Dear members and friends of SLA Toronto,
By the time this fall issue of the Courier is published, my term as President of the Chapter will be nearly concluded, and thus it seems like an appropriate moment to reflect upon the goals I set for myself and the Chapter this year:
Disseminating the work of the SLA First Five Years Advisory Council to the Chapter through the establishment of the ‘First Five Years’ Director position on the Executive Board and the resurrection of the UWO FIMS student group, chaired by Erin McDonald.
The UWO FIMS student group said goodbye to Erin upon her graduation and welcomed two new students as co-chairs: Beth McIntosh and Andrew Nelson. We welcome them and will continue to support both UWO and U of T student groups through our First Five Years Director, Shannon McMillan, who took over the position from Gillian McArthur (nee Horwood) in early fall. The First Five Years Advisory Council has released a series of webcasts relevant to those in the early years of their career and Shannon will be promoting these to the Chapter soon.
Broadening our current subgroup offerings (New Information Professionals and Solos) by bringing back the Toronto West Subgroup, with Mike Meth and Mindy Thuna as the new co-chairs.
Mike and Mindy engaged our members working and living in west GTA with the revival of the Toronto West Subgroup. Their first event was held in June and they are planning a few more for late fall and early winter. Unfortunately, Mindy will be leaving her role and so we are looking for a Chapter member to chair the group along with Mike. If interested, please contact Mike at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing to share and encourage uptake of the results of the SLA Alignment Project.
We were lucky to have Rebecca Jones, SLA Fellow, and Kim Silk, President of the U of T Faculty of Information Alumni Association take on the role of Alignment Ambassadors for our Chapter this year. Although things were a bit quiet on the Alignment front earlier in the year, Rebecca and Kim held a session to inform our membership of how they can apply the Alignment research and principles to their own careers and Kim reported on Alignment Project progress at the Chapter’s Post-Conference Wrap-Up event. The Alignment Project is currently focusing on drafting a revised Mission, Vision and Values Statement for SLA. Have your say on these topics and win prizes at http://www.slaalignmentportal.org.
Refreshing our Chapter website to make it a little more contemporary, while moving toward a seamless user experience across our web 2.0 & social media technologies.
Chapter members, Daniel Lee, Heather Ritchie and Britta Jessen have spearheaded a SLA-wide initiative to improve the association’s website technology and build a community of practice for SLA webmasters. In early 2011, SLA will begin offering a new web hosting service for all SLA chapters and divisions. Using WordPress technology, branded themes that have been designed specifically for SLA will be part of a stable and inexpensive hosting package, one that offers 24/7 technical support, a common content management system, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Toronto has been selected as one of the ‘early adopter’ units, which means we will be one of the first Chapters to utilize this new technology for our website. Stay tuned for more!
Enhancing the SLA Toronto event offerings through continued partnership & cross-pollination with such groups as CASLIS, Knowledge Workers Toronto, and the U of T Faculty of Information Alumni Association; and continuing to deliver programming of interest to SLA Toronto Chapter members, including the continuation of the Career Series with Ulla de Stricker.
SLA Toronto had a year full of great events from our first ever Carswell sponsored Member Appreciation Social to our Haunted Halloween Walking Tour! Our New Information Professionals and Solo Librarian groups were active and our capable Programming Director, Heather Brunstad, and her fearless team were able to organize everything from library tours to joint events with other local organizations such as CASLIS and Knowledge Workers Toronto! Thanks to Greg Barber for organizing our well attended Summer Social; Gayle Gossen for planning what is sure to be another great AGM (sponsored by The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones); and to our many Chapter members who, through hosting Dine-Around Series, generated conversation about the trends, opportunities and challenges facing our profession.
Finally, one of my unspoken goals for 2010 was to shore up the Chapter’s financial situation, a tough challenge in this lingering depressed financial climate. However, we were able to accomplish this through tremendous support from our sponsors:
- CEDROM-SNi and LexisNexis who are sponsoring our Holiday Social with CASLIS, TALL and the Faculty of Information Alumni Association. CEDROM-SNi was also the sponsor of our Post-Conference Wrap-Up session.
- FPinfomart who continued their support of the Student to Conference Award for the third year in a row.
- Carswell who helped us put on a great Spring Social, well attended and enjoyed by all.
- The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones who are generously contributing to the Chapter’s Annual General Meeting.
I would like to thank these partners for their contributions to the Chapter, which were so instrumental in helping us reach and support our members in their chosen profession. I am also grateful to Pam Casey for the countless hours she spent identifying opportunities and fostering relationships as Partner Relations Chair.
2010 was a successful year for the Chapter not because of my efforts but because of the commitment and passion of the Executive Board, the Advisory Board and our volunteers. I was lucky to have such dedicated, enthusiastic individuals working alongside me, and the benefit to the Chapter has been obvious. I would also like to convey my gratitude to our members for actively participating in the Chapter and for giving us your support in our efforts to deliver a valuable membership experience to you.
Let’s congratulate incoming President, Jennifer Burns, for filling her 2011 Executive Board. It has been an honour and pleasure for me to have served as Chapter President in 2010 and I wish Jen and her team the best of success in the coming year. Joy Shanfield, our Nominations Chair, and Jen will present the 2011 slate of nominees for acclamation at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones sponsored Annual General Meeting on November 17th.
On behalf of the Chapter’s Executive Board, let me wish you and your family and friends a very merry holiday season! Please join us for the AGM and for the CEDROM-SNi and LexisNexis sponsored SLA, CASLIS, TALL and Faculty of Information Alumni Association Holiday Social on November 30th. Hope to see you there!