A community to support the special librarians of Minnesota.

Archive | News

Innovation in Action award winner announced

At last night’s holiday party it was announced that the MnDOT library has won the Minnesota Chapter’s Innovation in Action award, for their ROI Study and report, “2013 MnDOT Library Valuation/Return on Investment (ROI) Study Findings“.  Congratulations to everyone who was a part of the project.

Jim Byerly, MnDOT Library

Pam Gonzalez, MnDOT Library

Sheila Hatchell, MnDOT Library

Karen Neinstadt, MnDOT Library

Danae Ostroot, MnDOT Library

Marilee Tuite, MnDOT Library

Qin Tang, MnDOT Library

Kathleen Bedor, Law Library Consultants

The 8-page study findings report, along with other supporting information, is available on the Library’s webpage at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/library/Library-ROI-Study.html.

Posted in Awards, News0 Comments

Vote for 2015 SLA-MN officers by October 31

SLA-MN members,

It’s time to vote for next year’s SLA Minnesota Chapter officers! All current SLA-MN members are invited to vote no later than Friday, October 31 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VJ275QK.

Read more about each of our candidates below.

Thanks to the 2014 Nominating Committee: Molly Dinneen and Rachel Wangerin (with help from Dru Frykberg). And thank YOU for your membership and your participation!


Karen Mackey

SLA-MN Past President & Nominating Committee Chair




2014 SLA Minnesota Chapter Executive Board Candidates


Carolyn Bates is Research Project Manager for GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership. In addition to supporting regional business development and marketing strategies, she provides research and analysis for metro-wide initiatives like talent attraction and increasing global trade and investment.

Carolyn is an alumna of UW-Madison and holds a Masters in Library & Information Science from UW-Milwaukee with graduate studies at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences. She currently serves as Treasurer of the SLA-MN Chapter. In addition to her SLA involvement, she is an active committee member of the Council for Community & Economic Research and Girls in Tech Minneapolis. In her free time, Carolyn volunteers her data skills for a local theater organization and plays violin for community orchestra.



RachelWangerinRachel Wangerin is an Advanced Technical Information Analyst in the Information Research & Solutions group at 3M. She is responsible for providing in-depth patent and technical research and analysis to 3M scientists and engineers globally.

Rachel completed her Masters in Library & Information Science at St. Catherine University/Dominican University. She holds undergraduate degrees in both Chemistry and International Relations. Rachel served as President of the SLA-MN Chapter in 2011 and has been actively involved with the SLA Chemistry Division board as a Program Planner. Rachel is also a member of the Patent Information User’s Group (PIUG).



AlisaCoddingtonAlisa Coddington is a Senior Analyst with PadillaCRT’s Research and Insights Group. She provides in-depth research for market context and business planning.

Alisa holds a Masters in Library & Information Science from Simmons College in Boston. An SLA-MN Chapter member since 2005, Alisa has served as Public Relations Chair and currently helps convene salons. She is also an active member of the Advertising & Marketing section of the SLA Business & Finance Division, and previously served as their Chair and Conference Planner.


Vote by Oct. 31 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VJ275QK.


Posted in Association, Chapter, News0 Comments

Q&A with SLA President-elect Jill Strand

Minnesota’s Jill Strand becomes SLA president in January

By Dru Frykberg

SLA-Asia President Shirley Ingles-Cruz and SLA President-elect Jill Strand at the Fellows and First Timers Reception at the SLA 2014 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO in Vancouver.

SLA-Asia President Shirley Ingles-Cruz and SLA President-elect Jill Strand at the Fellows and First Timers Reception at the SLA 2014 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO in Vancouver.

SLA Minnesota Chapter member Jill Strand is currently serving as SLA president-elect. She’ll become president of the 9,000-member international association in January, joining at least one other chapter member who became SLA president – Grieg Aspnes who served in 1951-52.

Jill, who is director of the Knowledge Management Library at the Minneapolis law firm Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, recently answered questions about her experience serving on the SLA Board of Directors and her upcoming role as president.

How was your experience at the SLA 2014 Annual Conference in Vancouver, especially in your role as president-elect?

It was busy but fabulous. Vancouver is a lovely city which I’ve always wanted to visit and it is also a great conference city; easy to get around and with so many fun things to explore – mountains, ocean, parks, restaurants – all very close by.

While I did have additional duties as president-elect, most were behind-the-scenes. I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people at conferences, but this time it felt even more important as a member of the SLA Board of Directors. I spent a lot of time talking with and listening to a wide range of members to better understand why they were there, the challenges their units are facing as well as what they are facing in their jobs.

This year the conference premiered 15-minute “quick-take” sessions. These were offered in an open space in the convention center and focused on topics ranging from competitive intelligence to big data. They were very popular and well-attended, so I hope to see them repeated next year!

What are you up to nowadays to prepare to become SLA’s president in January?

I’m very lucky in that I get to work with and learn from our current board and HQ staff. The board is being very bold and purposeful in the ideas it is putting forward. For example, board members recognize some units struggle with everything from finding leaders to handling reporting requirements. The recent unit re-envisioning effort focuses on allowing for more flexible unit structures that would allow caucuses to form based on geography or chapters to form specific sections.

Another example is developing a new strategic agenda as we wind up the previous agenda. The board started discussing this in January by looking at everything from relevancy of the current agenda, threats to the association and overall takeaways from past research from the alignment and loyalty projects, Financial Times study, and the name change survey. The discussion continued and led to a brainstorming session at the annual conference where the board identified three key member-driven priorities:

  • Value of the information professional
  • Value of SLA
  • Value of the member experience

Specific goals were articulated for each and staff members whose input and help would be important to achieving these goals were also identified. President Kate Arnold has formed a Member Priorities Task Force made up of a diverse group of members from all geographic regions to mine the recent membership survey for specific ideas and goals to focus on as part of these larger priorities.

I look forward to continuing that work and seeing it through in 2015.

Can you tell us how you came to run for president-elect and why?

The simple answer was because I was asked to and because it seemed like the next logical step in being able to give back to SLA. I’ve been volunteering and leading association-level committees and councils for nearly 10 years. This felt like a good foundation for serving on the board although I know I still have a LOT to learn.

At what point in your SLA membership did you consider a international role and when did you feel prepared to do so? Was leading the association ever a dream or a thought early in your SLA involvement?

Years ago I got involved in St. Catherine University’s SLA Student Group and the Minnesota Chapter to learn more about the profession. Once I realized how little the outside world understood the value of librarianship, I volunteered for SLA’s Public Relations Advisory Council to help change that. Since then, I think people have seen that I’d rather roll up my sleeves and do something to help effect change than to sit on the sidelines and simply bemoan the lack of it. As for leading the association, I don’t think the thought crossed my mind until someone asked if they might nominate me to run for the board.

What are your goals for the three years you’ll serve on the board of directors? What will be your focus as president?

My main goal this year is to get up to speed on everything I need to know to become an effective board member and association leader. I’ve been auditing SLA Finance Committee meetings for a few years and board meetings while a candidate, which have been helpful but there is still much I need to learn. My “platform” as a candidate was to focus on making the most of past and current resources such as the alignment and loyalty projects to inform us on our next steps for the strategic agenda. I’m excited to be a part of this process, particularly given the strong focus on continuity between the current and past presidents and presidents-elect. More and more, these individuals have worked together as a team to achieve the association’s goals rather than pursue their own individual theme or program. Looking for ways to link our efforts together into a more cohesive, far-reaching effort makes sense to me because in the end, it isn’t about what one person hopes to accomplish as president, but it’s about working together on what’s best for SLA.

Can the Minnesota Chapter expect some presidential visits?

We were fortunate to have current President Kate Arnold last year for our chapter’s 70th celebration, which was great. A visit from me wouldn’t be nearly as exciting (especially since I don’t have a cool British accent ). That said, I want to continue attending Minnesota Chapter events whenever I can. The chapter kicked off the year with a great program called “Beyond Aggregation” led by Robin Neidorf of FreePint. News aggregation is a timely topic and as we learned, more complicated and multi-faceted than one might imagine. Robin did a great job of helping us to think critically about how to approach it based on the needs of our own organization.

I’m incredibly bummed I couldn’t make the Aug. 7 salon at the Walker Art Center where attendees discussed whether or not we need professional associations. This is another very timely topic and one I’m very interested in for obvious reasons! I put a call out to the chapter list inviting people to connect with me to share their thoughts and I look forward to hearing what they have to say.

What advice would you give SLA-MN members wanting to contribute to SLA on the international level? What’s a good starting point and trajectory?

The unit level is always a great place to begin, whether with a chapter, division or caucus as it gives you a chance to find out what you are good at and enjoy most. It’s also a good way to be noticed at a broader, association level. If possible, I’d also suggest attending the Leadership Summit, even if you’re not a unit president or chair or elect and even if you can’t go every year. This event presents several chances to learn more about how SLA works and to network with a more diverse group of members and leaders. Lastly, every year in the fall there is an online form on the SLA website where you can indicate your background and volunteer interests (http://www.sla.org/get-involved/volunteer/volunteer-request-form).

All this information is shared with the incoming SLA president to help make committee and council appointments. At the same time, I’m a big fan of letting people know directly that you’re interested, why and what skills and strengths you have to offer. Of course, it’s always nice to wait and be asked but then again, sometimes if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Posted in Conference, News, People, Volunteer0 Comments

Student Grant winner Amelia Snetting’s 2014 Conference Report

Thank you for the St. Catherine University SLA Student Group Scholarship this year! As a new graduate without full-time employment, I would not have had the opportunity to attend the SLA Annual Conference in Vancouver last month the scholarship. This conference was by far the most productive, exciting, and engaging conference that I’ve attended. I heartily agree with Kerry Walsh that relationship building is essential to doing valuable work in this profession. At conference I mainly attended Government Information Division or Taxonomy Division sessions. A few weeks after the conference, I found a Digital Asset Management contract position with DAHL at Target and I have frequently called upon the material in these sessions.

At the time of the conference, I had limited interaction with vendors. A few Minnesota Chapter members were kind enough to let me shadow them while they discussed issues they were having with various products. This gave me insight into building relationships with vendors and how to deal with issues that arise.


Here are a few highlights from the sessions I attended:

  • In the Evolving Information Professional session Blane Dessy discussed creative ways to engage in information work, the General Schedule classification salary system, job categories that apply to this work, and some tactics for landing a government job. Foundational competencies (Cognitive Analysis; Communication; Emotional Intelligence; Leadership; Professional Knowledge; Technology Application) are more important than functional competencies (Agency and Organizational Knowledge; Collection management; Content Organization and Structure; Knowledge Management; Library Leadership and Advocacy; Library Technology Management; Reference and Research; Specialized Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities).
  • In the Finding Those Who Don’t Want to Be Found Using Social Media and Other Cyber Tools session Julie Clegg, from Toddington International Inc., demonstrated how to find information about people using social media. Even if you do not use social media, those who you are close with may be frequent users and this has impacts your find-ability. These are a few of the resources she demonstrated:

Additional resources:


I am already eager for SLA 2015 in Boston!

Posted in Conference, News0 Comments

An SLA Conference recap from President Renee Weddle

The 2014 SLA Conference in Vancouver was a great opportunity to attend over 200 conference sessions, meet new people and explore new ideas.  The Midwest chapters started off the conference by meeting for a great happy hour. Thanks to Carolyn Bates and Karen Mackey for planning and organizing the event.

For those who were, or were not, able to attend the conference there are a number of ways to explore/or relive the experience.  The Baseball caucus and B&F divisions sponsored a recent recap of the conference.  If you missed it, the recording can be found here: http://bit.ly/2014slaconferencerecap.  (Note: to listen to the full webinar you will need to download)

The First Five Years Advisory Council have a great collection of overviews of various sessions from the conference available at:  http://slafirstfiveyears.wordpress.com/

The contributed papers that were presented at conference can also be viewed at: http://www.sla.org/2014-contributed-papers/

 There will also be a virtual conference in September that will present the most popular sessions.  More information to come.

A few exciting highlights for Minnesota.  During Kate Arnold’s address at the Business Meeting she highlighted the great experience she had on her visit last August to Minnesota. She also mentioned some of her takeaways including:

  • A need to expand skill-sets/competencies around – strategy development, project management, and customer relations
  • Addressing the issues and complexity of delivering content globally

While our Trivia team did not end up at the top of the heap, we did win the best funny answer for our attempt at answering the best selling book, after the bible. Thanks to Jim Tchobanoff for coordinating our team.

Highlights from the SLA Conference, “Beyond Borders”, in Vancouver, June 8-10, 2014

  • 2,402 people were in attendance. Including Info professionals and exhibiting partners
  • 464 were first-time attendees
  • 691 attendees were from outside the US
  • 36 countries were represented at the conference

Awards and honors

  • SLA Hall of Fame: Jane Dysart, Ann Shea, Anne Caputo
  • Rose L. Vormelker Award: Libby Trudell
  • Dow Jones Innovate Award: Tracy Z. Maleeff
  • 2014 SLA Fellows: Mary Ellen Bates, Catherine Lavallée-Welch, Tony Landolt, Daniel Lee, Leslie Reynolds
  • Copyright Clearance Center Rising Stars: Angela June Aranas Kent, Tanya Whippie, Sam Wiggins


Preview of the SLA 2015 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO will be held in Boston, MA.  The theme of the conference is “Be Revolutionary”.  It will comprise “Quick Take” sessions, and vendor sponsored Hot Topic Sessions.  New additions will include Master Class Sessions – spotlight sessions of advanced level topics, and Crescendo Sessions that require presenters to progress from beginner-to-advanced level topic explorations.  The keynote speaker will be Leigh Gallagher, assistant managing editor of Fortune Magazine.

Posted in Conference, News0 Comments

Grant winner Kerry Walsh’s 2014 SLA Conference report

As the lucky recipient of the 2014 SLA-MN Conference Grant, it’s time I report back on my experience. First, thank you! I really appreciated the opportunity to step away from my day-to-day work, connect with other information professionals, and consider fresh perspectives and new ideas. Full days of sessions, vendor conversations, and social events mean I’m still digesting some of what I learned. But my single greatest takeaway: it’s all about relationships.

Relationships, relationships, relationships

Take the time to develop relationships in your organization — it will serve you well. We know this, already, right? Yet it came up repeatedly, whether I was chatting with colleagues or attending sessions on everything from competitive intelligence to building taxonomies to working with management. By taking the time to connect and ask questions of your colleagues – formally and informally –you will be better able to meet their needs and make your services more valuable. One speaker suggested that 30% of our time should be dedicated to relationships management. A few specifics:

  • Set aside time for relationship development. Schedule coffee with users and reach beyond the usual suspects (but focus on those who are going to use what you give them!)
  • Ask people about their work. Since returning, I’ve made a more conscious effort to ask people what they’re working on during casual lunchroom conversation and it’s helped me identify new subject experts and expand my ability to provide them with useful information. Related: I loved the “Reality Check Interviews” idea Mary Ellen Bates presented.
  • Be seen. Stephen Abram talked about being visible as one of seven principles of influence. It’s easy to say I don’t have time to attend workplace gatherings or presentations, but being seen by colleagues can increase likeability and demonstrate your investment in what’s happening in your organization.
  • Pain Points. The single most-heard phrase at conference. Ask decision-makers where their pain points lie or what issues keep them up at night. Similarly, ask colleagues what processes annoy them and find ways to make them better. This gets back to relationships: we bring value to our organizations when we find ways to address what makes people’s work hard (rather than what we think makes their work hard). We need to understand needs in order to help.

A few resources

 Midwest is best

A big shout out to Carolyn Bates and Karen Mackey for coordinating a Midwest Meetup the night before the conference started. We had a strong turnout and it was a great opportunity for us to connect with people from around the region. The Illinois chapter even brought Midwest is Best buttons to hand out.

Thanks again—what a great opportunity!

Posted in Conference, News1 Comment

Transportation Division 2014 Innovation Award goes to a Minnesota librarian

Congratulations to Sheila Hatchell of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Library for winning the SLA Transportation Division (D-TRAN) 2014 Innovation Award.   Her “2013 MnDOT Library Valuation/Return on Investment (ROI) Study Findings” has some valuable insights that can benefit many in Special Libraries.

You can read the report here, http://www.dot.state.mn.us/library/Library-ROI-Study.html.

Posted in Awards, News0 Comments

Minnesota Chapter members speaking at Annual Conference

See Minnesota Chapter members in action at the SLA Annual Conference in these sessions:

Analysis of Patent and Other Large Data Sets
Speakers include: Caitlin Kortuem –  MLIS Candidate, St. Catherine University, and Claire Stokes – Sr. Technical Supervisor, 3M
When: Tuesday June 10, 9:45 – 10:45 AM
Where: Convention Centre West, Room 211

Teach Me! SharePoint, Metadata and Taxonomy Lessons from Experience
Speakers include: Anne Rogers –  Director, Research & Knowledge Services, Cargill
When: Tuesday, June 10, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Where: Convention Centre West, Room 114 & 115

Posted in Conference, News0 Comments

Kerry Walsh Wins Conference Grant

We are pleased to announce that Kerry Walsh is the winner of the 2014 SLA-MN Conference Grant, which provides the recipient up to $1,000 to attend the SLA Annual Conference. Kerry will be headed to Vancouver, BC, in June!

Kerry has been a member of SLA and of the Minnesota Chapter for a number of years. Last year she decided to give back by serving on the Events Committee. Among other tasks, Kerry helped launch the chapter’s use of Eventbrite for registration and event tracking. She is currently the chair of the SLA-MN Events Committee and is also involved with a group of Twin Cities nonprofit librarians.

Kerry will share her conference experience and insights with colleagues at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation as well as with the chapter. Congratulations, Kerry!

Also, a big THANK YOU to our Awards Committee members: Pam Enrici, Ben Hoganson, Beth Northcutt, Scott Odman, Natalie Reynolds and Lynn Stang.

Posted in Association, Awards, Conference, News, Travel0 Comments

Copyright Lunch Event Nov. 4 @ Cargill

Join MN-SLA for “Copyright: Social Media, Mobile Access, Open Content and More” Monday, November 4, 11:30 – 1:30 pm, Cargill Office Center

We are pleased to present two featured speakers: Nancy Sims, Copyright Program Librarian from the University of Minnesota, and Troy Baker from the Copyright Clearance Center.

Part 1: “Open” Content Resources in the Special Libraries Context

We’ll start with an introduction to open content: resources that are free for public access and/or use, but not always fully understood. We’ll discuss some of the unique issues this content may pose in the corporate and other special libraries contexts, as well as some of the great advantages it can offer. Specific examples will include Creative Commons licenses, Open Access academic publications and archives and some public domain resources.

Part 2: Copyright Compliance Challenges

Today more than ever before, employees are using Twitter, Google, You Tube and other content sharing sites. Valuable information is easily accessible and employees enjoy ubiquitous access to copyright protected music, images and text as a part of their everyday work life. Awareness of the copyright implications and best practices in content reuse are important factors in making educated decisions around the use of copyright protected materials.

COST – Includes lunch (assorted sandwiches, fruit, chips, dessert & beverage)

$20 for SLA members / $15 for students, unemployed & retired / $30 for guests


Register no later than Monday, October 28 at https://sla-mn-copyright.eventbrite.com.

See http://minnesota.sla1.org/event/copyright-social-mobile-open-more/ for more information.

Posted in Association, Events, Food and Drink, News0 Comments

Follow SLA-MN on FacebookJoin the SLA-MN LinkedIn GroupSee photos of SLA-MN activitiesFollow us on Twitter!See films and videos of MN SLA

About SLA-MN

The Minnesota Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) was founded in 1943 to share expertise and interests and to build a community to support the special librarians of Minnesota and the surrounding area. The chapter exists to provide these same opportunities and services to our members & partners.

Photos on flickr


Blog Calendar

March 2019
« Apr