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Student Shadow Adrienne Canino Reflects on the 2018 Spring Conference

Student Shadow Adrienne Canino Reflects on the 2018 Spring Conference

Upstate New York Special Library Association Annual Conference, 2018

The 2018 UNYSLA Annual Conference, Lead From Where You Are, was an exciting opportunity for a soon to be librarian to spend a day as a student shadow. I wish to express my deep gratitude to the UNYSLA Board for the opportunity to spend a whole day connecting with fellow librarians and learning about leadership skills for any position. A major theme of the day was the ‘other’ things a person needs to know to move up in their professional career:  motivation, reflection, and a sense of humor came through clearly.  The presentations also covered tools and topics, and presenters and audience members alike did not hesitate to have the complex and sometimes difficult discussions about leadership.  Being a part of it was a pleasure, and gave me a foundational understanding of leaders in today’s changing library world.

Leadership Roles Today

The conference began with an apt presentation on motivation (we all also had coffee and snacks thanks to the sponsors- well motivated were we!). Rochelle Mazar, Assistant Dean of Academic Engagement at River Campus Libraries of University of Rochester, delivered session titled “Kindling the Spark of Motivation.” This presentation was not only about motivation, but about how motivating a team comes from the leader’s frame of mind. Assistant Dean Mazar gave valuable insight on “re-framing” the role of a leader, librarian, or team member can be an important step in motivating.  It was also a discussion on being aware of when to intervene with a class, team or project, remembering the context of the situation, and knowing that the only thing we can control sometimes is ourself.

Soft skills for leadership

Many of the speakers gave great examples of the ‘other’ , soft skills, any of us can cultivate to improve our ability as leaders. Jan Fleckenstien, Director of Syracuse University Law Library, told many insightful (and entertaining) stories of her early career. She wove a story of how every experience, whether it was dealing with an overflowing bathroom or learning a brand new technical skills as the head of a department, built her skills and honed her leadership to be a powerful skill set.

 

Another skill I would consider a ‘soft skill’ for leadership is self-awareness. I do not refer to the ‘touchy-feely’ kind, though I believe that has a place in a work-life balance. Instead, I mean the kind that Jill Hurst-Wahl urged us to use in thinking about our goals and reach.  Professor Hurst-Wahl, president of Hurst Associates and Professor of Practice at Syracuse University, presented on goal-setting for productivity and provided insight about how to REALLY make s-m-a-r-t goals. Many of us have heard about setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound, and so may have overlooked the value of this talk. However, through gentle, slightly self-deprecating humor and insight, Professor Hurst-Wahl pushed the audience to think through the process of how to genuinely apply yourself to each step, and know yourself enough to gauge what achievement can be for you.

Tools for leadership

Being a student, I may have appreciated taking home a worksheet on goal-setting more than the average attendant. There were many other ‘tangible’ takeaways from this conference as well. The goal setting session provided a real framework for pushing my professional development, and Fleckenstien’s presentation left me with the very applicable advice to find a mentor and explore open opportunities when they came.  But haven’t we all had an evaluation experience with a supervisor or as a supervisor that we wish had gone better?

One of the sessions I had also been looking forward to the most was set to address this very tool: Chris Miller’s presentation on feedback. Christian Miller is a Research and Instruction Librarian at the Catherwood Library of Cornell University, and his talk was enlightening and enheartening. He brought a new lens to feedback for many in the room, and covered how necessary feedback is, how the compliment sandwich is not the best way to go, and the importance of incorporating feedback into your workplace culture.

Leadership: not just one day at a conference

As the day began to wrap up, the presentations and discussions lent themselves to a close examination of where library leadership is now and where it is going. The final presentation was co-presented by Lindsay Cronk, Head of Collections Strategies at University of Rochester, and by Linsey Rae, Science and Engineering Outreach Librarian at University of Rochester.  Titled ‘Lean Back: Methods of Collaborative Leadership’, this presentation used a feminist framework to discuss the many challenges facing libraries today, including leadership blindspots, and how the path forward will be about balance. With many candid prompts and statistics, and by building in the feminist pink diamond framework, this presentation provided food for thought and stepping stones for action about the future of leadership.  More than the presentation itself, the discussion that followed and surrounded the topics at hand were embraced by the audience and brought up an important discussion that the library world needs to have.

This conference provided multiple powerful messages for a library-student to bring home: collaborative leadership, motivation and re-framing, feedback and goal-setting. I must say again how grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to attend and meet the excellent presenters and sit alongside insightful professionals. As my career moves forward, I feel confident that I have more tools now to carve a balanced approach.

 

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Congratulations to our 2018 UNYSLA Student Merit Award Winner, William Sheppard!

William Sheppard was presented with the 2018 Upstate New York SLA (UNYSLA) Student Merit Award at the UNYSLA Spring meeting on April 13, 2018. Will is a Reference Assistant at the Catherwood Library at Cornell University. He holds a BA in Politics from Oberlin College, OH and is currently pursuing a Masters in Library Science from San Jose State University. Prior to working at Cornell, he was an Instructional Support Assistant at SUNY Cortland and a Library/Media Technician at Prince George’s Community College, MD.

Will has been active with Upstate New York SLA Chapter since 2015, quickly getting involved and joining the board as Webmaster in 2016, then taking on the role of Treasurer in 2017 with skill. He’s been able to puzzle out the new QuickBooks system and end of year financial reporting doing an excellent job. He is also involved with the San Jose State University Student Chapter.

His colleagues praise him for becoming active in the UNYSLA board as a student.  He handles questions and problems extremely quickly, professionally and in a calm and reassuring manner. He is friendly and easy to work with, always willing to lend a hand and offer his opinion.  As an example of his dedication to UNYSLA, he is still willing to help out our new webmaster Natalie LoRusso with duties as they arise even though he has stepped down from his role as the chapter’s webmaster. We will miss his help and expertise when he moves to North Carolina in June.

The Upstate New York SLA (UNYSLA) Student Merit Award is solicited for every Spring.  More details can be found at http://uny.sla.org/awards

 

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Thank you to our attendees, sponsors, student shadows, and board members for coordinating the UNYSLA Spring Conference: Lead From Where You Are. Check back later this year for information on future conferences.

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Registration is now closed for UNYSLA’s Spring Conference: Lead From Where You Are

Lead From Where You Are

Date: Friday, April 13th, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Location: VISTA Collaboratory, Carlson Science and Engineering Library, University of Rochester. 160 Trustee Rd, Rochester, NY 14642 (map)

Registration is now closed. See you in Rochester!

Map and Parking

For the main event, parking will be in a campus lot, and more detailed information will be sent to attendees who have paid for parking before the conference. Attendees will need to stop at the information booth on Wilson Blvd to be given a parking pass and directions on where to park. A map of the University of Rochester River Campus is here.

Hotel Information

Click here for a list of hotels less than five miles from the University.

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Register is now closed for UNYSLA’s Spring Conference: Lead From Where You Are

Register is now closed for UNYSLA’s Spring Conference: Lead From Where You Are

UNYSLA Spring Conference: Lead From Where You Are

Date: Friday, April 13th, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Location: VISTA Collaboratory, Carlson Science and Engineering Library, University of Rochester. 160 Trustee Rd, Rochester, NY 14642 (map)

Registration is now closed. See you in Rochester!

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Past President Stephanie McReynolds Receives the UNYSLA Chapter Merit Award.

 

Stephanie JH McReynolds was presented with the 2017 Upstate New York SLA (UNYSLA) Chapter Member Merit Award at the UNYSLA business meeting on September 22, 2017. Stephanie is the Business & Management Librarian at Bird Library at Syracuse University. She holds a B.A. in English from Saint Louis University, an M.A. in Library Science from University of Missouri-Columbia.

Stephanie has been active in with Upstate New York SLA Chapter since 2013, quickly getting involved and joining the board as President Elect in 2015 then President in 2016, and Past President and Nominations Committee Chair this year. Prior to this she was active in the SLA St. Louis Metro Area Chapter, also as president of that chapter. She has held leadership positions since joining in library school in 2005.

Her colleagues praise her for her mentorship abilities and attention to details. She keeps us all focused on the tasks on hand and making sure all is as it should be. She planned several excellent conferences with the board and has recently revised our procedures. Will Sheppard says that “Stephanie has been a vocal advocate for SLA to stand up for issues of importance to our profession. She cares deeply about the association and its membership and it’s fitting that we recognize her for the time and effort she has contributed to the well-being of the association.”

Congratulations, Stephanie!

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Congratulations to President-Elect, Ruth Owens!

Congratulations to President-Elect, Ruth Owens!

On Friday, September 22nd, current UNYSLA President Zari Kamarei transferred the gavel to President-Elect Ruth Owens. Congratulations, Ruth, and best of luck on behalf of UNYSLA!

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UNYSLA Business Meeting followed by Happy Hour in Syracuse

UNYSLA Business Meeting followed by Happy Hour in Syracuse

You’re invited to the annual business meeting of Upstate New York Chapter of SLA on September 22nd at 4 pm. This meeting will be held virtually and will cover what is happening in our Upstate chapter including the upcoming chapter election, opportunities to help build your network of special librarians in your area, financial standing and details about our Spring 2018 conference. This is a great opportunity for members to attend our chapter meetings with the ease of remote participation. RSVP is appreciated by September 15th to Ruth Owens (rmowens@esf.edu).

After the business meeting the chapter is also having a happy hour at Al’s Wine and Whiskey Lounge in downtown Syracuse (Armory Square neighborhood) from 5-7 pm. Appetizers will be provided, drinks are on your own. The happy hour is open to all librarians and graduate students of library schools from across New York. So come on down to the Armory Square neighborhood and network with other librarians and future information professionals!

UNYSLA Business Meeting:
Date: Friday, September 22, 2017
Time: 4-4:30 pm
RSVP: rmowens@esf.edu

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