Leading, Learning, and Librarianship at SLA 2016!

June 12-14, 2016
Philadelphia Convention Center | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Excitement was in the air at the SLA 2016 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO in Philadelphia as 2,511 attendees came together to network, learn and share ideas, and hear about the latest info products and services!
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“What a wonderful conference. And what a difference from last year. So much optimism going forward.
#SLA2016 #reboot” – @kimberlysilk

So much optimism and energy at #sla2016 – best conference in years & looking forward to #sla2017!” – @staceygreenwell

Here are just a few of the highlights of SLA 2016:

Conference Conversation and Opening Keynote
An intentional, overarching conversation tied the many parts of the conference together—one focused on leading, learning, and librarianship.
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During her opening keynote presentation, executive coach and consultant Erika Andersen illustrated the crucial tie between learning and leadership and challenged attendees to embrace the inevitable discomfort of “being bad” during the initial phase of learning a new skill.

Loving this @erikaandersen keynote! Great ideas for self-awareness I can take back to office. #SLA2016  – @ShinyDoom

“#SLA2016 keynote Erika Andersen: knowledge doubles each year, so keep a childlike curiosity. The best leaders are still learners. @biall_uk” – @TimLawLibrary

“Can’t say enough good things about the opening keynote, fantastic way to start off the #SLA2016 festivities!” – @LibraryViking

Awards and Honors
SLA recognized 14 members for their dedication and contributions to the association and the information profession at large:

John Cotton Dana Award: James Matarazzo and Toby Pearlstein (both pictured below, with 2016 SLA president Tom Rink)
SLA Hall of Fame: Willem Noorlander and Janet Weiss
SLA Fellows: Brandy King, Brent Mai, Valerie Perry, Stephen Phillips, and Cindy Romaine
Rose L. Vormelker Award: Judith Currano
SLA Rising Stars: Kathryn Callon, Sarah Cook, Katherine Cuyler, and Raymond Pun
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“‘It is nice to be recognized but I do want to recognize what SLA has meant for the sustainability of my career.’ Toby Pearlstein #SLA2016” – @gebhardtr

“Standing O for SLAs dynamic duo and JCD award winners Jim and Toby! #SLA2016” – @aainfopro

“Amazing group of SLA award winners. Inspiring individuals who remind me of what makes SLA so special! #SLA2016” – @deemagnoni

Bright New Direction
Attendees got a chance to meet new executive director, Amy Lestition Burke, CAE, in person throughout the conference. She received a warm welcome from the audience when she introduced the dynamic vision for SLA at the opening session, and was constantly met with smiles and friendly conversation as she got to know members at receptions, meetings, and other events. And because a picture with the ED was one of the top point promotions for the mobile app game, Amy was subject to random selfies at opportune moments!

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“Thanks 2 everyone at #SLA2016 for making this such an awesome conference. I’m excited 2 see where we take things over the next year #SLA2017 – @DocKleiner

“Peace out, Philly. #SLA2016 has renewed my hope for the association.” – @CWardLIS

Continuing Education Courses
The conference got a great kick-start on Friday and Saturday with Continuing Education (CE) courses, followed by a graduation ceremony for those who had earned their CE certificates in Copyright or Knowledge Management.

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“Indispensable continuing ed opportunity, and way to keep connected to your community(ies) of practice.” – Carol Paszamant, Librarian, NJ Dept. of Transportation

Thanks to #SLA2016, I realized that I have some work to do. Gotta fill in some knowledge gaps!” – @NicoleTCunha

Educational Sessions
More than 100 educational sessions and workshops translated into countless opportunities to learn new skills and explore key industry trends in gathering, organizing, analyzing, and sharing information and knowledge.

Several session formats were offered, including poster sessions, roundtables, master classes, and 20-minute Quick Takes.  The sessions featured a variety of career-relevant topics including competitive intelligence, copyright literacy and compliance, and content and knowledge management, just to name a few.

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Great conference! Impressed with variety of sessions (hard to choose) and quality of the wifi – very important! #SLA2016” – @WaynePender

@shivguinn very pleased to see this Master Class live up to my Master Class expectations. #sla2016” – @KnowldgeLinking

“I learn so much every year! The SLA Annual Conference is the only one where I find sessions that actually directly relate to my library type; this allows me to return with information that I can put into practice, adding value to my organization.” –  Katy Callon, Librarian, Montana Department of Transportation

Grand Opening of the INFO-EXPO
Attendees joined a parade led by brightly dressed Mummers and flocked to the exhibit hall where 2016 SLA President Tom Rink cut the ribbon to officially open the INFO-EXPO, which featured 173 exhibitors.
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“And then we were in a Mummers Parade. Best. Conference. Ever. #SLA2016” – @writerbrarian

In addition to speaking one-on-one with exhibitors about the latest technological innovations in the information industry and how these advances can be implemented into and benefit their own organizations, INFO-EXPO visitors also attended Hot Topic sessions and Exhibitor Theater presentations.

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“There is no better opportunity to meet with your vendors, their competitors, colleagues from other organizations, and make invaluable global connections!” – Cindy Studnicha, Global External Content Procurement Leader, EY

The Mobile App
The SLA 2016 Mobile App brought out the competitive spirit in conference attendees through its photo scavenger hunt game, Passport.

You and a Colleague

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We’re pleased to announce the winners of Passport and the prizes they’ll receive:

Complimentary registration for SLA 2017: Alison Verbeck
Complimentary registration for SLA 2017: Valerie Perry
One year of SLA membership: Anya Bartelmann

Want to see more fun photos from SLA 2016? Check out our Facebook album!

Networking Opportunities
Attendees were anything but shy and got to know each other and reconnect with old friends in settings ranging from dine arounds at local Philadelphia restaurants to a reception for First Timers and Fellows, to the infamous dance party hosted annually by the association’s IT Division.
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“Nurturing your network – it’s not a task or a chore but something you want to do. @librarysherpa #sla2016 – @libraryfocus

“I was glad to have the chance to get to know SLA better by attending the annual conference as well as getting a better sense of the types of people who are members of it and the places they work. It was valuable for me as a recent MLIS graduate.” – Paul Rubio

“As a retired SLA member, I continue to attend the annual conference as a way to give back to the profession which has give[n] me so much throughout my career.”  –  Marilyn Bromley

On the final day of the conference, “Professional Competencies and You” provided a forum for information professionals to discuss the document, Competencies for Information Professionals, which outlines the qualifications, skills, and proficiencies fundamental to librarianship and the information and knowledge management industry today. Just released in April of this year, the list of competencies is valuable tool for special librarians and information professionals, as well as their employers, and for students and educators in the library and information science field.

“SLA’s annual conference is a valuable opportunity for me to grow my professional capabilities, meet and learn from industry experts, and ultimately benefit my employer with the newfound perspectives and skills I put into practice back on the job.” – Lora Bray, Information Research Analyst, Credit Union National Association

#sla2017 will link sessions with new SLA competencies. Great idea @KnowldgeLinking et al #sla2016 – @joy_m_banks

Closing Keynote
In her closing keynote presentation, author Marilyn Johnson underscored the importance of leadership in the profession as she recounted some of the countless way that librarians have influenced her own life.

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Make categories, don’t let them define you – seriously good advice from @Marilynajohnson #sla2016” – @el399

#SLA2016 @Marilynajohnson libraries are not hiding places. Now the place to be shape shifters, reformers, opportunity finders” – @charosb

See You Next Time…
A valuable experience? You bet. A whopping 98 percent of attendees surveyed shared that they found their participation in SLA 2016 to be a productive use of their organization’s time and resources. After a fruitful and memorable conference, many attendees are already eager for SLA 2017, which will be held June 18–20 in Phoenix.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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So long #SLA2016, you were fab! I wasn’t going to #SLA2017 but planners & new direction of @SLAhq changing my mind. Hope to see u in Phoenix.” – @VinessaNJ

 So that’s #SLA2016 done. Thoroughly enjoyed my first SLA Conference and looking forward to next year’s. Lots of learning and lots of fun!” – @joeyanne

I haven’t tweeted abt #SLA2016 being over because I’m in denial. On the bright side, only 363 days until #SLA2017” – @limejellous

“Thanks for a great first SLA conference! #SLA2016– @ideaofhappiness

“#SLA2016 @slahq Thanks for all you do and for a great conference – https://crowd.cc/s/iOYY – @BillDrew4

“Thank you @slaeurope for the opp to attend, it’s been fab! #SLA2016 – @Shazia1001


SLA staff would like to thank all of the SLA 2016 attendees and exhibitors for an amazing experience!

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#SLA2016 #SLAers #swag #haul Thank you vendors and sponsors! #howdidthisfitinmycarryon – @rbateswilfahrt


And as always, thank you to our partners for supporting SLA 2016 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO:


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Bureau van Dijk |The Institution of Engineering and Technology

MADCAD.com | ProQuest | MergerMarket Group

Tayor and Francis | Springer Nature

The New York Times Corporate Digital Solutions | Wolters Kluwer


If you loved SLA 2016 or wish you had attended, (re)experience the learning, connections, and inspiration at the SLA 2018 Annual Conference in Baltimore.


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