The Special Libraries Association has opened a new portal of content, until the brand/topic/theme of Future Ready 365. The site is open to contributions/participation by librarians:
Your contribution—250 words, a handful of images, even audio and video—will build a mosaic that offers this community actionable insights into the future of our profession and association.
How do you join in? It’s easy: Submit your post to email@example.com. Done. We’ll take care of the rest.
Soon, the registration for the 2011 conference will also be launching, also with the theme of being Future Ready. The unbearably cheeky side of me thinks that on this second day of the new year, I’m still looking for a firm grip on the present. But here’s hoping that some really good and useful collaborations come out of these efforts …
I’ve just returned home from New Orleans and the Special Libraries Association 2010 Annual Conference. It was an informative and entertaining event, and I enjoyed meeting new people and getting re-acquainted with familiar friends and colleagues.
But SLA, like many other institutions, is going through serious challenges – financial shortfalls that are triggering a major organizational restructuring. In her remarks in the closing session on Wednesday, SLA Executive Director Janice LaChance devoted her address to the challenges facing SLA in the near and long-term. I hadn’t expected to record any of the session, but I decided to try to capture her remarks in whole rather than tweet a summary.
Here are Janice’s remarks in the closing session regarding the state of SLA …
Feel free to pass along to fellow SLA members.
If you’d like to read a summary of the Closing General Session, Jill Hurst-Wahl has several posts about the conference at her blog, Digitization 101. If you see other blog posts that discuss the SLA 2010 closing session, or the general state of the association, please feel free to leave a link via a comment. Thanks!
From the California Library Association mailing list:
Mary Minow has been nominated by President Barack Obama to the National Museum and Library Services Board (NMLSB). Minow, an attorney, consultant and a former librarian and library trustee, specializes in copyright, privacy and free speech. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.
The NMLSB is an advisory body that includes the director and deputy directors of IMLS and twenty presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed members of the general public who have demonstrated expertise in, or commitment to, library or museum services. Informed by its collectively vast experience and knowledge, the NMLSB advises the IMLS director on general policy and practices, and on selections for the National Medals for Museum and Library Service.
“I congratulate Mary on her nomination to the IMLS Board by President Obama,” said Kim Bui-Burton, CLA President and Director of the Monterey Public Library. “Mary Minow is an outstanding advocate and information resource for libraries in California, throughout the country and the world. She has contributed her wonderfully ‘dangerous mix of thoughts and information’ to the CLA community for many years now, and we are all the better for her thinking and support.”
Among her many accomplishments are currently serving as Chair of the CLA Intellectual Freedom Committee, teaching digital copyright at San Jose State School of Library Science and at Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science, editing the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use site, and serving as past President of the California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners.
Minow was the first recipient of the California Library Association’s Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award, given in 2004 and she coauthor with Tomas Lipinski of The Library’s Legal Answer Book (ALA Editions: 2003).
The night before Earth Day
Since the picture was taken with my underfeatured Motorola cellphone (i.e. not good with night shots), here’s what the message said:
FOR EARTH DAY …
TRY THE REVOLUTIONARY,
INFORMATION RETRIEVAL UNIT
PORTABLE, NO BATTERIES, CORDLESS
EASY ON THE EYES & ON THE BUDGET …
Taken in front of Bell’s Books in Palo Alto, CA on April 21, 2010.
I’ve been saying that I need to migrate the blog, change hosts, get a new platform …
And finally, I did it! Now, “Confessions of a Mad Librarian” is hosted at … madlibrarian.net!
Still working on finding just the right theme …
A major shout-out to Jenna Freedman for being highlighted in the New York Times for her work as a ‘zine librarian’ at Barnard. Yay, Jenna!
I just wrote my first “motion” having to do with Title VII and sexual discrimination for my legal research and writing class. So, the following caught my attention, naturally [thanks, Boing Boing]:
Federal Court Rules Transgender Discrimination Lawsuit Against Library of Congress Can Proceed
Finding that sex may not be “a cut-and-dried matter of chromosomes,” the court ruled that federal protections against sex discrimination may also protect transgender people who are discriminated against based on their gender identity. In rejecting the government’s argument that discrimination against transgender people is not sex discrimination, the court noted “the factual complexities that underlie human sexual identity. These complexities stem from real variations in how the different components of biological sexuality — chromosomal, gonadal, hormonal, and neurological — interact with each other, and in turn, with social, psychological, and legal conceptions of gender.”
The ACLU filed the lawsuit against the Library of Congress on June 2, 2005. After retiring from the military, Schroer, who had been hand-picked to head up a classified national security operation while serving as an Airborne Ranger qualified Special Forces officer, applied for a position with the Library of Congress as the senior terrorism research analyst. Soon thereafter she was offered the job, which she accepted immediately. Prior to starting work, Schroer took her future boss to lunch to explain that she was in the process of transitioning and thought it would be easier for everyone if she simply started work presenting as female. The following day, Schroer received a call from her future boss rescinding the offer, telling her that she wasn’t a “good fit” for the Library of Congress.
The Associated Press has reported on the trend to restrict access to government information on the state level:
In statehouse battles, the issue has pitted advocates of government openness ‚Äî including journalists and civil liberties groups ‚Äî against lawmakers and others who worry that public information could be misused, whether it’s by terrorists or by computer hackers hoping to use your credit cards. Security concerns typically won out.
The AP discovered a clear trend from the Sept. 11 attacks through legislative work that ended last year: States passed 616 laws that restricted access ‚Äî to government records, databases, meetings and more ‚Äî and 284 laws that loosened access. Another 123 laws had either a neutral or mixed effect, the AP found.
“What these open government laws do is break down that wall of government secrecy so that everybody knows what’s going on,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “A democracy can only function if we have information. You can only have oversight of government if you have information.”
The box is blue, to be exact.
PLoS has an article about developing portable health libraries for medical personnel in Africa, which was then picked up by TIME’s Global Health blog.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) is very much aware that there are many areas in the world where access to the Internet is not yet a reality. In developing countries, a large proportion of the population, including health professionals, has no or only poor access to the Internet. Even printed materials, such as up-to-date books, current periodicals, and newspapers, are scarce. In this situation, professionals are obliged to rely on the knowledge acquired during their original training to care for patients, to prevent disease, and to promote health.
In many regions, the health district centers are staffed by nurses, midwives, and community health workers who, having finished their basic studies, receive little in the way of continuing education, as libraries rarely exist at the district level or in regional hospitals. The distribution of CD-ROMs to developing countries is an important initiative, which has proven to be a valuable source of health information. For example, the health-related CD-ROMs from TALC (Teaching-aids At Low Cost, http://www.talcuk.org)  and those distributed by the WHO and the joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) are much appreciated by their users. The CD-ROM is an important tool for information delivery in Africa because it does not take up a lot of space and shipping it is inexpensive.
Unfortunately, there are still many areas in the developing world that have neither computers nor a reliable electricity supply. Thus, in spite of the rapid development of information and communications technologies, the gap between ‚Äúthe haves and have-nots‚Äù continues to blight isolated areas (those outside a capital city). In these areas, the appropriate solution to information access is still printed material. In response to this need for printed health information, WHO librarians created the Blue Trunk Library (BTL) project.
Silly me. I managed to get published without fully realizing it.
I wrote an article about Radical Reference for a progressive mag called Clamor. It’s in the online only edition, but what the hey … it’s kinda cool.
Warning: hackneyed, gushing prose ahead … but if I’ve provided RadRef a service, then it’s of the good, I think.