Question Your SLA Conference Experience

A guest post from SLA member Jacob Ratliff, with tips for ensuring an excellent SLA 2015.

Jacob RatliffThe way to get the most out of your SLA conference experience is to be actively engaged, and the best way to do that is to ask questions. Here is a list to get started, but do not feel that this is a MECE list (to use some taxonomy parlance).


Questions to ask during sessions:

  • What challenges do/did you have trying to deal with this subject?
  • Where can I go, or who can I talk to at this conference, to learn more?
  • What are your next steps going forward? What does the future look like for this area?

Questions to ask leaders:

  • What are SLA’s priorities going forward?
  • Why are you a leader in SLA?
  • If you could accomplish one thing for SLA, regardless of hurdles, what would it be?

Questions to ask while networking:

  • What do you do?
  • What did you learn today?
  • What’s the most valuable thing from previous conferences you have done?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What do I need to accomplish to make this trip satisfactory?
  • What personal objectives do I need to accomplish at SLA? (e.g. see friends, make contacts, exercise)
  • What answers do I need to bring back to my workplace?

Go forth, and may you find all the answers!

Jacob Ratliff is the archivist/taxonomy librarian at the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, Massachusetts. Feel free to listen to him talk nerdy about video games and information on Twitter: @Gameronomist. Also, check out his recently published book on video games!


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