SLA 2006: On the Horizon

By Brynko, Barbara | Information Today, July-August 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

SLA 2006: On the Horizon


Brynko, Barbara, Information Today


The crowds filtering in and out of the Baltimore Convention Center for the SLA conference held June 11-14 ferried an arsenal of necessities: SLA 2006 Conference REPORT Guides, signature totes, FROM laptops, name tags, and THE comfortable shoes.

Baltimore's king-size venue served as classroom, exhibit hall, pressroom, meeting foyer, and Starbucks central for the 5,844 attendees (2,519 SLAmembers, 1,406 nonmembers, and 1,919 exhibitor staff). The international crowds were ready for sessions, demos, and networking and had a chance in between to sample the city's namesake crab cakes and walks along the nearby Inner Harbor. They also had invitations to at least one of the many vendor-sponsored parties at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and beyond.

On the conference exhibit floor, giveaways abounded: There were oversized faux gem rings from Alacra, twinkling star pins from Thomson, corporate gift bags, company logo pens, ice cream, wine, shoulder massages, munchables, and--yes--even parrots (for photo ops, that is, not giveaways).

The 167-page conference guide (plus four covers) detailed sessions covering a full spectrum: from science (Chemistry for the Non-Chemist Librarian) to business (Business Intelligence in a Changing World) to legal (The Global Legal Environment and You) to medical (Reporting Negative Results of Clinical Trials) to lighter fare (The Science of Chocolate and Stress Management: Laugh for the Health of It).

Session Highlights

With as many as 24 sessions being offered during any time slot, attendees sometimes had a tough time choosing which classroom door to enter. But crowds gravitated to sessions touting practical on-the-job skills--RSS feeds, added value, open access, copyright, Web tools, researching private companies, and others--judging from the standing-room-only status. In the session on How to Use RSS to Know More and Do Less, Jenny Levine (Internet development specialist of the Metropolitan Library System in Burr Ridge, Ill.), spelled out the best ways to get RSS feeds from multiple sites. One of the big advantages of RSS is that a specific site can be sent directly to the user automatically, a critical necessity for librarians so customers can use the library's content effectively. Get used to RSS feeds, she said. They are here to stay.

Perennial favorite Mary Ellen Bates offered insight into adding value to products in Becoming an Added-Value Information Professional. Among her tips were how to make the output user friendly and add value to Web content with charts, graphs, or analysis. She suggested ways to boost creativity in your own design format and the best methods to extract information from databases (instead of a single chart on one company, create a comparative analysis of several companies). Branding is key, she said: Seal the results in a PDF file with a distinctive cover that users will remember.

Copyright has also become a need-to-know topic, especially how copyright law is being applied in the digital environment, according to speaker Laura N. Gasaway, director of the law library and a professor of law at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In fact, Gasaway's book Get Copyright Right (a compilation of her past award-winning Copyright Corner columns in Information Outlook), has just been published by SLA. The 30 columns included in the book, she said, have been updated with the latest information.

New Web Tools, with the entertaining and informative duo of Gary Price (librarian, consultant, writer, and now the director of online information resources at Ask.com) and Genie Tyburski from Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll, LLP, covered the must-know sites, as well as some hot picks. (For the latest info updated daily, check out http://www.resource shelf, com and http://www.docuticker.com. ) The tech-twosome provided a look at the Tool of the Year (Search Engine Ordering for Firefox), maps (Ask.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

SLA 2006: On the Horizon
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?