Category Archives: museums

Putting knowledge to work — skills and experience learned through real life SLA activities

One of the tag lines used in the past for the Special Libraries Association has been “Putting Knowledge to Work”.
This year SLA had an in-person leadership summit in January in New Orleans that by all accounts was a valuable experience for the attendees. While I am currently president-elect of the Southern California Chapter of SLA and this would have been an appropriate meeting to attend, I was already committed to too many other things at the home base and could not take the time or expense. More on that shortly. That being said, I am very glad others were able to take advantage of the opportunity to gain leadership training and commiserate with colleagues.

So, why was I not there? I was “putting knowledge to work”. This year I am a co-host to a very important international meeting of approximately 40 librarians and other representatives of the Biodiversity Heritage Library partners. The event is happening in mid-March and I need to use all energies toward this effort as well as keeping things going in my daily work responsibilities as a solo librarian in a very busy institution. I plan to do some reflection on this whole process after the event is done.

Requirements for the meeting includes gaining senior management commitment to the event, collaborating with colleagues, arranging and scheduling facilities, contracting with vendors for catering, negotiating funding, and so much more. Having had many opportunities to do these tasks over the years as part of leadership opportunities in SLA, I knew I could put this knowledge to work. I have had training and learning opportunities in various jobs and other associations, but not as much as through my involvement in SLA.

So, in short, I wasn’t at the SLA Leadership Summit because I was using the skills and experience from SLA and needed to focus on details at home base. I do plan to attend the Leadership Summit next year and encourage others to do as well whether they are an elected, appointed, or aspiring leader.

Digitizing audiovisual collections and more in 2015

The interesting thing about the information profession is that it is forever changing and challenging. I have been so busy with various projects that I have neglected my blog but here are some thoughts to ponder.
For the past few months I have been involved with the California Audiovisual Preservation Project. Through this grant I am getting a number of films and audiotapes digitized that are in the library’s collection at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. They can be accessed through the California Light and Sound section of the Internet Archive ( Some of the items are raw footage of events at the NHM Exposition Park site as well as the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park.

I’ll have some other projects to talk about in the near future as well.

2011 a year of many possibilities!

This past year has been one of many changes and transitions, all with the framework of a horrible economy and other world challenges. Even so, being an information professional enables us to be a part of moving things forward, whatever can be defined as ‘things’. I finally bought an iPhone 4 after several years of using an iPod Touch with its WiFi capabilities. Yes, I know many of you already have an iPad and I likely will too after the next generation becomes available sometime in 2011. It is important for us to know and use these tools so we can understand when, and when NOT, to use them for information services enhancement. More on that as the year progresses!

Meantime, I look forward to the ALA Midwinter conference in San Diego to explore the exhibit hall and meet many colleagues there to commiserate on where we are and where we are going. Then a few short weeks later will be the SLA Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. where I formally become chair-elect of the Museum, Arts and Humanities Division. Now working as chief librarian at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, I firmly believe there is so much information housed and being developed by researchers in such institutions and we need to creatively find ways to take advantage of that knowledge and get it more ‘active’ in the educational process and the community learning environment. Let’s see what we can do!!

Me in temporary digs at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

A view of Boolean in 3-D

Ever wonder what Boolean logic would look like in 3-D? There is an art exhibition at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) at its Pacific Design Center location in West Hollywood. For those who can’t get there, here is a link to some information about it.

One view of "Boolean Valley" at MOCA Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood

From the MOCA website:

“Adam Silverman and Nader Tehrani

Installation view of Boolean Valley at MOCA Pacific Design Center, 03.22.09–07.05.09
photo by Brian Forrest”