SLA 2010: Kate Arnold’s reflections

Kate Arnold, SLA Europe President, shares her thoughts on the first few days of the conference


Greetings from New Orleans, I’m sharing my thoughts on conference so far. As always it is an exhilarating experience and it’s been special for those of us involved with SLA Europe for two reasons.

Firstly, SLA Europe is the happening chapter with six award winners in attendance. Congratulations to Bethan Ruddock, Chris Rhodes, David Ogden, Geoff Walton, Loyita Worley and Philip Gatzke.

Secondly, the international session on Monday hosted by SLA Europe, Asian chapter, Australia/New Zealand chapter and Arabian Gulf chapter, was attended by over 70 delegates and the presentations on ‘Information services in transition: a global debate’ proved entertaining and educational.

This year’s conference is a bit different for me as it’s the first time in four years that I’ve been able to be a normal delegate and browse the schedule choosing events that interest me. For the last four years I was on the main SLA Board of Directors which meant I had a multitude of duties during conference from attending division breakfasts, thanking exhibitors, attending board meetings not to mention the usual networking and learning opportunities. Somehow there was never enough time to do these duties and fit in attending sessions. So I’ve had a wonderful time in the last two days attending sessions. I’ve learnt about the basics of computer programming (so will feel more confident when talking with the programmers at work about user interface bugs, APIs and web scraping); the importance of using social media to improve my brand image (using LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs); career agility (networking matters, visibility and helping others and finding someone to help); what the library of the future holds (flexible working conditions, matrix management structures, services measured for their impact using testimonials from users). What will I learn tomorrow as there’s still a day to go?

In addition to sessions, conference provides an opportunity for SLA volunteer leadership in the chapters and divisions to meet and discuss issues that concern them as well as getting updates on activities from SLA HQ staff. There are two such meetings that take place at conference: Leadership Development Institute (LDI) and joint cabinet meeting. LDI meeting took place on Sunday and was attended by all the SLA Europe board who are attending conference (Bethan, Geraldine, Kate, Liz, Lyndsay and Sara). There was an interactive session on developing tools for getting across the alignment research and a panel discussion from Board of Directors candidates. The joint cabinet meeting for chapters and divisions takes place on Tuesday evening and Sara Batts and I are attending as President-Elect and President of SLA Europe.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.