Posted on March 13, 2012.
All eyes and ears will be on Chicago from July 15 to 18 when SLA holds its annual conference at McCormick Place. All educational sessions have been planned around this year’s theme which is “Practising Agility in an Open World Economy”. In addition to the educational sessions there will be networking events and opportunities to learn more about SLA and its future direction.
Why attend SLA Annual Conference? Because SLA offers the best opportunities for education, networking, and leadership. The take-aways from the SLA conference will add value to you as an information professional, provide you with resources to enhance your job performance, and ensure that you are ready to meet the challenges of the future.
The conference runs for five days. Saturday and Sunday are the days when the Continuing Education (CE) courses are held, the division boards meet, and the INFO/EXPO opens to conference attendees. It is also an excellent time for networking, whether informally in the INFO/EXPO hall, or over coffee or lunch or at one of the many open houses that take place each evening. The official conference opening will take place on Sunday afternoon with a keynote speaker and remarks by SLA president Brent Mai. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are packed with educational sessions that are put on by the divisions. While there isn’t space to list all of them I would like to highlight a few as follows:
• The Wikileaks Controversy
• The New Knowledge Services: Next Steps for Career Professionals
• Transitioning into Management and Leadership
• Meaningful Measures: How do Buyers and Sellers Show ROI?
• Updates from the World of Cloud Computing
• Reinventing Library Skills
• From Info Pro to Info Hero: Five Easy Ways to Turn Information into Insight
• Knowledge is Power: Medical Librarians and KM
• Tales from the Trenches: Contract Negotiation is not for the Faint of Heart
• Librarian as Entrepreneur: Adding Value and Contributing to Your Organization’s Bottom Line Through Marketing Initiatives
• Favourite CI Analytic Tools that Deliver Value
• Skeptical Knowledge Seeking: Business Research in the Age of “Truthiness”
• Suddenly Solo: What To Do When It’s Suddenly Just You
• Competitive Intelligence: Identifying, Managing, Disseminating and Leveraging Reliable, Current, Actionable Knowledge
• Techzones, which are programs which explore the latest technologies and help SLA members to develop their skills in this area
One way to capitalize on networking and education, as well as good food at a reasonable cost, is to attend one of the breakfast meetings. The cost is usually quite reasonable and the events include a speaker as well as the chance to meet colleagues with similar interests.
Conference registration includes access to all non-ticketed events (which includes most of the educational sessions, the INFO/EXPO, and the opening and closing sessions) and most of the open houses. There are additional fees for Continuing Education programs, ticketed meal events and tours, although these prices are usually quite reasonable.
The Toronto Chapter usually sends a strong contingent to the conference and we want to encourage everyone to make plans to attend this year. Whether it is your first SLA conference or you are a veteran you will find something to make the trip worthwhile.
Registration opens on February 27th and the early bird rates will be in effect until early May. Don’t delay—register today and we will look forward to welcoming you to Chicago in July!
— Martha Foote
Toronto Chapter, Legal Division, Leadership & Management Division