Candidate for Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect – Silk
|Question 1: When did you first join SLA? What made you decide to join then, and why do you still belong today?
Question 2: What changes, if any, do we need to make to keep annual conference as a vibrant, well attended event?
Question 3: How has involvement with SLA over the years helped you grow professionally and personally?
Question 4: SLA is an international organization. How can SLA involve and reach out more to members outside North America?
Kimberly Silk has nearly two decades of digital information management expertise, and continues to explore her passion for the connection among people, knowledge, culture and technology. As a special librarian within in an academic environment, and previous experience as an independent consultant, she has a unique understanding of the opportunities and challenges these sectors present. Since 2008, she has been a solo Data Librarian at the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) where she is responsible for the creation and continuous improvement of the MPI’s leading-edge data library, knowledge network and physical collection, which supports MPI research. MPI is a regional prosperity think-tank at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management that creates respected research to advise decision makers and that impacts public policy. She recently co-authored a seminal study examining the economic impact of libraries on local economies, and continues to pursue data-driven research on the value and impact of libraries and librarians.
Kim has been actively involved in SLA since her first year of library school at the University of Toronto, and hasn’t looked back since. She began serving on the SLA Toronto Chapter Board in 2011 as Technology Director, where she ushered in the new Toronto Chapter web site during Operation Vitality. She then served as President-Elect in 2012 and President in 2013. During her presidency, Kim collaborated with SLA Eastern Canada and SLA Western Canada chapters to establish “SLA Canada”. SLA Canada has been successfully promoted to strategic partners and sponsors to secure financial support for all three Canadian SLA chapters, and extends our partners’ geographic reach, resulting greater marketing and sales impact.
At the Association level, Kim served as a member of the Conference Planning Committee for the 2012 Annual Conference in Chicago, and also in that year she chaired the Member Demographics Task Force to align member priorities to strategic goals. In 2014 she worked with several SLA colleagues to create the SLA Data Caucus, formed to bring together members working in the emerging practice of data management.
Prior to leading the SLA Toronto Chapter, she honed her leadership skills as President of the Faculty of Information Alumni Association (2009-2011) at the University of Toronto. In 2008, she received the University of Toronto Arbor Award in recognition of outstanding volunteer service to the University. She continues to provide mentorship to iSchool students and new graduates, and has minted many new SLA members through her enthusiasm for the Association and the profession.
Kim is a frequent presenter both at international conferences and local SLA meetings, where she shares her love of building systems to support knowledge sharing and collaboration. Over the years, she has been an adjunct instructor and guest speaker at many iSchool classes. Recently, she has presented several webinars and in-person sessions on Data Librarianship, which were very well received.
Kim has a variety of research interests; currently, she is studying the role of public assets (libraries, parks, schools and museums) in regional economic development. In her role as Data Librarian, she explores new methods of managing research data and digital collections, and applying social media principles to knowledge management. Kim continues to develop her passion for understanding the value of libraries by applying quantifiable metrics to library services, which helps librarians demonstrate their value to stakeholders.
Prior to her work with the Martin Prosperity Institute, Kim was Principal of BrightSail, her digital media library consultancy that served clients in the corporate, academic, government and non-profit sectors. She has also held corporate positions at Rogers New Media and Discovery Channel Canada.
Kim earned her M.L.S. (Library Science) from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. in English Literature, with a concentration in Computer Science, from the University of Waterloo. When not engrossed with SLA activities, she spends time with her family, and can be found swimming endless laps or cycling the Ontario countryside.
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