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V53-N1-December 2015

The Courier – December 2015 Issue

 

President’s Letter
Report from the Membership Director
SLA Toronto West – 2015 Year in Review

President’s Letter

It is with a fair amount of disbelief and wonder that I welcome you to the late fall edition of The Courier. After an incredibly busy – and unusually long and beautiful – fall season, the end of 2015 is fast upon us. As I write this, I am struck by how quickly my year as your chapter President has passed, and it is with mixed emotions that I write this final letter to you, the members of the SLA Toronto Chapter. 2015 has been a momentous year for Toronto: collectively, we’ve accomplished a tremendous amount, and have experienced both exceptional highs and discouraging lows. I want to take this letter as an opportunity to reflect on our year together and express my deep gratitude to all who made this year possible.

SLA Toronto turned 75 this year, and I was so honored and humbled to lead the Chapter during our diamond anniversary year. To celebrate, we held a special gala event in May that brought together chapter members, past presidents, retired members, students, and others from our Toronto information community. We even had a special visit from 2016 SLA President Elect, Dee Magnoni, who joined us all the way from Santa Fe. Seeing so many past presidents and retired members in attendance reminded me of just how deeply SLA Toronto resonates with each of us. In addition to the gala, our amazing 75th Anniversary Planning Committee worked tremendously hard to bring you celebratory activities all throughout the year, including interviews with past presidents, decade-by-decade archival posts, a membership drive, our SLA Toronto VIP campaign, as well as a special afternoon tea in celebration of our past presidents.

Although our 75th birthday was a big highlight of the year, our celebrations were by no means all we accomplished. This year, we continued to bring you the things you love about SLA Toronto – such as our outstanding lineup of professional development and networking events, made even better by an exceptional amount of programming from our Toronto West and New Information Professionals groups – alongside new initiatives to strengthen our chapter and build deeper connections amongst members. Our VIP campaign and membership drive are two such examples of new initiatives we ran, but we also tried new things in other areas. For example, this year we offered a buddy program for new conference attendees that paired them with experienced conference goers, and we will continue to offer another buddy program for our popular Holiday Social. We also hosted Canadian Reception this year, which was a resounding success and a conference highlight.

We also made strides in the areas of technology, communications, and policy this year. This fall, we introduced a new events policy that, for the first time, has made PayPal our only accepted form of payment for events. In addition, we’re in the process of revamping our communications strategy and streamlining the way we deliver information to our members. This is our first edition of The Courier that has been produced without a cumbersome PDF, and you can look for more changes to the way we communicate with you in 2016.

Despite all of Toronto’s accomplishments this year, it would be unfair for me not to acknowledge that this year has also been one that was marked by uncertainty and unrest, particularly at the association level. As many of you know, SLA has been undergoing significant change for the past two years, and has had to make some difficult decisions about how to best forge on into the future. Some members have voiced concerns throughout the year about these ongoing changes, the implementation of the recommendations report that was accepted by the Board in July, and the future direction of SLA. Despite the fact that I am rolling off the president role at the close of 2015, I want to assure you that both Christine DeLuca, your incoming President, and I are here to listen to your concerns and navigate these waters with you together.

But as I take in the entire year, the tumult at the association level does nothing to change my thoughts about our Toronto community – and that’s what it is: community. I have often spoken about the deep sense of connection we have as colleagues, friends, mentors, volunteers, and members within SLA Toronto. I still wholeheartedly believe in those ties that knit our community together. The coming years may bring unknown changes, but I know with certainty that the Toronto group will continue to come together, grow stronger, and be the marvelous community that each of us calls home.

It is with a full heart that I close my letter with a tremendous ‘thank you’. I am filled with gratitude for all of the exceptionally dedicated, supportive, and talented people that surround me: my fellow executive board members, our advisory board members, the 75th Anniversary Planning Committee, our pool of volunteers, our generous VIP contributors, phenomenal partners, and you, our members. Thank you for the privilege of serving as your leader in 2015: it’s an honor I’ll never forget.

—Bernadette Roca
President

Report from the Membership Director

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 75th Anniversary Membership Drive!

Congratulations to our Raffle winners:
Membership Drive Raffle (new or renewing members) – Amy Graziani
Referee Raffle (members who are encouraging others) – Vivian Gao

Please join me in welcoming the following new and returning members who joined our Chapter from Fall 2015:
Alexander Heard, Richmond Hill ON
Amanda Wheatley, London ON
Andrea Shier, Toronto ON
Ben Keefe, Toronto ON
Cheryl Caballero, Toronto ON
Cynthia Egan, Windsor ON
David Kemper, Dundas ON
Elif Gurses, Markham ON
Emily Deere, Toronto ON
Ewere Rita Egede, Toronto ON
Julia Campbell, Toronto ON
Karen Lees, Toronto ON
Katalin Coorsh, Toronto ON
Kathy Bennett, Willowdale ON
Kristy Simpson, Toronto ON
Mackenzie Gott, Toronto ON
Mark MacDonnell, Toronto ON
Mark Marji, Brampton ON
Mary Cordeiro, Burlington ON
Mary Gu, Toronto ON
Natalie Gordon, Toronto ON
Olena Kit, Toronto ON
Sarah Morrison, Hamilton ON
Simon Loban, Toronto ON
Stephanie Williams, Toronto ON
Travis Taylor, Toronto ON

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

—Kate Johnson
SLA Toronto’s Membership Director

SLA Toronto West – 2015 Year in Review

SLA Toronto West is about to conclude a very successful year of renewed regular programming. Since January we have organized information sessions, library tours, and social events for information professionals located west of Toronto.

After the events of January to March (covered in our previous article in V52-N2-Winter 2015) we continued with our regular information events by hosting our first student presentation showcase in April. The showcase was part of a plan to give students an opportunity to connect with professional organizations and to share their interests, research, or professional initiatives with others. Our featured presenter was Rachel Lerch of Mohawk College who presented on the Raspberry Pi computer: how it works and its potential uses in special libraries. We hope to continue to give platforms like this to students in the future.

We ended our spring season with a social in Burlington to ring in the summer vacation season and to reconnect with our members. We had a good turn out and discussed our plans for the fall. When programming season kicked off again in September, we hosted a session on Effective Value Propositions. This session gave advice on brief personal promotion suitable for in-person networking, LinkedIn Profiles/resumes, and general ‘elevator speech’ material. Our presenter, Sally Bottone, Head of Sales Effectiveness at RBC Insurance, discussed the importance of having a good, prepared personal value statement for use in the workplace. Her ideas and comments can be very useful to librarians, and information professionals, in all aspects of the career hunt and in workplace professional development.

In November we shifted our focus back to the academic setting showing that a special librarian’s skills can be put to good use in many library settings. Our session that month was a tour of Mohawk College’s Library and Tech Bar. The new and revamped Collaboratory shows how academic libraries are keeping up with the college’s programs and the changing needs of their students through curriculum and information-seeking technology needs. In addition, the library’s Tech Bar, modeled after Apple’s Genius Bar, provides information to students on how to keep up with the latest information technology. Our programming will come full circle on December 15th with our year end social at Harper’s Landing in Oakville, where we began last January.

SLA Toronto West is actively seeking volunteers, speakers, presenters or session ideas for 2016 and is welcoming suggestions from all SLA Toronto members. If you are interested in getting involved, giving a presentation, or suggesting a topic or speaker please contact Brian Rooney (brooney83@gmail.com) or Pam Casey (pcasey@bell.net). We are saying goodbye to our programming co-chair Pam Casey as she has decided to move on to other things. For the immediate future SLA Toronto West will be switching from regular programming to a more sporadic, ‘when available’ schedule of events.

Thank you everyone who offered to host and came out to support us in 2015 and we hope to see you all again next year!

—Brian Rooney, Pam Casey
SLA Toronto West Programming Chairs

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