Friday, August 27, 2010

SLA Student Group Kickoff for 2010-2011

On Monday, August 30, 2010, the student group leadership is holding a 2010-2011 kickoff planning meeting. We are meeting at Brewberry's coffee shop near campus to begin planning events and library tours for the upcoming school year. This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the student group and get more involved!

We have a few things in the works, but please join us and bring your ideas on how we can explore and learn more about special librarianship!

Brewberry's The Coffee Place - near St. Kate's campus
75 Fairview Avenue South, St Paul, MN 55105-1712

Monday, August 30, 2010
5:15 p.m.

Also, please join us even if you only want to learn more about the student group or meet this year's co-leaders. You don't have to jump in with both feet - you can do as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

Or, if you can't make it next week and have ideas to share or want to be involved in the future please email the student group at: stkatesla at

The 2010 Grieg Aspnes Scholarship Winner

The Minnesota SLA chapter announced the 2010 winner of their annual Grieg Aspnes Scholarship.  Congratulations go to Carol Lynn O'Gara - our own student group Co-Leader!  Here is the announcement made today from the Minnesota chapter:
Congratulations to Carol Lynn O'Gara, the winner of the 2010 Grieg Aspnes scholarship!
Carol is planning on graduating in May of 2011 from the St. Kate’s MLIS program.  She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the College of St. Thomas and her law degree from the University of Minnesota.
Carol Lynn has served as one of the SLA Student Group co-presidents and will continue that role in the upcoming year.  She has especially enjoyed her management and technology classes at St. Kate’s, and while her interests cover many areas of special librarianship, her newest interest is law libraries.
She just accepted a job at Crane Engineering as a librarian/research assistant. Carol Lynn also continues to volunteer at the Minnesota State Service for the Blind.
The Grieg Aspnes Memorial Scholarship is a $2,000 award for a St. Catherine University MLIS student interested in special librarianship.  It was created in honor of Grieg Aspnes, a past president of the Minnesota Chapter and of the Special Libraries Association and an active leader in the SLA Information Technology and Advertising Divisions and Education Committee.  Grieg was also an advocate of the information profession and was a guest lecturer at the St. Catherine University and the University of Minnesota.  The scholarship requirements are an interest in special librarianship (as shown by course selection or work experience), leadership ability (demonstrated in either academic or extracurricular activities), and overall high academic achievement.  This scholarship is funded by the Minnesota Chapter of the Special Libraries Association, Grieg Aspnes memorial funds, and through a generous annual donation from Cargill.   A special thank you goes to Cargill for their involvement in creating an ongoing award in memory of their first Cargill Information Center Manager and a long-time employee, Grieg Aspnes.
Previous winners:
2005  Bethany Emerson
2006  Don Lorr
2007  Margaret Ostrander
2008  Erin Perry
2009  Liz Mead Cavert Scheibel
The Minnesota SLA Chapter runs the Grieg Aspnes Scholarship competition each spring.  See the MN Chapter Web site for more information about the scholarship and watch for next year's scholarship announcement in the spring!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Author Marilyn Johnson to Speak at St. Kate's

The Student Governance Organization (SGO) of St. Catherine University's MLIS program is hosting author Marilyn Johnson on October 15, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. in the Jeanne d’Arc auditorium on St. Catherine University’s St. Paul Campus. Ms. Johnson is the author of This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All.

For more information see St. Kate's MLIS SGO Blog.

New Look!

Yes, you have landed at the right place. - your eyes are not playing tricks on you.  This is the St. Kate's Special Library Association Student Group blog!

This new look for our blog is a preview of the new look for the Student Group Web site.  The Web site redesign is in testing and will be launched before the start of the new school year.  The blog has been redesigned to match more closely with the new Web site design and create a cohesive online presence for the Student Group.

Watch here for the announcement when the Web site redesign goes live!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SLA in New Orleans: What a Great Time!

Polly Perkins was our 2010 SLA National Conference Scholarship Winner and she was off to New Orleans in June. Polly wrote of her experience at her first SLA National Conference for the MN SLA Chapter's Spring 2010 Bulletin. Her reflections are reprinted here:

SLA in New Orleans: What a Great Time!
Polly Perkins, Student Group Co-President

I was so excited to be awarded with the St. Kate's SLA Student Group Conference Scholarship. I was thrilled to be able to experience a truly professional networking and learning opportunity in a city I had not seen for over twenty years. When I arrived, I gathered my maps and headed out for a stroll around the French Quarter. I had no concept of the true definition of hot until I stepped outside my hotel and was steam broiled in about two seconds. As I walked and sweated, I was amazed at how lovingly the history had been preserved by the current residents and their refusal to give in to the devastation caused by Katrina. There is a unique flavor to New Orleans, some sort of amazing combination of gracious welcome along with an unabashed delight in the finer things in life; namely food and good times.

The SLA First-Timers and Fellows Connect event was a wonderful way to meet new people and run into several Minnesota friends. As I planned my attack on the sessions, I remembered their advice to leave open time to absorb all the input!

The keynote address by long time New Orleans residents Mary Matalin and James Carville was a fine start to the proceedings. The awards presentation had a special zip for the Minnesota contingent with Jim Tchobanoff being recognized for his years of contributions to SLA. As I selected sessions to attend, my biggest challenge was that so many really interesting sessions were at the exact same time! The choices were very difficult. There seemed to be information for everyone, no matter your expertise. The Taxonomy Division really outdid themselves by offering several sessions every day.

The INFO-EXPO was very overwhelming. I enjoyed wandering the hall and talking to the vendors about the wide variety of products. I had no idea there were so many specialty products for the different libraries.

Finally, I really enjoyed the chance to get to know people better. I met many people from other states and countries and really enjoyed talking to others about their experiences in their libraries, where they are now, and what they see in the future for their libraries. I was fortunate to be able to hang out with some fun MN Chapter members too! Thanks to all who helped make my experience enjoyable and memorable!

-reprinted with permission from Polly Perkins

This Fall we hope to have Polly come tell us about the New Orleans conference in person! For details, watch here at our blog, the student group Web site, and/or the listserv.

Reverse Mentoring Panel at MN Chapter Event

Our new Associate Dean for the St. Kate's MLIS program, Dr. Deborah Grealy, was introduced to the MN SLA Chapter at their meeting on Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Dr. Grealy spoke of her career in Special Librarianship and how she has always sought out the local SLA chapter. She also spoke of the accreditation process and her vision for St. Catherine University's MLIS program. She was warmly received by Minnesota's special librarians.

Following Dr. Grealy's talk, five St. Catherine MLIS graduates and current students sat on a Reverse Mentoring Panel. The purpose of the panel was to provide veteran librarians with some insight from new librarians. The panelists spoke of school and work experiences that have been most helpful to them, ways experienced librarians can help those of us new on the job, the importance of communication and business skills, and being a "pretend extrovert."

Many thanks go out to Liz Scheibel for planning and moderating the panel. Also, thank you to Caralyn Champa, Terri Horsmann, Erin Perry, and Christine Simon for speaking on the panel. Lastly, thank you to the Minnesota SLA Chapter for inviting St. Kate MLIS students and graduates for the opportunity to share their experiences.

Spring Event - The SLA Alignment Project

Before we begin the new school year, it is time to look back at some of the events we had last spring. On Monday, March 15 the student group joined with the SCU MLIS department and shared a Monday Night Event. The student group's portion of the evening was a presentation on the SLA Alignment Project. The following recap, from Polly Perkins, was published in the MN SLA Chapter's Spring 2010 Bulletin:

"Caralyn Champa, MLIS Alum 2009, and SLA Alignment Ambassador, presented at the March 1st Monday night event at St Kates on the Alignment Project, an intensive two-year research effort recently undertaken by the Special Libraries Association. The Alignment Project was aimed at understanding the value of the information and knowledge professional in today's marketplace and how to communicate that value. Caralyn's report covered the Projects results, information of interest to everyone concerned with the changing information landscape and SLA. Caralyn's PowerPoint presentation is available at:"

Thank you to Caralyn for her time and insight and to all of the MLIS students and faculty that came to hear about this important Special Library Association project.