Washington, DC Chapter

Archive | Announcements

DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – May 2017

DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – May 2017

President’s Message

Greetings to everyone in our Chapter and to those who may be interested in becoming members of our Chapter. We’re at the end of spring and there are already many things taking place. Our Chapter Board is focusing on increasing membership this year. As you’re well aware, our Chapter membership has decreased over the years and we want to make an effort to regain some or all of those members. We’re segmenting our efforts to focus on current LIS students, current Chapter members, and those individuals who have not renewed their SLA membership. Our Chapter Board receives membership data from SLA Headquarters so we are able to track our efforts on a regular basis. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a few new memberships, but more would always be better.

We have many Chapter programs coming up over the next few months so I hope that all of you will take advantage of them. Our members work hard to produce these programs and we need to show our support for them. At our last Chapter Board meeting, it was decided that we would make sure that at least one Board member attends each program; “being there” is part of our professional commitment, so please take a look at the upcoming programs and make an effort to support our Chapter and our colleagues.

After our last Chapter Board meeting earlier this month, I was really thrilled to see so many Board members staying later to discuss issues and plans. Our meetings take place at the end of the work day and our meeting didn’t end until almost 7:15pm. Several of our members stayed past the conclusion of the meeting to work for the betterment of our organization. It was extremely gratifying to see the dedication of our Board members in making our Chapter better and stronger. We have a wonderful Chapter Board!

If you’re fortunate enough to be going to the SLA Annual Conference, please let me know so we can find a chance to get together. I know several of our DC colleagues who are going and our Chapter is always a co-sponsor of the East Coast Reception, so please make yourself known if you’re going. Also, if you’re going, please volunteer for SLA opportunities that may arise. It’s good professional development for you and it helps to build the reputation of our DC Chapter.

Let me close by encouraging everyone to be fully engaged with the DC Chapter; give of yourselves and encourage others to join or rejoin SLA. We all know the importance of networking; here’s our chance to make it a reality.

-Blane Dessy, DC/SLA President

Our Events in May

We hope you can come and attend our events in the future, but if you missed them here is a write up of each of them. We hope to see you there for the next ones:

May 16th Happy Hour

Cheers to all that came!

To the first of many happy hours we hope to have this summer, the one at Bar Deco worked out very well. We all enjoyed our libations and food. The price on their Hawaiian beer as well as having funnel cake fries on the menu made it even more enjoyable.

Thanks to Jonathan Fiencke for organizing an opportunity for 10 librarians to come together and have a social happy hour. There were some new librarians who joined us for their first DC/SLA event, as well as members who have been a part of DC/SLA for some time, so we are glad everyone who took part.
May 18 Networking Event
Special Library Association, DC Chapter members and some non-members joined Diane L Cohen at the law firm of Arent Fox, LLP for a fun evening of coaching in the area of networking and just plain getting over ourselves.

We practiced laughing yoga and listened to our breathing – all part of the preparation to relax. Diane led us through this process because people tend to get stressed when we set out to “network” and during interviews. We noted to ourselves in laughter that one can not practice laughter yoga during an interview, but one can listen to one’s own breathing as a technique to relax and take your mind away from itself.

I took away two major points among the numerous ideas presented:

1) One should have a 30 second personal narrative prepared in advance of going out to events at which we present our professional selves.

2) Networking, like riding a scary roller coaster, is an activity that requires proactive movement in events and scenarios. We need to embrace the ride and seek out opportunities.

It was useful event all around – and fun. All learning moments that require systematic or consistent interaction with other people also entail some self analysis. These moments can be challenging for precisely that reason in my humble opinion. But this is how we become better professionals and better people.

If you are interested in joining DC/SLA, please reach out to me to see about how you might get involved at jesse(at)meta21st.com.

Joining DC/SLA is a perfectly good way to engage in the networking process.

-Jesse Lambertson, DC/SLA President-Elect


May 23rd From Belize to Bermuda Travels of a Librarian at the SQCC


E. L. Doctorow once said, “The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a library card, and a passport” While the second one is obviously the most important, for Mary Berghau Levering the third one has been very helpful in her travels to 163 countries. A librarian who was a senior leader at the Library of Congress from 1966 to 2011, Mary has been involved with many aspects of the library field.

Her travel philosophy can be summarized into two quotes:
“The World is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page”
-St. Augustine
“Don’t tell me how smart you are. Tell me where you have traveled”

Her first journey was to the South Pacific where she went to countries small and tiny. Whether it was visiting Micronesia, Marshall and Solomon Islands, or scuba diving in Tuvalu she took a first step into her great journeys.

Next she was in the Southern Balkans, visiting countries that are still reeling from the war and recovering from the changes, a few decades is still too short a time frame. Unfortunately her least friendly people were there in Bosnia, but every experience is a learning one.

After that she went to the Amazonian Delta Region where she visited the first of her Guinea countries, Devil’s Island, Guyana with their 877 species of birds, and Suriname.

Then she embarked on a set of two different African trips. First was to East Africa and South Asia taking a loop from Djibouti, Burundi, the Seychelles, Maldives, Kerala, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.And the most recent set of journeys took her to West African nations of Mali, Guinea, Liberia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Algeria, and Western Sahara. One very touching moment was visiting a soccer (football) game played by former child soldiers who are also amputees. They played the game with crutches.

Not all of her adventures were part of grand trips, some were direct trips such as her favorite countries include: New Zealand, Turkey, Costa Rica, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Laos, and even Antarctica (it counts even if it is not a country).

While we all hope we might be able to go to a percent of the countries that she has been to, it is still inspiring of the opportunity to see so much of the world.

I just renewed my passport, where are you going next?

-David Blum, DC/SLA Communications Secretary


May 27th Privacy Session

The first rule of Privacy Club is you talk about Privacy Club.

The second rule of Privacy Club is you make sure that others know about Privacy Club.

Or so to say, as Jesse Lambertson (DC/SLA President-Elect) explained in his information session at the Mt. Pleasant Library. As he explained there are a variety of tools and techniques that we can all incorporate into our daily life that makes the balance between technology access and personal security easier.

As privacy is no longer a given due to information collection by both governments and companies, it now falls on the individual to seek out their own privacy.

There are introductory steps such as using Duck-Duck-Go (https://duckduckgo.com/) as your default search engine instead of Google, Yahoo, or Bing. You can make your SMS services go through Signal (https://whispersystems.org/) to ensure that all messages between Signal users are completely encrypted, you can even re-verify phones using QR codes the next time you see each other in person for added benefit.

The next step is ensuring that your passwords are secure, so resources such as Last Pass or 1Pass Password Managers are a good way of putting highly valuable information into a secure lock box, not a list in front of your screen. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are another way of putting even higher security in your browsing habits if you are at a coffee shop or traveling.

On a deeper level, there is the well known TOR Browser and system (https://www.torproject.org). TOR or The Onion Router, is a way of using relay points to mask your searches and internet use. In addition there different operating systems that are also inherently secure due to their make-up. One of them called Qubes, which compartmentalizes your Operating System so that if you are browsing online and are infected with malware, it will only impact that one section you have been using, while a different section with banking or personal details are secure in a different one.

You might ask yourself why be worried about Privacy, but Glenn Greenwald makes a valid point in this Ted Talk that Why Privacy Matters, and the mindset that having nothing to hide is wrong.

-David Blum, DC/SLA Communications Secretary

Upcoming Events

Join us for a GIS Workshop with Samuel Russell
June 6, 2017 – 6:30-8 pm.
Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
Room 303.

Register and more information located here: http://dc.sla1.org/events/?ee=438

If you have any event suggestions to highlight, please use this form to contact the Communication Secretary or the Programming Chair through this portal http://dc.sla1.org/about/committees-groups/program-planning-committee/

Keep an eye on our events calendar for other upcoming activities.



Informational topics and articles you might have missed

Chapter eNotes is an e-newsletter from the DC/SLA Chapter.

DC/SLA Communications Secretary – David Blum

Posted in Announcements, Chapter eNotes, Event Recap, Events, President's MessageComments Off on DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – May 2017

DC/SLA Recognizes Alicia Pappas & Lois Ireland at Annual Meeting & Holiday Party

DC/SLA Recognizes Alicia Pappas & Lois Ireland at Annual Meeting & Holiday Party

By Kari Anderson, Awards Committee

Over 50 DC/SLA members gathered at the CEB Waterview last Thursday to catch up with old friends and to celebrate another great year in the world of special libraries.

The food was fantastic and the view of the city from CEB was magnificent, but the real highlight of the evening was when the group honored two of its most outstanding members.

The Member of the Year Award is given to a chapter member in recognition of outstanding contributions to the chapter, public service activities, assistance in professional development promotion of special librarianship or publication of a professional paper.

The Awards Committee presented the 2016 Member of the Year award to Alicia Pappas for her outstanding contributions to the chapter. It can best be described as jumping in with both feet and making a splash. A member of the chapter since 2012, Alicia became membership director for the 2014 association year, focused on raising awareness of the value of SLA membership not only to the library community but also to the people we work with daily. During her tenure, DC/SLA certainly held its own as one of the largest chapters in the association. As a member of the 75th Jubilee Task Force she organized the gala, not a small task. She is currently serving as the chapter treasurer, which is no small commitment in any circumstance but particularly so for a chapter as large and active as ours is. She believes in seeking out ways to give back to the community by sharing her knowledge and passions, well and truly demonstrated by her service to the chapter and the profession.

The Board of Directors Award is given to an individual or group who may or may not be a member of the D.C. Chapter in recognition of special achievement or contribution to the field of special librarianship.

How do you define “special achievement” in a group of already special achievers? The committee is delighted to recognize Lois Ireland for just that. She has worn a number of hats within the chapter, all of which served particularly well to advance recognition of the value of special librarians and librarianship. In addition to serving as a chapter director, she was chapter president for the 2012 association year – this is a three-year commitment, so you really have to mean it, and the president-elect was responsible for all of the chapter’s events throughout the year. As chapter president, she focused on applying her skills making connections to how people, members and nonmembers alike, connected with the association and with each other. Demonstrating real dedication to the chapter by her willingness to do it again, she is currently the program director. Throughout, she has recognized and emphasized the incredible value and importance of volunteering her skills and services. This spirit of giving back is well demonstrated by her service to the chapter, the association and the profession, and for this we are delighted to recognize Lois with the Board of Directors award.

Photos from the holiday event:
2016 Annual Meeting & Holiday Party

Posted in Announcements, Event Recap, Member SpotlightComments Off on DC/SLA Recognizes Alicia Pappas & Lois Ireland at Annual Meeting & Holiday Party

Announcing: The 2017 DC/SLA Board of Directors!

Announcing: The 2017 DC/SLA Board of Directors!

By Rick Kowalski, DC/SLA Communications Secretary

Please join me in welcoming the 2017 DC/SLA Board of Directors! This group will be working with 2017 President Blane Dessy. I’m sure many of you have already met a few of the incoming board members, but here is some more information about each of them. You will be hearing and seeing more about them all in the year to come.


President-Elect:  Jesse Lambertson

img_20161014_131216Jesse Lambertson is interested in libraries of all types and is open to discuss any related topic. He currently works at Georgetown Law Library. He received his MLIS from University of Illinois, a MA in English from University of North Carolina-Wilmington and is active in DCLA and the DC Chapter of SLA. Previously, he served as librarian for Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, worked as a cataloger for the library vendor, Ingram, and worked for Arlington Public Library.

Jesse was inspired – in part – to start a career in libraries by the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges – who used the library as a powerful metaphor throughout his work. He enjoys a long bicycle commute to work, live music as well as a giant spectrum of arts events in the DC Metro area.


Treasurer-Elect: Layla Heimlich

Layla Heimlich BioLayla Heimlich is a medical reference librarian at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and has been an active member of DC/SLA since moving to DC in 2007 after graduating from library school.  She has served the chapter as co-chair of the hospitality committee, chair of the non-fiction book club, chair of the elections committee, SLA co-representative to the annual DC-area librarians’ Joint Spring Workshop, Director for Program Planning, and Director of Sponsor Relations. At the national level, she has served as a member of the Biomedical Division’s professional development committee and as chair of the Medical Section of the Biomedical Division, where her responsibilities included organizing the section’s annual conference programming. She is also active in the Medical Library Association, most recently as chair of the MLA Hospital Library Section’s strategic planning committee.

Layla received her MLIS from the Pratt Institute in New York City, and a BA in History from Harvard University.  Publications and presentations include “New and emerging roles for medical librarians” in the Journal of Hospital Librarianship (2014) and “World Book Night: Connecting librarians and nurses in patient-centered care” (poster, MAC MLA, 2012). Prior to becoming a librarian, she worked in editing and publishing in New York.


Programming Chair: Helen Keil-Losch

Heleimage005n Keil-Losch is a librarian at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Previously she worked at the Stanford Business School and in a corporate setting. Helen has been actively involved in change initiatives in each workplace be it in the library or the organization as a whole. She is actively involved in SLA and interested in the future of the library profession. She has held multiple positions in the Boston Chapter, Silicon Valley Chapter and with the IT Division on the national level. She looks forward to working with everyone in the DC Chapter!



Communications Secretary: David Blum


David Blum is as he calls himself a “specialized generalist”, as most librarians are. He has lived in the DC area for several years, working in government and non-governmental organizations in various capacities, and is currently a military librarian at the Defense Acquisition University. If you need anything from assistance, reference, connections, or even a restaurant recommendation he can help.



Recording Secretary: Karen White

kw-passport-2014Karen White is the Project Manager at the National Library on Education (NLE), where she manages the staffing contract for LAC Group. The NLE was the proud recipient of the 2015 FEDLINK Large Library of the Year award in recognition of its contributions to the Department of Education’s mission and for its innovative and creative information services.

Prior to joining the NLE, she managed the library at the U.S. Agency for International Development on assignment with LAC Group, where she presented on library management at the SLA annual conference, Computers in Libraries, and the FEDLINK Spring Workshop. From 2001 to 2005, she was the Director of the National Resource Center on ADHD under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Ms. White received her MLS from the University of Maryland and has been an SLA member since 1995.


Sponsor Relations: Chris Lao-Scott

chrislaoscottChristopher Lao-Scott is a Client Engagement Manager for LAC Federal, a division of LAC Group. Mr. Lao-Scott oversees multiple contracts between LAC and federal agencies for library support services, and supports the division through business development and proposal writing. Prior to joining LAC, he performed technical services for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for five years. Before that, he was a library assistant at the International Center for Research on Women. Mr. Lao-Scott has an MLS from the University of Maryland-College Park with a focus on the curation and management of digital assets. He also has a MA in History from the University of South Carolina and a BA in History and American Studies from Oglethorpe University. In addition to DC/SLA, Mr. Lao-Scott is an active member of the Maryland chapter of SLA and also DCLA. He lives in Silver Spring with his wife Christine, with whom he is sharing all of the adventures of parenting their 1 year-old daughter Abigail.


Technology and Innovation Director: Lissa Snyders

lissa-headshot-copyLissa Snyders is a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF), Information Architect at the National Institutes of Health Library. She earned her Masters of Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015 and specialized in Government Information Management and Services (e-government). As a student, she completed internships at the National Library of Medicine, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Office of the Federal Register, and the National Library of Education. Her professional experience includes leveraging data analysis and visualization to evaluate programs and processes, using database management and creation to increase efficiency, and promoting user engagement through social media. Lissa is the Reviews Editor for the journal Library Quarterly and serves on the University of Maryland’s MLS Advisory board. As part of the NIH Library’s Custom Information Solutions team, she is project manager for the National Institute on Aging’s International Alzheimer’s Disease Research Portfolio database and is also assisting with a research forecasting project to enhance library services and anticipate the future technology needs of NIH’s scientists, researchers, and clinicians. She looks forward serving as the DC/SLA Technology and Innovation Director and exploring how to leverage technology to improve the communication, collaboration, and engagement of our members.

Posted in Announcements, DC/SLA Board of DirectorsComments Off on Announcing: The 2017 DC/SLA Board of Directors!

DC/SLA Board Addresses SLA HQ Board’s Motion on Moving 2018 Conference Out of North Carolina

By the DC/SLA Board

The DC SLA board fully supports the National SLA board’s recent motion to ask SLA’s management company to consider alternatives to holding the 2018 SLA Annual Conference in its current location in Charlotte, North Carolina, because of recent state legislation rolling back anti-discriminatory laws and protections.

The DC SLA board further asks that, as the management company and the National Board continue to explore this issue, they place paramount importance on our responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of all our members, with particular attention paid to members of the LBGT community and others who may face danger and prejudice if forced by obligations to our association to come to an area made hostile by discriminatory policies.  It is important to note that there are many members of our association who are directly affected by the state’s recent legislation, as the bill rolls back not only Charlotte’s public bathroom ordinances, but any local or municipal nondiscriminatory legislation in North Carolina, affecting any protected class of people.

We also believe that, particularly in light of recent declines in membership, it is of utmost importance to the health of our association to continue to provide a warm and welcoming environment to the widest range of information professionals.

Finally, we also agree with those who point out that a boycott of all North Carolina businesses seems to strike with disproportionate force at those people who are also most adversely affected by North Carolina’s new, more discriminatory legislation.  Charlotte itself, for example, is not only the city from which SLA is considering pulling its 2018 conference, but also the very municipality whose progressive antidiscrimination law was the catalyst for the state government’s legislative retaliation.

The DC SLA Board therefore strongly encourages the National Board, the management company, and our fellow chapters to consider positive moves we can make right now, in 2016, to support the LGBT community and others in North Carolina.  Suggestions have included free access for North Carolina librarians to SLA-produced webinars to compensate for the inability to attend local conferences; sponsoring travel stipends to assist North Carolina librarians to attend the 2018 conference if it is relocated; and online patronage of independent LGBT and progressive bookstores in North Carolina to make up for reduced foot traffic sales.

As befits our diverse membership, the Board received a number of responses to our call for comments which represented a wide range of views, and anonymized versions of these responses will be sent to the National Board with this statement. Above all, the DC SLA Board hopes that the Board and the management company will be able to take this as an opportunity not simply to stand against discrimination, but to highlight the diverse and welcoming nature of our community of information professionals, and showcase the ability of dedicated information professionals to work for a more equal society.

Posted in AnnouncementsComments Off on DC/SLA Board Addresses SLA HQ Board’s Motion on Moving 2018 Conference Out of North Carolina

DC/SLA Holiday Party & Annual Meeting – Dec 15th – One More Celebration to Wrap Up Our 75th Year

DC/SLA Holiday Party & Annual Meeting – Dec 15th – One More Celebration to Wrap Up Our 75th Year

Join us on December 15th as we celebrate the end of another great year! Catch up with colleagues, make new connections, and enjoy great food and drink at Front Page. We will also have a brief business meeting to summarize DC/SLA’s achievements this year, recognize the 2015 Board, present awards, and look ahead to the new year and new board.

DATE:  Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TIME: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Meeting/Presentation portion will start at approximately 7:00pm

LOCATION: Front Page, 1333 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Metro: Dupont Circle

Retired/Student/Unemployed members: $10; Other SLA members* $15; Non-members $25

*Not a member? Consider joining! Annual Membership Dues start as low as $40: https://www.sla.org/access-membership/join-sla/

Register Here!

Posted in Announcements, EventsComments Off on DC/SLA Holiday Party & Annual Meeting – Dec 15th – One More Celebration to Wrap Up Our 75th Year

DC/SLA Tweets

Photos on flickr