts - please contact her directly at with your ideas or suggestions for topics or speakers, or if you are interested in volunteering.

Updates from SLA Headquarters staff: Anne Caputo (President) and Janice Lachance (CEO) on the state of our association, the upcoming year ahead, and the Alignment project:

Janice set the stage by defining "Lagniappe" - [pronounced lan-yap] - as 'something extra', unexpected/unnecessary - making an ordinary experience extraordinary. Especially during tough times, listen, develop and demonstrate value.

A virtual conference component to the Annual Conference will be available for the 1st time, with the Keynote and Spotlight sessions among those offerings - cost of admission to virtual offerings being worked out, will be announced soon.

SLA dues & benefits - average membership dues are $130 with a return on that investment at over $531 so please remember to take advantage of:

Continuing education opportunities, many of which are free to members, through ClickU, eBrary collection of books, Innovation Lab, Execubooks;

Information Outlook subscription - trends and developments in the industry;

Searchable online membership directory - to locate members, ask questions;

SLA Career Center - resources including Competencies for Information Professionals;

Communication Mechanisms including listservs, wikis and blogs, free RSS feeder;

Discounts on office supplies and higher education.

Anne mentioned that Janice has renewed her contract with SLA with an additional 5 years.

Five global trends that knowledge professionals are affected by:

Globalization - more connections intertwining all aspects of life worldwide - government, business, mass media, etc.;

Distressed markets - world trade declined more in 2009 than since 1950's and most economies have been affected;

Disintermediation - 'cutting out the middleman' - individual wants to do more by him/her self, when desired; people more connected through technology, for greater periods of time;

Disruptive technologies - technology that improves product or service unexpectedly; examples include the online shoe market, that has changed the way that people shop/purchase shoes and that has changed the way that we provide value to our organization and patrons/clients;

Competition - technology has changed the way that people look for information, the way we find/deliver information - the competition to do so comes from a variety of areas

Mary Ellen Bates will head a taskforce to create a Toolkit of applications and tools using the Alignment findings, to help us understand & communicate our role in the world.

Healthy disagreement is vitally important to capture the diversity of SLA members yet must be done in a civil manner, to foster greater inclusion and understanding.

Kudos to Academic and SLA-Europe for highest growth in membership and to Taxonomy and SLA-Europe for highest % growth

Moving Forward with the Alignment - Maura Kennedy and Cara Schatz

Tips to implement now:

Stories - are very powerful and convey information in a strengthened fashion;

Use brand/logo on everything produced to increase visibility;

Share best practices;

Be prepared with a sound bite/elevator speech - and deliver when appropriate;

Promote yourself and colleagues to your boss, other clients/patrons;

Learn technology and use it;

Volunteer for committees, be willing to help out as needed

Keynote Presentation by Jim (James) Kane on Building and Maintaining Loyal Relationships.

Loyalty is an emotion that is built into our brain.

Four relationship levels:

Loyal - highest level; takes work to achieve (equivalent to love in personal life);

Predisposed - transactional - too lazy to look elsewhere, will stick with something until something bad happens;

Transactional - usually some exchange or purchase - most relationships are at this level;

Antagonistic (I hate you) - small number at this level

Jim was very clear that loyalty does not equal satisfaction - he believes our job is to find out what is needed by our clients

Satisfaction is a mood, about the past, what you do for them

Loyalty is a behavior, about the future, what they do for you

Essential components to foster and develop a loyal relationship:

Trust - competency, capacity, character, consistency - This is the foundation and EXPECTED from you; do not/will not get extra points for this; without this, unable to build any relationship to endure;


Recognition about what the people in your life care about;

Insightful - collect data important to your client, share before it's requested

Proactive - can't wait for someone to ask you to do something and expect to be thanked - you are just doing your job;

you must be proactive in solving your client's needs

humans are looking for shortcuts - what are you doing to help achieve it?

Identity - to be loyal, must make a connection

Inclusion - we like to be asked to be included; ask those around you to be involved with decision making, the process; effort needs to be made; transparency is key

Purpose - have a greater sense of the world - vision, fellowship, commitment

With the first day of the Summit (January 27) a day for the 2011 Planners to begin work and the second day (January 28) a day for reflection and inspiration, the last day of the Summit was more of a hands-on sharing and exchange of ideas. An opportunity to listen to and share 'best practices' and hear from Chapters and Divisions representatives.

One low-cost idea is fortune cookies - a nice alternative to a bowl of candy that could be used for a special occasion or every day. Anne ordered a batch which included three personalized messages for about $35. She left a bowl in her library/resource center for clients to pick up and each message was directly tied in to a service or product she wanted to feature.

Alignment Ambassador Projects as a Leadership Model - Jill Strand

Good practice to develop clear vision and goal;

Train on the details and best manner to communicate message(s); engage audience, regardless of size, and allow time for dialogue;

Offer tools that encourage thoughtful feedback and communication;

Use resources judiciously;

Be outward focused - pay attention for non-verbal signs, to follow-up for opportunity of more meaningful dialogue.

Hands-On Experience Panel 1: First Five Years Advisory Council

Services geared toward SLA members recently graduated, this panel discussed recruiting and retaining new members & leaders. Much of information may equally applicable to members with greater experience - it is going back to getting members engaged, wanting to join and participate. Panelists were asked a few questions:

How do you recruit/retain new members?

Offer lots of programs, wide variety, some social/networking opportunities - follow up with attendees who are not members to discuss benefits of membership;

Have strong relationship with LIS Director, provide internship opportunities for students with Chapter members;

Formal mentoring program, sub development of professional development

Publicize events to other information professionals in area;

Special welcome sessions for new members, match up with established member at programs/events

Give new members something small to do early on, to get connections established

Send energetic Chapter leadership representative to speak to LIS students to communicate benefits of SLA as opportunity to develop personally and professionally.

What does Your Chapter for members new to the profession?

Hold quarterly events - mix of formal, network/social (library tours of special libraries; dine-around, pub night);

Strong connections with student groups, have Chapter liaison to student group to keep communications channel open;

Library School liaison to Chapter - recent library school graduate

Have recently graduated professional be part of programming committee;

Advisory Board position, 'First 5 Years Director'

Career Guidance Chair - not just for new professional

Reward student graduating with the highest GPA a 1 year SLA membership

When LIS student chapter has a raffle, will offer SLA membership donated by Chapter

Offers New Professional Travel Stipend - to attend Annual

What advice do you have about the nominating process?

Start early, before the need for a candidate;

Look for enthusiastic members - about SLA, what it stands for;

Offer Past Chairs/Presidents as resource (after speaking with them first and getting approval);

Be open and transparent about the process, expectations, duties

Throw open to the discussion list - nominations, self-nominations

Think of this as a long-term process, looking for sustainability and growth

Hands-On Experience Panel 2: Presidents of Recently Merged Philadelphia and Michigan Chapters & Chairs of New Academic & Taxonomy Divisions Discuss the Process

Chapters merged due to the economy and membership numbers. Logistically, locating physical meeting sites that meet the needs of members have been a challenge and both Chapters have tried to employ greater virtual programming to maximize usefulness for members. It has been helpful to keep prior leaders engaged and working on structure of merged Chapter to ensure perspectives and needs are better addressed in the move forward.

New Divisions were created in response to identified needs of members. It is important to realize the first year will be housekeeping requirements to put things in order- electing officers, establishing communication channels/process/procedures, bank account. Funding will affect what level of programming can be implemented at Annual Conference - may be a bit of a lag time involved to get corporate sponsorship, membership stipend funds from SLA where timing is critical as this is counted and distributed at end of calendar year.

Joint Cabinet Meeting

SLA has been affected by the economy, financial records strong and in good standing - as confirmed with required annual audit; projected revenues dropped by 20% last year, 5 SLA HQ staff were laid off and 2 additional positions remain unfilled - work has been reallocated amongst remaining staff.

Task forces will be looking at SLA revenue options and how Chapters/Divisions get allotments and how that is shared.

Alignment work will continue, with task force looking at creating tools & toolkit; Alignment Ambassadors to continue, role to be determined.

Be on the lookout for individuals to nominate for "Rising Stars", "Fellows" and "Diversity Leadership" awards.

SLA 2010 in New Orleans will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from the wonderful program sessions, network with colleagues, participate in volunteer opportunities and know that by attending you are helping to bolster the economy of a region still recuperating from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

A question was posed as to the progress of SLA in pulling in Drupal - originally scheduled for last year, it has fallen victim to loss in revenues SLA has experienced

Daniel Lee mentioned exploring a multi-user platform in WordPress and asked interested units to contact him

The Leadership Summit was truly inspirational. It is open for all members, a good opportunity to develop and practice leadership skills applicable in our work lives as well as our personal lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment