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Investing in Yourselves: Supporting SLA

Today’s technologies foster, celebrate and reinforce “living in the moment”. Using our mobile devices, we can share photos and updates on where we are and what we’re doing. We can comment on what others are sharing with us. No more waiting. It’s instantaneous.

We are busier than ever in our multitasking world. With so much competing for our attention and time, I offer a value proposition for your supporting SLA Georgia. We provide in-person opportunities for members, supporters and others to develop new skills and connect with information professionals throughout the Peach State. So, attending Chapter events is the EASIEST way for Chapter support. Our events are generally free to members or cost a nominal fee.

If you’re looking to develop specific skills, the Chapter offers numerous opportunities for you to apply what you’ve learned or would like to. Here’s how.

Are you ENTREPRENEURIAL? Or would you like to be? Treasurer Rebecca Gebhardt’s exploring new approaches for fundraising.

Are you TECH SAVVY and ACTIVE on social networks? Communications Director Lynda Larsen’s looking to expand the chapter’s presence beyond our web site.

Need to develop writing and blogging skills? Lynda’s searching for “reporters” to cover chapter events. Or you can contribute an article or commentary on any information industry topic for our web site.

Are you an event planner at heart? Are you up on the latest trends in the information industry or just naturally CURIOUS? Would you like to develop or improve public speaking skills? President-Elect Meg Butler’s looking for ideas, speakers, hosts and venues for future chapter programs.

Are you FOCUSED on the “BIG PICTURE’? Then consider joining Past President Nancy Snell’s workgroup to update the Chapter’s strategic plan.

Are you a “PEOPLE PERSON”? Or would you like to hone your interpersonal skills? Directors Anne Bao and Patti Schminke could use your help, so hop on board our “Welcome Wagon.”

Our Chapter Officers page provides contact information, so please reach out to the team leads above with your interest. If you don’t relate to any of these professional development opportunities, then let ME know what you’re interested in or what skills you’d like to learn or improve. I’m sure we can match your need with a Chapter project. Or to make things really easy, just complete this ONLINE volunteer interest form.

No worries if you’d rather not volunteer, BUT if we contact you for assistance, please don’t turn us away. We’re restructuring our volunteer assignments to be SHORT-TERM with clear dates and specific goals in mind. So, apply the SAM (Someone asked me) principle and say YES when called upon.

The result: A great return on your volunteer investment and win-win outcomes for yourselves and the chapter.

Posted in Officer News, Volunteer Opportunities0 Comments

The “school year” begins

The school year has begun and while all of us are not in the academic arena, we each do still have a bit of the school schedule in our day-to-day lives.

The SLA year is based on the January through December calendar year. However, we do some things based on the school year.  For example, the President-Elect is responsible for programming, but s/he assumes that responsibility in mid-year or rather the school year in order to ease her/him into the program planning process.

The start of the school year also reminds us that our Chapter Board election looms ahead. For 2015, we’ll be electing a new President-Elect, treasurer and a director.

Taking on a board position is a great way to participate in the SLA Georgia chapter.  It offers networking opportunities, a greater understanding of the organization, a way to develop leadership skills and an avenue for developing the programs you want.

The past few years have been transitional for SLA at both the national and local levels. While SLA headquarters staff and the SLA Board of Directors have researched alternatives to the current division and chapter models, we’ve been focused on how to strategically meet the needs of our chapter members.

In September 2013, SLA Georgia tapped our SLA Fellows to facilitate a series of focus group meetings with Atlanta based members – asking for their input, thoughts and desires.   Now, we intend to poll our non-Atlanta membership for their feedback on chapter programs and events.  And gradually as time and resources allow, we are working to implement the lessons learned from those sessions.

It is an ongoing process as our membership evolves and changes as it has since the chapter was formed in 1952.

I’ve served as Membership Director, Treasurer, President-Elect and now President.  Next year, I’ll be the Past President – serving in a role designed to provide continuity and keep organizational knowledge in place.  It’s been rewarding and eye-opening, eye-opening because I’ve realized how much of SLA is driven by its volunteer officers and its members who keep the national and the local chapters alive.

Help us keep it going by taking on a board position, suggesting program ideas, offering your office or library as a program location or simply by participating in our events.

Nancy Snell

2014 Georgia Chapter President





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Why I Belong to SLA


By June Hauck, Georgia Chapter Treasurer, 2013-1014

I first joined SLA in the 1980’s when I was working at a pharmaceutical company technical library in Michigan.  Several of my work colleagues were members of the local chapter, so I joined as well.  Our chapter met several times a year, except for the winter months when travel conditions could be iffy.  I greatly enjoyed getting to know the other librarians in the chapter, leaning about their situations, and picking up tips.  I became quite active in the chapter, eventually filling just about every office from Bulletin Editor to President.    I dropped out in the 1990’s when I was raising my kids and did not rejoin again until 2004 when I relocated to Georgia.

In my new work situation, I fulfilled information duties, but was not part of a library or information center.  Being isolated from the information community spurred me to re-engage with SLA, and I rejoined and became part of the Georgia Chapter.    I find it stimulating to attend local and national meetings to get re-energized and pick up tips.  Recently, I attended the Pharmaceutical and Health Division meeting and learned about a new option in contracting for global licenses for journal content.  Upon returning from the meeting, I explored this option and by implementing it, was able to save my department tens of thousands of dollars in copyright fees.  This made management very happy and was a fantastic return on the investment of attending the meeting.  Hurray for SLA!

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Board Meeting Next Week

The SLA Georgia Chapter meets every other month, usually on the first Wednesday of the month. Our first meeting of 2014 will be:

Wednesday, February 5
5:30-6:30 pm

Kurt Salmon
1355 Peachtree Street
Suite 900
Atlanta, GA 30309

Let us know if you have any issues or concerns and/or if you would like to attend the meeting.

Nancy Snell

Posted in Events, Events and Announcements, Officer News0 Comments

2014 Leadership Summit Report

by Nancy Snell and Ernie Evangelista

On Wednesday, January 15, SLA’s MidSouth Chapter (with 25 members!) welcomed nearly 170 SLA’ers at the 2014 Leadership Summit in Memphis, Tennessee. While Nancy’s a seasoned Summit attendee, this was Ernie’s first official meeting. So, it was an eye-opening experience for him to meet the people (HQ staff and elected officers) who run SLA and hear the issues facing the Association. Here’s our combined conference highlights:

  • 2014 Annual Conference: Takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from Sunday, June 9 to Tuesday, June 10.  This three day format will also be used at least through the 2016 annual meeting. And 15 minute Quick Takes will debut in Vancouver!
  • 2014 Fellows: They are Mary Ellen Bates, Tony Landolt, Catherine Lavalle-Welch, Daniel Lee and Leslie Reynolds. (You may remember that Bates spoke to the Chapter and other library groups in Atlanta in March 2011 on the future of the information profession.)
  • 2014 Presidential Theme: “Beyond borders” from Kate Arnold.
  • SLA Membership: Almost 8,000. SLA CEO Janice Lachance stressed that chapter, divisions and members will need to play bigger roles in growing the association. We learned that institutional memberships are available for $750. Under this plan, one person is the “official” member, but up to three can be added so that they can attend SLA meetings at member rates. HQ also plans to release a survey to all members (the first in several years) soon.
  • Name Change: After reviewing member survey results last year on a possible name change, the Board decided NOT to put the issue up for a vote.
  • Business Partners: We were encouraged to think of vendors as business partners reflecting our mutual interdependence on each other.

As Nancy and I listened to presentations on running for the Board, budgets and bookkeeping and heard stories from other chapters on their challenges, we realized that our chapter’s focus groups from last year reflected the same concerns: Finding future leaders, engaging and retaining members and program planning.

So, we returned from Memphis energized by meeting other SLA leaders, former SLA Presidents (Cindy Hill and Rebecca Vargha) and headquarters staff. With our rebranded Lunch and Learn series off the ground, we hope that 2014 will be memorable for the Georgia Chapter, one in which we acted on member feedback and showed LOCAL added value for one’s SLA membership.

Please share your thoughts and comments with us since the Chapter can only be as strong as the collective effort invested by each of us.

If you want to know more, visit:

And on a side note, Ernie’s photos from Memphis can be found at:

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