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President’s Letter

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to another exciting year with the Special Libraries Association Toronto Chapter.

I’ve always been a strong believer in professional associations. These social networks, particularly the SLA, are a catalyst for the successful information professional. They allow their members to connect, share ideas, and hone their skills. They compliment our professional positions, and ensure a broad and rich perspective of our vocation as a whole. Most importantly, they are an excellent resource to help us express our passion for our work and cultivate this passion among others.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you your 2012 executive board.

Kimberly Silk – President Elect
Jennifer Burns – Past President
Heather Brunstad – Treasurer
Erin McDonald – Secretary
Greg Barber – Technology Director
Christine de Luca – Membership Chair
Katya Pereyaslavska – Programming Director
Melanie Brown – Partner Relations Director
Stacey Piesner – First Five Years Director

I would also like to take this opportunity to share some some of the underlying themes behind our goals:

Enhance the Chapter’s Online Visibility and Enhance Communications

Whether our members work in the downtown Toronto, or hours away from the city, they look to the Chapter’s online resources to stay connected. Technology Director Greg Barber, and his team, will strategize ways to expand the abilities of our amazing new website. (A special thank you to the extraordinary efforts Daniel Lee and his team for launching this last year.) We will also increase outreach through a strong social media presence. Our executive, and hopefully all of our membership, will make a point of using our Twitter feed to communicate items of interest to the chapter. We will also grow our LinkedIn and Facebook communities, allowing members to connect with the diversity within our association. Be sure to follow and mention the SLA Toronto Chapter on Twitter @slaToronto.

Another objective in 2012 is to add a little pizzazz to our Chapter’s newsletter, The Courier. As you can see, the new editors are already well on their way achieving that goal.

Building Relationships with Members, Partners, and Other Associations

Relationships are the heartbeat of the chapter. That is why it is important to maintain and grow our membership core, our partnerships, and our connections with other associations.

We will secure and develop partnerships, while maintaining those valuable relationships we already have. These relationships help keep partners connected to hundreds of their core clients. Their presence also helps SLA Toronto continue to deliver quality programming to our constituents.

Since we are so lucky to be geographically situated with in a diverse and thriving city, we’ve been able to partner with other associations. In 2011, SLA Toronto partnered with the Toronto Health Libraries Association, the Toronto Special Libraries and Information Services (T-SLIS) Network, and the Faculty of Information’s Alumni Association. This year we have already branched out and co-marketed an event with Toronto’s Strategic Competitive Intelligence Professionals and with T-SLIS.

Finally, we will grow our membership. So many professionals will be able to connect, learn, and grow with the Special Libraries Association.

Programming

Programming has always been a pillar within the SLA Toronto Chapter. We’ve also discovered, through membership survey analysis, that a variety of events are wanted by members. Skills development is an important element of programming. Off to a strong start in January, we were invited to a session hosted by SCIP, Dr. Craig Fleisher’s Using KITs +1 in Boosing Your Organization’s Analytical Fitness. In February, the Chapter partnered with Springer and brought an exciting halfway workshop on eContent success to Toronto, which featured Mary Ellen Bates as the keynote speaker. We also have Ulla De Stricker on board for a Career development series targeted at New Information Professionals, and run by our New Information Professionals coordinator Bernadette Rocca.

Also important to our membership is ideas sharing. Our programming will include tours of libraries and other events that will foster discussion. A month and a half ago members of SLA Toronto and T-SLIS warmed the front room of the Dora Keogh Irish Pub for a salon like discussion on ebooks and libraries. In addition to the development, it is also important to connect with colleagues. The networking and socializing touchstones of our Chapter will also be strong this year.

The executive board, the advisory board, and by extension all members of SLA Toronto, are engaged, dynamic, and passionate advocates for our profession. In 2012 the SLA Toronto Chapter will continue this role, as a dynamic network and resource, making us stronger, together.

— Laura Warner
SLA Toronto’s President

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

Editors’ Letter

Welcome to the 2012 Winter issue of The Courier! Thank you to everyone who contributed articles for this issue.

In addition to the recurring columns, this issue also introduces SLA Toronto’s 2012 Executive Board, and Laura Warner outlines her goals for the year in the President’s Letter. Peter de Jager has contributed an article outlining his top six “don’ts” that contribute to successful presentations. SLA Toronto’s very own Programming Director, Katya Pereyaslavska, and her partner in crime, Stephen Spong, detail the origins of the Toronto Desk Set—a grass-roots organization of information professionals with an alternative view on networking. Plus, SLA-Toronto/T-SLIS Blue Winter Article Club Night attendee, Eric Smith, has provided a review of the event and a summary of the engaging discussions that developed throughout the night.

Conference season is fast approaching and we’ve got the evidence! This issue contains two conference announcements: the first is the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) 2012 Conference taking place in Toronto the second week of May, and the second is the 2012 Special Libraries Association Annual Conference taking place in Chicago the third week of July.

We hope you enjoy this issue and The Courier’s new look. Submissions are always welcome. Please send your comments, ideas, or suggestions to:

Kelly Butler
kelly (at) kllybtlr (dot) com

Yannet Lathrop
yannet_l (at) yahoo (dot) com

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

Board Watch

Laura Warner and I just returned from beautiful Atlanta, Georgia for the SLA Leadership Summit. Not surprisingly, participating SLAers were tweeting up a storm! To see the conversation over the 2 days of meetings and discussion, visit Twitter and then search for the hashtag we used, #slaleads.

In addition to reconnecting with old friends, making new connections, and planning world domination, we had a chance to get to know our SLA Board and to discuss their vision and strategy for 2012. Even though we all voted back in the fall, you may wish to remind yourself of who’s who on the SLA Board of Directors. Take a look at. Having spent a few days with all these fine people, I encourage you to contact them with any ideas you may have for the association.

One interesting resource I learned about while at Leadership Summit was the SLA Leadership Connections blog. One part of this blog I find really useful is the Chapter Idea Bank where chapter members from all over the world add their ideas for sharing. This is definitely a resource I’m going to check out!

One of the most exciting and inspiring announcements to come out of Leadership Summit were the 2012 Rising Stars. Information professionals working on Wall Street, at a leading classical music publisher, at National Public Radio, and in support of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs have been named 2012 Rising Stars of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). To get to know them, visit here. The Rising Stars will be recognized and awarded at the 2012 SLA Annual Conference this coming July.

— Kim Silk
SLA Toronto’s President-Elect

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

Report from the Membership Director

Please join me in welcoming the following new members who joined our Chapter from November 2011 through January 2012.

Sharon Bailey, Toronto
Alisha Barron, Toronto
Julia Chun, Toronto
Isabelle Duford, Montreal
Brooke Gardhouse, Toronto
Eva Gavaris, Toronto
Sandra Geddes, Toronto
Maggie Kawalerczak, Toronto
Makeda Marc-Ali, Toronto
Geoffrey Milos, Toronto
Patrick Mooney, Toronto
Simone O’Byrne, Toronto
Melissa Pengilly, Toronto
Katherine Schmidt, Toronto
Susan Shepley, Mississauga
Koren Siddles, Hamilton
Matthew Singleton, Toronto
Heather Smierciak, Toronto
Laurie Stoddard, Pembroke
Mimi Szeto, Toronto
Samantha Tator, Toronto
Emily Vella, Toronto
Vicky Zazulak, St. Catharines

I look forward to meeting each of you at an upcoming SLA Toronto event!

— Christine DeLuca
SLA Toronto’s Membership Director

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

People on the Move

After four years as Senior Information Specialist with MaRS Market Intelligence, Helen Kula has accepted a new assignment with MaRS. She is now supporting a large-scale data initiative stewarded by MaRS on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. In this new role, Helen will be helping to build out the infrastructure to support the discovery, storage, and reuse of data collected from various government, non-profit, private-sector, and academic sources. She continues her cross-appointment with University of Toronto Libraries and is learning more about DDI, data schema and terminal servers than she thought possible.

This marks long-time editor Frances Wong’s last People on the Move column. We would like to thank Frances for her amazing work on the column over the years ans wish her the best in all her future endeavors.

Kim Stymest We’d also like to welcome Kim Stymest as the new column editor. Kim graduated in 2010 from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information and has been working in academic and special/government library settings since. She has experience editing the Faculty of Information Quarterly during “library school,” co-wrote an article with Kate Petch that was in the Summer 2011 issue of the Courier, and writes for her personal blog. She is looking forward to working on the People on the Move column and picking up where Frances left off after her significant contributions to the column and newsletter.

 

 

People on the Move is a regular column highlighting the achievements of our members and helping us all keep in touch. Please share your career changes, retirements, life changes, or volunteer work with column editor Kim Stymest.

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

Meet the Executive

President | Laura Warner

Laura WarnerLaura is a Media Librarian in the Content Management department at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Since graduation with her MLIS and MPA degrees from Dalhousie in 2007 she has held several positions within CBC’s Libraries and Archives. She has also been the Business and Economics Liaison Librarian with Wilfrid Laurier University. Laura has been actively volunteering with the SLA Toronto Chapter since 2008 when she took on the role of New Information Professionals Program Coordinator and in 2010 she took on the responsibility of Technology Director. Laura also loves blogging, reading, cycling, but most of all raising her three-year-old daughter.

 

 

President-Elect | Kimberly Silk

Kim SilkKim has over fifteen years of digital media experience and is actively engaged in the interactive media, library and education industries. Since 2008 she has been the Data Librarian at the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think-tank at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Between 2001 and 2009 her consultancy, BrightSail, served a variety of clients including corporate, academic, government, and non-profit organizations. Kim has a particular passion for digital collections and online communities. As a librarian, she prides herself on understanding how to provide the right information to the right audience at the right time, with a focus on providing a positive and rewarding user experience. Kim believes in giving back to the profession, and is actively involved in several professional associations; she was President of the Faculty of Information Alumni Association (2009-2011) is a member of the Canadian Library Association’s T-SLIS network, and is President-Elect of the Toronto Chapter of SLA. Kim’s research interests include emerging technologies in libraries and education, managing digital collections, and applying social media principles to knowledge management. She is also keenly interested in pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a librarian and a leader in the 21st century. Kim earned her M.L.S. (Library Science) from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Waterloo.

Past President | Jennifer Burns

Jennifer BurnsJennifer is a Collection Development Manager (Western Canada) for YBP Library Services, a Baker and Taylor company. Prior to joining YBP in September 2009, Jennifer worked as an Information Specialist at BMO Financial Group’s Institute for Learning, providing reference services in support of learning and development at the Bank of Montreal.  She holds a Master’s degree in Information Studies from the University of Toronto. Jennifer has been a member of the Toronto Chapter since 2004. She lives in Toronto with her husband Philip and tabby cats Harry and Meep.

 

 

Treasurer | Heather Brunstad

Heather Brunstad Heather has worked in both academic and public libraries but has found her niche in special libraries and currently holds the position of Manager of Bibliographic and Permissions Services at Access Copyright. Heather is a solutions-oriented Library and Information Management Specialist with strong leadership experience excelling in the fields of technology, research, and information organization. Heather has been a volunteer with the SLA Toronto Chapter since 2003 in the following positions: Student Rep, Registrar, Programming Director, and Treasurer.  Heather is a graduate of the MLIS program at the University of Western Ontario.

 

 

Secretary | Erin McDonald

Erin McDonaldErin graduated from the University of Western Ontario’s MLIS program (FIMS) in 2010. While at FIMS, Erin resurrected and chaired the FIMS SLA Student Group. She began her information career at PwC as a co-op student in Knowledge Management Operations, and has since had roles in expertise location and social media at the firm. After graduation Erin began to get more involved with SLA Toronto, including a recent stint as a speaker at the Enterprise Social Media event. Erin is currently the Knowledge Manager for Internal Firm Services at PwC and is studying Project Management at the University of Toronto. In her spare time Erin enjoys gaming and baking, and currently lives in Toronto with her fiancé, Patrick and their two rabbits, Moose and Margaret.

 

 

Technology Director | Greg Barber

Greg BarberGreg has more than twenty years of experience providing library and research services to engineering, business, government, and academic clients in Ottawa, Calgary, and Toronto. Presently, Greg is an Information Specialist at Rotman Information Solutions, the fee-based research arm of the Business Information Centre, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Greg has an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario and a BA in English from Wilfrid Laurier University.

 

 

 

Membership Director | Christine DeLuca

Christine de LucaChristine currently holds the position of Law Librarian/Intelligence Analyst at Bennett Jones LLP where she answers a variety of research questions and provides support in respect to practice planning and competitive intelligence. In the past, Christine worked at Bora Laskin Law Library and participated in a practicum placement at the Library of Parliament in Ottawa. She is a recent Master of Information graduate from the University of Toronto. An active member of the SLA Toronto Chapter since 2010, Christine may have helped you register at events last year as a chapter registrar.

 

 

Programming Director | Katya Pereyaslavska

Katya PereyaslavskaCurrently a Media Librarian at CBC and a Reference Intern at the Dorothy H. Hoover OCADU Library, Katya Pereyaslavska is the co-founder of the Toronto Desk Set —a local organization of information professionals with an alternative view on networking. While her professional experience has been quite diverse and includes internships at the University of Chicago, Harvard, and the Art Gallery of Ontario Libraries, the common thread that connects the variety of positions that she has held is her dedication to the advancement of librarianship—be it through library promotions through social media, effective reference and cataloguing services, or publications. Having published her first peer-reviewed work in Art Documentation in the Spring of 2011, Katya has published extensively in The Courier and other Library Association Journals. She also runs her blog called The Socialite Librarian.

Partner Relations Director | Melaine Brown

Melaine BrownMelanie is an information professional at the forefront of using knowledge and information in active and forward-thinking ways to facilitate good decision-making as a competitive advantage. She was the Senior Information Specialist, Sidney Liswood Library, at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario and is currently the Manager, Digital Research of the ThinkFOOD! Information Café at Maple Leaf Foods in Mississauga, Ontario. Melanie has written scientific articles, co-authored clinical papers, presented at numerous conferences across North America, lectured at universities and colleges, and hosted a health sciences radio show in London, Ontario. She has Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Library Information Science degrees from the University of Western Ontario and an executive marketing leadership certificate from Schulich School of Business at York university. She served a term as the president of the Ontario Health Libraries Association. Melanie has a passion for food, wine, and travel and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

First Five Years Director | Stacey Piesner

Stacey PiesnerStacey is a Research Specialist in National Tax Research Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Prior to joining PwC Stacey worked as a Information Consultant in Business Information at KPMG and as a Research Specialist at the Canada Revenue Agency. She holds a Master’s degree in Information Studies from the University of Toronto and an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph. Stacey has been a member of the Toronto Chapter since 2006 serving as the co-chair of the SLA Toronto Student Group, then taking on the role of New Information Professionals Program Coordinator in 2010, and has now moved into the First Five Years Director position. In her spare time, Stacey enjoys reading, watching movies, and travelling.

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

Meet the Editors

Kelly Butler

Kelly ButlerKelly is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information (2011) with a focus on media and research librarianship and government information. She is currently working as a Virtual Reference Intern with Knowledge Ontario’s askON and a Media Library Assistant in the Image Research Library at the Canadian Broadcasting Company. Previously, she served as Library Intern and TIFF Transportation and Transcription Coordinator for CTV’s etalk, and a Library Assistant in the Special Collections and Archives Department of the University of St. Michael’s College John M. Kelly Library. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Kelly received her undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Prince Edward Island and worked with a number of non-profit organisations including AIDS PEI and the PEI Council of People with Disabilities.

 

Yannet Lathrop

Yannet LathropYannet is a graduate from the Faculty of Information (University of Toronto), where she also works as a researcher. Previously, she served as Digitization Associate and Cataloguer for the John M. Kelly Library (University of St. Michael’s College), and as Project Manager for the Parson’s Institute for Information Mapping (NY), where she managed the production of a political mapping tool. Yannet has a particular interest in government librarianship, as a result of her Political Science background and her work with government documents and information resources during internships in the U.S. Congress and the Ontario Legislature. In addition to her editorial duties for SLA Toronto, she is currently serving as Director of Membership for SLA’s Government Information Division (DGI).

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

Stop Annoying your Audience: Six Rules for Presenting

Photograph by Kevin BairdSooner or later in any career, perhaps especially in that of the meeting planner, you’re going to have to stand up in front of an audience and give a presentation. It might be to management or clients or even at the local Church group or PTA Meeting, but sooner or later you’ll be in front of an audience.

While the giving of presentations is hardly what one would consider a critical skill, it is never-the-less guaranteed to do far more to advance, or halt, your career than all your hard earned in-depth knowledge of whatever area you’ve specialized in over the years.

Teaching how to give a great presentation is beyond the scope of the space available, so I’ll take the cheap and easy road and merely point out what not to do, in order to give a good presentation. It’s a foregone conclusion that if you’re giving a slide presentation, then you’ll choose to use something like Microsoft’s PowerPoint. With that assumption in place, here’s a half dozen JRTAs (Just remember this advice.).

#1 “I know you can’t read this but!”

Sit through any ten presentations and I’ll lay even money that nine of those presenters will put up a slide so incredibly complex, detailed, and convoluted, it is impossible to read, never mind decipher. As they place this marvelous creation in front of you, they’ll say “I know you can’t read this, but…”

Question to the expert? If you know we can’t read it…why are you showing it to us? Putting aside all pretense of being “politically correct”, this is the number one stupid, idiotic, bizarre (I mentioned stupid? right) mistake made by speakers.

Suggestion? Don’t put up slides you know people can’t read.

#2 You’re the presenter, not Powerpoint.

Do not place all the content of your presentation on the slides, leave most of it for yourself to present. Use the slides merely as reminders of what you have to communicate. Slides are useful and effective when used to present graphical information, but useless when used to convey passion and enthusiasm for your subject.

Suggestion? To find out if your slides contain too much of your presentation, practice your presentation without using the slides.

#3 The audience isn’t illiterate.

Ahem, here’s a hint. The audience can read your slide—faster than you can voice the words. By the time you read the first sentence, they’ve read the entire slide and are bored to tears waiting for you to catch up.

Suggestion? Don’t deliberately bore your audience, they don’t appreciate it.

#4 Can they read it at the back?

Fact: Nobody can read 12pt font from the back of the room… If the audience cannot read your slides, then you’re not communicating, you’re annoying them again. This would not be necessary to point out, except that most presentations are not legible from the back of the room.

Suggestion? Use nothing less than 24pt on your slides, 30pt is even better.

#5 Can they read it anywhere?

There is a very good reason why ink is black and paper is white…the high contrast between the two colours makes it easy to read the printed word. This isn’t news. Someone by the name of Gutenberg knew this a long time ago, but somehow far too many presenters have forgotten this bit of wisdom.

Suggestion? Don’t use yellow text on a white background, or black text on a dark blue background.

#6 You have a finite amount of time, use it wisely.

Let’s all admit it from the start: we’re all geniuses, with egos large enough to shame the Sun, and more to say than will fit into the time allotted. Tough. You’re given 45 minutes. Choose the most important things out of everything you know and tailor the presentation to flow smoothly for those 45 minutes. Yes. Yes. I know, you have so much to say yada, yada, yada…but, you only have 45 minutes so adjust accordingly.

Example? In this column I have only about 700 words to play with; out of a long list of possible JRTAs I selected the most important six. Presentations are nothing but articles penned by breath.

Suggestion? Don’t speak past your time…  I’m up next!

— Peter de Jager
Keynote Speaker, Futurist, and Consultant

Visit him at www.technobility.com or e-mail him at pdejager@technobility.com.

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

A History of the Toronto Desk Set

Toronto Desk SetThe Toronto Desk Set was the product of a raucous night at the Happy Village, a local bar close to the apartment where we lived while interning at two different libraries at the University of Chicago in the summer of 2010. Having rubbed shoulders with the Chicago Desk Set and perused publications about the original Desk Set in New York, we began to wonder if the concept would take off in Toronto. Why do we keep glorifying the American initiatives and not starting something equally awesome and exciting here locally in our lovely “burg” dearly known as the City of Toronto? Somewhat afraid of embarrassing failure but completely enamored with the concept, we decided that it was something that should be given our best shot, and perhaps it might take off.

Running wild with ideas about a Desk Set Conference in 2020 and all the opportunities it would offer professionals locally (such as networking while having bundles of fun) we cast our net and created the TO Desk Set Facebook page and Twitter accounts in late June. Hungry for more, we also began to experiment with a number of website hosts and soon thereafter registered the domain www.torontodeskset.org. Creating the website definitely made us feel more “official” and as soon as we returned to Toronto in August we had our first ever event at the Only Café—a local “dive-y” bar/café in the East End. This night was about “testing the waters” and assessing our potential membership. Luring professionals with the promise of an exciting raffle while trying to break even on the cost of promotional material like flyers and, of course, our wonderful prizes, the night was an unequivocal success with new and more established professionals bonding over library issues with a pint or a cup of tea in hand. And there was certainly much to discuss! From sharing their experiences in library advocacy and management to just chatting about work opportunities and the current job market, the night flew by. This was also a wonderful opportunity to connect people we already knew but also meet a few new faces—some of which have become permanent features at subsequent events.

With a newly-acquired confidence, we have since held a multitude of events including the well-remembered Christmas social at the cozy Swirl Wine Bar on Queen Street East, where board games, wine, and locally-made artisanal rillettes proved to make a wonderful combination! As it also happened, the bar was holding a book swap that night so everyone was encouraged to bring their oldies and swap for some newbies to read on a cold winter night. That night in particular was remembered for its fierce December wind chill of -29, which made the attendance all the more impressive!

This past March we hosted a pub quiz curated by Jonathan Bengtson, the soon-to-be University Librarian at the University of Victoria. It was a night to remember as Jonathan’s creative and challenging questions tested the hard-core librarian in all of us. The librarian organization acronym section proved to be one of the biggest challenges for everyone, as groups struggled to come up with answers. The final winners were awarded a custom-designed Toronto Desk Set Tote, with the commemorative date of the event, filled with goodies.

In our quest to partake in social programs and raise awareness to support local organizations, we organized a fundraiser through the Stephen Lewis organization by daring librarians to talk about the concept of “shushing” and how it played within librarian and library stereotypes while addressing its underlying issues. Interviewing any librarians who would be willing to talk about shushing as well as encouraging them to demonstrate their versions of keeping the room quiet, we trawled the city for “shushers” or, as in most cases, we soon found out, “anti-shushers”—that is to say, librarians who resented the notion altogether in preference of using more polite silent finger to the lips or a direct glance methods.

All in all, the Toronto Desk Set has slowly gained recognition among local professionals who have emailed us from as far as Saskatchewan, northern Ontario, and BC, to new Facebook members and Twitter followers. We also attracted some press attention in an article about the TO Desk Set in the Quill and Quire. Our ambition for the future? Simple—to continue dispelling negative stereotypes by helping to make the information professional field more dynamic and exciting. We are also committed to continuing our engagement with the community at large by taking on valuable causes in support of local social programs and literacy awareness.

What has the Toronto Desk Set done for us as the founders? Many things. For one, as fresh graduates from the University of Toronto’s iSchool, we have been able to effortlessly liaise with professionals, making valuable connections as well as lasting friendships. It has also given us something meaningful to talk about when chatting to hiring committees, both locally and abroad. The funny and great thing about the Toronto Desk Set is that we do not consider ourselves a competition for local professional organizations such as SLA or CLA chapters but rather a social “supplement” to them. Having recently entered into a cross-promotions agreement with SLA, we have successfully collaborated on events such as the “Blog-Around” where Katya and Laura Warner (a librarian from CBC) led a discussion with a large group of professionals about the merits of personal as well as institutional blogging, as well as with respect to social media in general. It was a well-received event which was marked by active discussions about the notions of online privacy as well as a discussion about useful tools for beginners.

The Toronto Desk Set’s Facebook and Twitter accounts have also proven to be excellent platforms to promote new and exciting local events (be it farmers markets or gallery performances) as well as, of course, important developments in the field of information such as the recent issues with regard to copyright, upcoming conferences, and links to exciting publications. Our Facebook membership has been steadily on the rise ever since we started, particularly spiking after each event that we hold. One of our events was actually held in Brooklyn where we met with the original New York Desk Set—a team of energetic librarians who are crazy passionate about all things “librarian-y” and totally willing to geek out over issues pertaining to classification while enjoying an adult beverage (or two). The Chicago and the New York Desk Sets still continue to inspire us to do more and achieve more with our local organization. From holding a Biblioball or a Bibliobash to doing the Librarian Zombie walk outside of Rob Fords’ office, the opportunities are truly endless! Ideas are always welcome so please drop us a line at torontodeskset@gmail.com or Tweet/Facebook us—we would love to hear from you!

— Katya Pereyaslavska 
SLA-Toronto’s Programming Director, Media Librarian at CBC, & Reference Intern at Dorothy H. Hoover OCADU Library

— Stephen Spong 
Reference Librarian, Osgoode Hall Law School Library

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

SLA Toronto/T-SLIS Blue Winter Article Club Night

SLA Toronto/T-SLIS Blue Winter Article Club Night at the Dora Keogh pubThe SLA Facebook page for the Blue Winter Article Club describes January as a cold and dreary month, and true to form, this past month’s event featured rain and a notable subway delay that either trapped a few attendees underground or forced them to walk from their downtown offices to the Dora Keogh pub. So it was a relief to enter the Dora and see the faces of fellow SLA members ready to discuss the merits of two pre-selected articles. It was a casual debate—no timers, or taking turns—however it was an energetic night with many participants.

The articles that inspired the discussion were taken from Slate.com and the New York Times. The first, “Don’t Support Your Local Bookseller: Buying books on Amazon is better for authors, better for the economy, and better for you” dominated the discussion, and celebrates Amazon.com’s dedication to providing affordable books. The author argues that this provides more opportunity for reading to occur, and that it’s an improvement on local bookstores whose stock is often limited or available at higher costs. This generated a wide variety of responses, and was the most controversial topic of the night.

The second article, “Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-Book Tug-of-War”, from the New York Times, outlined the struggle between libraries and publishers over the lending of e-books, with publishers fearing that easy lending will lead to a drastic loss in profits. Due to the ease of use, trips to the library aren’t required, and publishers fear that there is less of an incentive for e-book readers to choose to purchase items over downloading them from the library. Several large publishing companies have combated this by refusing to lend their material or by limiting library-lending licenses to a certain number of copies, while smaller publishers generally give libraries the rights to lend their items. As this is a relatively recent concern, libraries and publishers continue to search for equally acceptable solutions.

Those in attendance were quick to personalize the discussion. One attendee shared her search to find an e-book provider that stocked the books her clients requested. Another pointed out the similarities between the community building services offered by local bookstores and those offered by libraries such as author readings and book clubs. While a number of attendees chimed in to talk about the wide variety of books to purchase online versus their local bookstore, many mentioned that as voracious young readers they would have loved an Amazon.com-like service to make books more readily available. Not surprisingly, many of those in attendance were in favor of giving readers greater opportunity to access books, whether through lower prices or in a library setting.

The first Blue Winter Article Club was a successful social evening for SLA members. Any opportunity to connect with other librarians is a welcome one, especially during the winter months, an
d as the night drifted to a close and the attendees set out back into the rain there was a palpable sense of community on the journey home.

— Erica Smith
Index & References Officer, Hansard Reporting & Interpretations Services, Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Posted in The Courier, V49-N2-Winter 2012, Volume 49Comments (0)

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