Three Up-and-Comers to be Named SLA Rising Stars – 4 June 2014

SLA Contact:
John Walsh
Phone: 703.647.4917

Three Up-and-Comers to be Named SLA Rising Stars
SLA 2014 Gold Partner Copyright Clearance Center to Honor Three Early-Career Professionals

Wednesday, 4 June 2014, Alexandria, VA–Angela Kent, Sam Wiggins, and Tanya Whippie will be recognized at the SLA 2014 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO as Rising Stars of the Special Libraries Association (SLA).

The SLA Rising Star award honors early-career achievement within the information profession as well as contribution to SLA. Copyright Clearance Center has partnered with SLA in 2014 to establish this recognition platform for the future leaders of SLA, as well as to inspire MLIS graduate candidates to make an immediate impact in the profession upon graduating.

The 2014 Rising Stars will participate in the 5th annual Rising Stars & Fellows Roundtable, to be held on Monday, June 9, at the SLA 2014 Annual Conference in Vancouver. The session will pair each Rising Star with a newly designated SLA Fellow to explore a variety of pertinent topics and trends related to achieving impact beyond borders and barriers.

“Through Copyright Clearance Center’s partnership with the SLA, we are participating in the critical programs to bolster the future of the industry,” said Stephen Garfield, CCC director, account management.  “In supporting these Rising Stars, it is our hope we can make both an instant and lasting impact on the next generation of information professionals around the globe.”

More about the 2014 Rising Stars

Angela Kent
Angela June Aranas Kent is a reference librarian for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Angela joined SLA soon after enrolling in the Catholic University of America’s (CUA) library and information science program where she received her master’s degree in library and information science in December of 2013 and was selected by the faculty as the Student of the Year.

Just two years into her career, Angela has become an exemplary information professional. While working as the Circulation and Student Supervisor at Catholic University, she improved and standardized training for the thirty-five library assistants employed by the library each semester. She created online forms and introduced BlackBoard as a way to improve employee management, while also fostering greater collaboration with and coordination among the university’s branch libraries.

As the SLA student chapter president, Angela helped to revamp the student group’s overall online presence, which refreshed and updated their chapter website, bolstered its social media presence, and established event feedback surveys that were used to improve future program planning.

Angela led the school’s student group of SLA members by pulling together a team that organized several well-received events, including a career-oriented “Knowledge Café” that was attended by over thirty CUA students and a dozen information professionals from the D.C. and Maryland chapters of SLA. The knowledge café included mentoring and career consultation, as well as a resumé-review service. By also engaging DC/SLA’s mentoring committee participation in the event, allowed students to learn firsthand about SLA and become new DC/SLA members.

Angela continues to assist librarians and information professionals with finding their ideal job through her volunteer work as the head editor for virtual work opportunities with the popular INALJ [pronounced: EYE-nuh-EL-jay] website.

Angela has also been an active member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of SLA, particularly with the chapter’s Program Planning and Strategic Planning Committees. In those roles, Angela identified guest speakers for professional development events and contributed to the chapter’s strategic planning goals. Upon moving to Austin, Texas, Angela joined the Texas Chapter of SLA and is currently serving on the chapter’s executive board.

Angela’s writings on federal government libraries were recommended and included in the annual LexisNexis Best Practices for Government Libraries publication. She has also presented her research on the topic of research and analysis frameworks and is a co-author on embedded librarianship in first-year experience programs. Angela attended last year’s annual SLA conference as the DC/SLA chapter stipend award winner and the Military Libraries Workshop as the division’s student stipend award winner.

Originally from outside Toronto, Canada, Angela moved to Washington, D.C. ten years ago to work in the fields of international relations and intelligence studies, where she also earned her first masters in security studies from Georgetown University. She continues to research and write on the overlapping topics of open source intelligence, grey literature, open government, open data, and information policy topics — particularly Open Access and Fair Use. She was the 2012 Catherine A. Jones Memorial Scholarship winner and is a member of Beta Phi Mu.

Today, Angela can be found at the Texas State Library assisting patrons with finding and accessing state and federal government documents and publications. When she’s not at the desk, Angela can be found knitting and crocheting at home or exploring her new surroundings in Austin, with her husband, Ryan.

Sam Wiggins
Sam Wiggins is a senior research librarian for Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, an international law firm headquartered in [CITY]. Sam joined SLA in 2011 upon receiving the SLA Europe Chapter’s Early Career Conference Award (ECCA), which supported his travel to Philadelphia for his first SLA Annual Conference.

Shortly after the conference, Sam joined the SLA Europe Events Committee, where his meticulous planning and leadership skills have contributed to many successful events, including the chapter’s 40th birthday celebration in 2012. The following year, Sam stepped up to chair the committee, a position that includes a term on the SLA Europe Board of Directors. Sam has served as the ethics ambassador for the Legal Division since 2012, and this year he joined the SLA Nominating Committee and started his term as president-elect of SLA Europe.

In 2013, Sam partnered with the SLA Legal Division and SLA members John DiGilio and Gayle Lynn-Nelson to add a European perspective to the ever-popular Web 2.0 speed-tutorial “60 Sites in 60 Minutes” at the SLA 2013 Annual Conference in San Diego. In addition, Sam was a featured speaker in a 2013 Leadership & Management Division Webinar on tools for more effective management.

In his spare time, Sam writes about a wide range of information management issues and helps set up the monthly Twitter-chat series, #UKlibchat. He has presented at a number of conferences, including the CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) New Professionals Conference and the CILIP Graduate Open Day. Last year Sam conducted research on the challenges facing new professionals entering the legal profession and joined with Marie Cannon to present the results at a conference hosted by the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians. Sam and Marie recently co-authored an article for Legal Information Management; Sam is currently partnering with CILIP and BIALL to coordinate the SLA Europe Chapter’s contribution to their graduate open day.

For his early achievements, Sam has already received several honours.  In 2013 he received the Bloomberg Law/Bloomberg BNA Outstanding New Member Contribution, as well as the non-US Law Librarian Bursary to attend SLA 2013, both Legal Division honors. He has won bursaries from the City Legal Information Group and the British Association of Law Librarians.  Sam is also a CILIP Chartered librarian, and mentors potential Chartership candidates.

Sam earned his library degree from the University of Sheffield. Outside of his day job, Sam is a black belt, 2nd Dan in Tae Kwon-Do and was the Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain’s Welsh sparring champion in 2012.

Tanya Whippie
Tanya has been a librarian at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since July 2010. When she started, the HUD library had been inactive for many years, and few of the 3,500 employees at HUD headquarters even knew it existed. Tanya is credited with not only single-handedly reviving the library–putting systems in place, updating the catalogue, and rescuing damaged books—but also re-engaging HUD staff to establish the library as an indispensable resource to the department. The library now serves more than 9,000 federal government employees effectively.

Since resurrecting the library, Tanya has been proactively driving its growth. She hosts weekly Webinars that are regularly attended by 50+ employees and have placed the HUD library on the radar of the entire organization. Heads of program offices often ask to speak at her Webcasts to engage with employees outside of their programs.

Always a librarian, Tanya has begun to catalogue the information presented on her Webcasts on an internal wiki, which has come to serve as a proto-knowledge management system for the agency. Over the past year, Tanya has become one of HUD’s leaders for institutional knowledge, working with employees on all levels to capture, manage, and disseminate what they know and have learned.

Tanya’s contributions have begun to spread beyond HUD into the rest of the federal government. Several other agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have asked HUD to share best practices around engaging new employees in knowledge management.

Tanya has also been quick to become involved in SLA and other professional associations. She is currently the chair of SLA’s Solo Librarians Division and has become a sought-after speaker, presenting such popular sessions as “Career Agility” for SLA’s Government Information Division at the SLA 2012 Annual Conference in Chicago.

Tanya earned a masters’ of library science degree in 2010 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Outside of work and SLA, Tanya teaches an ESL class and volunteers as a literacy tutor.  Her ever expending hobbies include canning, rug making, board games, cross-stitching, and learning languages.  She has an interest in Central Asia and has amassed a collection of Bactrian camels from all over that region.

About Copyright Clearance Center
Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), the rights licensing expert, is a global rights broker for the world’s most sought-after materials, including in- and out-of-print books, journals, newspapers, magazines, movies, television shows, images, blogs and e-books. Founded in 1978 as a not-for-profit organization, CCC provides smart solutions that simplify the process of gaining access to and licensing content. These solutions let businesses and academic institutions get permission to use copyright protected materials quickly, while compensating publishers and content creators for using their works. We make copyright work. For more information, visit

About SLA
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit international organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves information professionals in 72 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic and government information specialists. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy and networking initiatives. For more information, visit

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