More, More, More: Reflections on the SLA 2018 Baltimore Annual Conference
August 13th, 2018
The 2018 SLA annual conference, held June 9-13 in Baltimore, urged everyone to “Bmore.” SLA provided many opportunities to do just that. There was a similar positive momentum to last year’s Phoenix conference, which I wrote about a year ago. While these are still challenging times for the profession, opportunities for professional advancement, education, and networking were abundant at the conference. And they remain that way, because SLA members have access to presentation slides for a number of sessions. This gives you the chance to relive what you might have experienced, and to virtually learn from sessions you missed. As with all good conferences, there was not enough time for everything that looked promising.
The special libraries class I teach as an adjunct at Catholic University will not be held this year, so I had latitude to be more free-form in how I chose sessions to attend. The previous time the conference was held in Baltimore, in 2006, the class revolved around the conference. I also gave a presentation that year, on the research that led three years later to my first book, Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life. Drucker was one of the keynote speakers for the 2002 SLA Annual Conference in Los Angeles.
Here are some of the sessions I attended at SLA 2018:
The ABCs of Emerging Tech in Info Pro Work: AI, Blockchain, and More; Zena Applebaum, Claudia Clayton, JP Ratajczak
Babies and Generals in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Dual-Mission Special Academic Libraries, Contributed Papers session, Kara Rawlins
Good, Bad, and Ugly Germs: Perspectives on the Centennial Remembrance of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: James King/Cindy Sheffield (NIH), Kelly Helm, Beth S. Lander
It’s a Microbiota World After All: Examining the Scope of Microbiome Research; Neyda Gilman, Lita M. Proctor, Elizabeth Stulberg
Lessons Learned from Developing a Strategic Plan for a Special Library; Kevyn Barnes, Karen Neinstadt
Regulations and Legislation: The Impact of Government on Intelligence; Katie Cuyler, Craig Fleisher, Jim Miller, JP Ratajczak
I also attended all three general session keynotes:
Now that a couple of months have gone by since the conference, if you are an SLA member, it’s worth combing the conference session website to see which sessions have slides posted. However, anyone can freely access the following:
18 Inspiring Tweets from #SLA2018: Copyright Clearance Center, Molly Buccini
Tell Your Story Well: How Embedded Librarians Demonstrate and Communicate Their Value; Jennifer Martin, Ethel M. Salonen
It’s encouraging to see so many dynamic and committed young people entering the profession and building their experience and leadership credentials within SLA. And it is equally positive to meet people mid-career and beyond who are aspiring to reinvent themselves for the data/information/knowledge world of the future. The 2019 conference will be held June 14-18 in Cleveland, providing plenty of time to create, grow, and learn in the next 10 months.