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Program Report: SLA/ALLA Joint Meeting on Conferences – September 10, 2013

The Tuesday, September 10 joint meeting for SLA Georgia and the Atlanta Law Libraries Association (ALLA) continued to demonstrate the strong collaboration and synergy between our two professional organizations. For the second year, the Georgia State University Law Library hosted the event that featured five speakers reporting on meetings they attended earlier this year.

SLA member Rebecca Gebhardt kicked things off reporting on her first SLA Annual Conference held in San Diego, California June 9 – 11. She shared her perspective as a non-librarian vendor (working as a director for Linex Systems). The Tuesday, June 11 panel session, “Connect, Collaborate, Strategize,” resonated with her as it reinforced the librarian’s role as the “glue” in an organization that helps staff to find information and then enable access to it. Metadata tagging and the use of tools such as SharePoint were two examples she provided for how info pros can add value. She offered this formula for success:

Content + Context = Knowledge

For more on SLA 2013, go to:

Carrie Canfield, Research Librarian at Fisher and Phillips, reported on the 13th SEALL (Southeastern Chapter American Association of Law Libraries) meeting at Decatur, Georgia, from April 18-20 whose theme was “Meeting in the Middle.” She was very excited about Bloomberg Law which is trying to enter the legal research marketplace long dominated by Lexis and Westlaw.

For more on SEAL, go to:

Mark Durbin, Head of Technical Services at the John Marshall Law School Library, spoke on 106th annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) held in Seattle, Washington July 13-16 with the theme “Rethink Your Value.” A fairly empty exhibit hall testified to the high quality of programs offered. Besides a session on setting up an “e device bar,” Mark reminded us of these best practices related to managing people:

  • Don’t interrupt while others are talking.
  • Give feedback to your direct reports.
  • Find out what motivates your staff.

For 2013 meeting highlights, go to:

Kris Niedringhaus, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and Associate Professor, recently returned to GSU succeeding Nancy Johnson who retired last year. Kris shared her takeaways from the 23rd CALI (Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction) conference, hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)-Chicago and Kent College of Law June 13-15 with the theme, Driving Innovation. Web designer, author of “Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps” and keynote speaker Josh Clark, spoke on the “Seven Deadly Myths of Mobile.” For more information and to watch Clark’s talk, go to:

Kris noted another session on open access textbooks and that most, if not all, sessions were recorded and available online at:

SLA Georgia Vendor Relations Director Ernie Evangelista closed the program speaking on the Wolfram Data Summit, held in Washington, DC, September 5-6. As Resource and Access Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, he took on data management as a new responsibility in late 2011 and is still trying to understand it.

The fourth Data Summit was an invitation only event attended by nearly 100 people of whom a quarter were speakers or Wolfram staff. It didn’t feature an exhibit hall and, except for the kick-off session, presentations (featuring ONE speaker) were no longer than a half hour.

Ernie noted how different this format is from other meetings he has attended. He also noted the diversity of industries and positions of those at the meeting: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to Vice President (VP) to Director to Professor. These organizations were represented at the meeting: Library of Congress, Progressive Insurance, Dun & Bradstreet and US News and World Report. Though there was little that he felt he could take back from the meeting and apply to his work environment, Ernie valued seeing and learning how other organizations manage and utilize their data. He learned about Coursera, a free online active learning site, the linked data service at the Library of Congress and that Google operates in this space: Google Big Query.

For more on the meeting, go to:

With a class starting at 1:00 pm, the audience of 31 appreciated the speakers adhering to their time limits. Thanks again to ALLA President Rebecca Velez for coordinating this program and to Austin Martin Williams and the GSU Law School Library for hosting! (Stay tuned for photographs to be available on the SLA Georgia web site.)

-Ernie Evangelista

Resource and Access Manager
Knowledge and Information Management
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

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