Takeaways from a ‘Truly Awesome’ Conference

They came. They saw (and heard). They took away.

More than 1,000 librarians, information professionals, representatives from industry vendors, and others interested in information management traveled to Cleveland in mid-June to attend the SLA 2019 Annual Conference. Over the course of three days, they got what they came for: 100-plus education sessions and business meetings, dozens of receptions and dine-arounds, plenty of opportunities to network and build relationships, dedicated time to learn about new products and services, engaging keynote speakers, and a renewed sense of purpose. They also got a few things they hadn’t expected, like live music, cake and champagne (to honor SLA’s 110th anniversary), and a poster session competition.

But just as important as what they came for was what they took away. Judging from their tweets and social media posts, attendees left the conference better informed, more inspired, and looking forward to the 2020 Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Here’s a sample of what attendees had to say about SLA 2019:

“The layout of the conference was the best I’ve been to. The networking sessions where thrilling, and I met more new people than I could possibly imagine. My company exhibited, and I was thrilled that it was the first time my CEO had been to an SLA conference. As a first-timer, she was so incredibly positive about the educational sessions and learnt so much about what we do and who we are, she re-booked our space for Charlotte on the spot.”
Nick Collison

“The 2019 SLA Conference in Cleveland was nothing short of amazing! Incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to go, learn, connect, and be inspired. Thank you to all of my new connections, the session presenters, the Taxonomy Division, and the conference planners!”
Erin Fleak

“As a first-time attendee, I can say it was a rewarding experience. As an online graduate student, it was neat to connect/reconnect with so many of you in person, especially the Iowa and Kentucky Chapters, the University of Kentucky School of Information Science, the IT Division, and my SLA Conference Buddy, Cindy Hill!”
Terry Duncan

“Waiting for my flight home, and reflecting on a truly awesome #sla2019 conference. I learned things, as always, but more importantly I got to spend time with some of the many incredible people SLA has brought into my life, and I couldn’t be more grateful!”
Emma Davidson

“The strength of SLA is its members and the networking among them. This year, I brought with me our most junior librarian. While she had been to other conferences, she told me she found the level of networking at SLA was unprecedented to her. Thanks to those of you who made Kiersten feel so welcomed!”
Catherine Lavallée-Welch

One response to “Takeaways from a ‘Truly Awesome’ Conference”

  1. gabriele hysong says:

    SLA conferences have given me the opportunity to learn and transform a library that was destined for closure to one that is currently viewed as a core asset to the company. Moreover, I have been able to present at various SLA conferences showing what I have done and learned since my first SLA conference in 2008. I am always learning so much!

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