SLA Leadership Summit report

I have arrived safely back in Pennsylvania, where I no longer hear the slot machines yelling “Wheel! Of! Fortune!” 24 hours a day.

Jill Hurst-Wahl has already blogged about the summit for the SLA IT Division Blogging Section as well as at Digitization 101.

The summit had some good sessions, some sessions I didn’t care for, and a lot of opportunities to network. Networking at bigger conferences too often means walking around receptions clutching a wine glass, working up the occasional courage to introduce yourself to someone, only to find you have nothing to talk about. Not at the Leadership Summit.

I mentioned an issue my local chapter is facing to a colleague from my division, and was promptly introduced to someone from another chapter who was facing the same issue—and had solutions. I met other conference planners for Seattle. I talked to vendor representatives. I met SLA board members. I reconnected with my fellow division and chapter leaders. My only complaint is that the packed schedule doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for this kind of activity. (Well, I have other complaints, but mainly having to do with catering and wireless access and other mundane things.)

I don’t generally get bowled over by keynote speakers, but Chip Heath’s talk actually helped me with a request I received while I was in Reno (er, Sparks). The request is to communicate about a service my library offers to our faculty. Rather than craft my usual informative but uninventive message, I’m going to attempt to create a “sticky message”. Chip Heath quoted Frank Sinatra on New York: “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” If I can get faculty to read an email message and remember the library when they need us, I’ll say I’ve made it.