Welcome to our Spring issue, Chapter members and extended readership.
The Chapter year is proceeding at such an unbelievable pace that I have had to ‘put on the brakes’ in order to stand back and take stock of our accomplishments year-to-date, and to bring you up-to-speed about our plans for the next couple of months. In my opinion, the Chapter is well on its way to providing the variety of events that members expect of us every year, as well as some that seem particularly appropriate for this particular year. I am also on the way to meeting the personal goals that I set out for myself as President. I have had a great deal of support in getting our year off to such a successful start.
All of the Chapter volunteers on the 2009 Executive and Advisory Boards have been putting in incredible amounts of time and effort. Some of them are just getting comfortable in volunteer roles that are new to them, others among them are adjusting to working with new SLA colleagues, and all are striving to balance the contributions they make to SLA Toronto Chapter with their primary jobs and their personal lives. I am enjoying working with everyone in this amazing group, and I am enriched by getting to know them better. Thank you, Team, for your extraordinary dedication!
The overall goal is for the Chapter to be there, front and centre, for you, the members, and to provide services that are of value in the current environment. So let’s see how we’re doing.
Chapter Events, Year-to-Date
The Solos group met twice in noon-hour sessions (Winter and Spring) to discuss topics that came to the top of the list in a recent interest survey of their members. Solos group Chair, Amra Porobic, is expanding the Solos’ Best Practices documents housed on the wiki, to benefit the group in the future.
- A first SLA (Toronto Chapter) Networking Night took place on a rainy night in February. It was well attended, and the group interaction was superb. We held a second Spring Networking Night in mid-April. Again, attendance indicated that our members place a high value on having ‘dedicated’ and unhurried time together.
- The Career Development series of five events got underway in March, and the first two topics have now been delivered. The sessions were developed for the Chapter by Ulla de Stricker, a Chapter Past President who is now Career Guidance Chair. The first session on resumes drew a capacity crowd, and was relocated to a larger room available that evening at the Faculty Club. On the opening night for ‘Where do you “fit”‘ in April, a room ‘upgrade’ was not possible, so event organizer Pam Casey arranged to accommodate wait-listed registrants at a repeat session in May.
Although Ulla modestly says ‘this is what I do’, it is clear that we have something very special going on here. The remaining three topics will be presented in the autumn months, so watch the web site Events Page for the opening of registration. If you are not local to the Toronto area, you can visit Ulla’s blog and read her insightful analysis of our event topics, and many more professional issues – www.destrickerblog.com.
- At the end of March, the Chapter extended an SLA welcome to Dean Seamus Ross, whose term as dean at the Faculty of Information began in January 2009. Members who attended the Reception spoke with him individually about the jobs they perform for employers or as information consultants. In turn, we heard about his far-reaching plans for the Faculty and the iSchool, including: extending the scope of information studies at the undergraduate level; seeking more research opportunities; opening visiting speaker sessions to the local community; and enhancing the current physical facility that adjoins Robarts Library.
What’s up next on the calendar?
- During May 13 to 15, the Chapter will host an official Presidential visit from SLA President, Gloria Zamora. Our Executive Board has collaborated to arrange a variety of activities for her that will showcase our dynamic Chapter, and also enable her to bring the international association perspective into sharper focus for us. We will provide you, the members, with as many opportunities as possible to meet and interact with Gloria during her stay in our city.
- On May 14, during the visit, we will hold the premier event of our celebratory year, Toronto Chapter’s Gala Centennial Dinner. Plan to join us for this unique looking-back occasion. Attendees will hear Gloria speak, meet and/or re-connect with Toronto Chapter Past Presidents, and enjoy great food and a celebratory atmosphere in the historic setting of Hart House. Surprises (dug up from the Chapter’s Archives) will be on display at the Gala!
Registration is now open for two Click U Live hosted sessions that will take place on the afternoons of May 7 and May 20. Members attend free of charge, but registration by Webform on the Chapter Events Page is still required. Non-members will continue to be charged for these sessions at the 2008 registration fee rate.
Very soon after, it will be time for the annual conference we’ve all been waiting for, the 2009 SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO in Washington DC, June 14-17. I probably don’t have to tell you how special this one promises to be within the context of the year-long 2009 SLA Centennial Celebration. We urge you to come to Washington if you’re at all considering it, and help the Chapter to match or exceed our great turn-out last year in Seattle. When you register, remember to purchase a ticket for the Canadian Reception to be held on Monday, June 15 at 5:30 pm. It is hosted this year by Western Canada Chapter, and sponsored by CEDROM-Sni.
There will be time for one more Chapter event after Conference, before we pull back on activities as is customary for July-August, so watch for details about a Best of the Web event. Members loved the format in 2007, so we’re bringing it back. Come out to learn from fellow members as they take you on a tour of the web sites that serve them best in their unique job settings.
SLA Toronto’s Partners
The Chapter is greatly helped in its role to provide services to members by generous contributions from our corporate Partners. This year, our returning Partners are Fpinfomart, CEDROM-Sni and XPI.
Fpinfomart is co-sponsoring (along with our Chapter) the 2009 Fpinfomart Student-to-Conference Awards.
CEDROM-Sni is the exclusive sponsor for the SLA President’s visit and the Gala Centennial Dinner.
Both CEDROM-Sni and XPI will lend their names to additional Chapter events that they sponsor or co-sponsor throughout our year.
Grey House Publishing Canada is our new Chapter Partner this year, and they are sponsoring the Career Development series of events described above. We welcome them and look forward to seeing their information on our Partner Page (web site).
Please be supportive of our Partners’ business by thinking of them when you evaluate services in your institutions. You can learn more about Partner product lines at these web addresses:
|Grey House Publishing Canada||http://greyhouse.ca/|
Don’t miss Partner advertorials that appear in the issues of this newsletter.
Fpinfomart Student-to-Conference Award Winners
Two winning applicants were selected in early April by the Executive Board on the strength of their résumés, and the statements they submitted on what they expected to gain from conference attendance. Join me in extending sincere congratulations to student winners, Kate MacDonald and Bruce Harpham. We look forward to getting to know them better, in DC and beyond.
Kate MacDonald graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in History. She is currently a candidate for the Master of Information Studies (MISt) degree at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.
Bruce Harpham graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in History and Political Science. He subsequently earned a Master of Arts in History degree from the University of Western Ontario. He is now a candidate for a Master of Information Studies (MISt) degree at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.
On behalf of the Chapter, I send congratulations to the following members who won recognition since our last issue was published:
Stephen Abram was awarded the Roger Summit Award by the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) at the Annual Conference in Albuquerque New Mexico, March 26-29.
Ulla de Stricker was awarded the Sue Rugge Memorial Award by the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) at the Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 26-29.
Julia Brewster and Meghan Ecclestone were among five iSchool students at the University of Toronto who received a Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award on March 31, 2009, in recognition of their “outstanding extra-curricular contributions.”
I’d also like to recognize the superb work done by Heather Postill and Gillian Horwood in producing our Chapter newsletter. We received extremely positive feedback for the previous issue from the SLA Leadership List to which it was distributed.
A Survey of the Chapter Membership is Coming
Watch your email for the forthcoming survey of Toronto Chapter membership. Doing surveys on a periodic basis gives us demographic information about you, our members, and feedback about the services that you value or would like to see added. Please take the time to respond, and help shape the Chapter’s future. Questions about the forthcoming survey can be directed to Jennifer Burns, Membership Chair.
Our Roster of Chapter Volunteers
The chapter is fortunate that all positions are now filled on the Executive and Advisory Boards. To the Advisory Board, we welcome Laura Knapp as Partner Relations Chair for the second year, and Juanita Richardson who has assumed the role of Awards Chair.
I have taken on a little sideline project this year that I would like to share with you. As a unit activity for SLA’s one hundredth anniversary, I have been working on a time-line of Toronto Chapter history between 1940, when the Chapter was formed, to the present sixty-ninth operational year. Reading through the newsletters that have been published continuously throughout that history, under names that changed from Bulletin (to 1960), to News or Newsletter (to 1972), to Courier (to present), has been a fascinating and inspiring activity.
I stand in awe of the sheer numbers of dedicated members who left their footprints through this time period. I marvel at the breadth and scope of the expertise shared by guest speakers at programming events. I admire the involvement of Chapter members with activities and issues at the international (SLA) level. I am captivated by the progress from ‘Methods Meetings’ (where the emergence of new technologies like Photoreproduction and Machine Searching were examined in the 1950s), to our current popular sessions on Library 2.0. Wow!
I know that many information professionals have history backgrounds, and I am more than willing to share this historical information-gathering process with anyone who wants to volunteer to work with me. I have already read through material covering four of the Chapter’s seven decades, and I return to the Archives location again and again to sign out more newsletters.
We Want You!
In closing, our willingness to embrace new volunteers bears repeating yet again. There is much work to be done to run successful Chapter years, and we encourage members to get value for their membership by coming out to events, and by volunteering and getting more involved. The greater the involvement, the more rewarding the SLA experience becomes.
Joy Shanfield, MLIS
President, SLA Toronto Chapter