Sunday, January 20, 2008

Off to SLA Leadership Summit

On Tuesday I'm headed to the SLA Leadership Summit. This year, the Kentucky Chapter is hosting, so my usual January travels are limited to Louisville this time--nothing too exotic. From the forecast I've seen so far, the weather promises to be cold, cold, cold. I feel bad for my Southern California and Florida friends and colleagues. Maybe we'll have the meeting somewhere warm next year.

For those unfamiliar to SLA, the Leadership Summit is basically our midwinter meeting, albeit on a much smaller scale than ALA. The Leadership Summit focuses on two things: association business/officer training and personal leadership development. Like any SLA event, the networking opportunities are outstanding. Only a few hundred people attend the Leadership Summit, but they are the leaders of various SLA units and many are well-known movers and shakers in the library world. Meeting attendees have numerous opportunities to network with SLA leaders and other leaders in the library world. It's one of my favorite meetings because of that.

In the past few years, the meeting has focused increasingly on developing leadership skills for use beyond SLA. We've had outstanding keynote speakers each year--last year was Chip Heath (Made to Stick)--and I expect Andy Hines will be no exception. One year we had a hands-on session for writing SMART goals; a few months later, we started using them at the library and I was ahead of the game. I always get something useful out of the meeting content.

In addition to attending all the sessions and networking opportunities, this year I have several responsibilities as a member of the Centennial Commission, the planning committee for the 2009 Annual Conference and year-long celebration of SLA's 100th anniversary. I also have a few lingering responsibilities as immediate past chair of the IT division. In addition, I was asked to give a short talk on blogs. Finally, I'm a proud member of the Kentucky Chapter and will help with local arrangements wherever I can. I think it's going to be a very busy week.

Several attendees should be blogging some of the events, likely on the IT Division Blog or the Blogging Section Blog. At the very least, we'll put up a photo album post-conference.

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