Turn On, Tune In, Hang Out

Feeling cooped up after several weeks of social distancing? Anxious to interact with friends and colleagues and share stories and experiences? A hangout is just the answer—and you needn’t wear a mask.

Since late March, SLA has been hosting weekly “virtual hangouts” to provide members with informal opportunities to connect with fellow librarians and information professionals from across town and around the world. The hangouts are hosted on video conferencing software, which allows participants to share real-time images of themselves. Hangout themes have included favorite T-shirts, SLA and library trivia, and pins, ribbons, buttons, and other memorabilia from colleges and workplaces.

The hangouts are just one way SLA is helping librarians and information professionals stay connected; virtual roundtables, also hosted weekly, are another. The roundtables feature SLA members presenting on various topics and answering live questions from attendees. Roundtable topics have included the following:

  • Library Services and User Needs During COVID-19;
  • Innovation, Risk Taking, and Looking Forward
  • Career Development: Branding, Blogging, and More;
  • Showing Return on Investment (ROI); and
  • Making the Most of Mentorship.

Hangout and roundtable attendees have reflected SLA’s geographic and disciplinary diversity, with members working in academia, law firms, businesses, and government agencies joining the videoconferences from their homes in North America, Europe, Australasia, and the Middle East.

Several virtual hangouts and roundtables have been scheduled for the next few weeks, on topics such as favorite concerts and bands and negotiating with vendors. The hangouts and roundtables are proving so popular they may well “survive” the COVID-19 pandemic and become standard networking and learning events in SLA.

Turn on to video conferencing, tune in to new ideas, and hang out with colleagues—all without leaving home. Not an SLA member? Join today!

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