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Leadership Summit 2011

Between 19 – 22 January I was in a chilly Washington, D.C. attending SLA’s Leadership Summit. This event provides opportunities for unit leaders and leaders-elect to come together, learn from each others’ experience, share ideas and build relationships. I’ve just recorded a podcast with Dennie Heye for the SLA Europe blog, so I won’t repeat myself here about the technical and serious aspects of the Summit.

Instead I’ll share a few other reflections. I’d already visited Washington, D.C. in 2009 as one of four Early Career Conference Award winners. It’s about two years ago since I completed that application form, little forseeing how success would have an impact on life. So it was nice to be back in the same city and to think about how much more I knew and understood about SLA, the information world and probably – cheesy though it sounds – myself. Being at Leadership with only two other UK people was also interesting; a real sense of building our own connections and not being overshadowed – or being able to hide behind – other long-standing SLA Europe colleagues.

I’ve got some great ideas to share with the rest of SLA Europe; probably several fairly rubbish ideas too, but I’m not precious about the things I suggest being accepted or rejected! It was good to see how strong we are as a Chapter. I had a fun time hanging out with the Kentucky chapter – friendly and also great at retrieving lost property… and Valerie drinks one of my local brews. (I still get excited by this kind of connection). I also spent some time with folk from the Legal Divsion and other divisions who are so-sponsoring the ECCAs for 2011.

I was part of a panel presenting ideas about building community finances; we shared our thoughts and practices on this. SLA Europe made a good showing at the conference, with this formal presentation and our ability to socialise (Darron’s dancing in particular!)

I’ve come to expect and take for granted the networking opportunities that all the SLA events provide, I love the way that Facebook/ Linked In/ Twitter connections are made in the days following events. I hope that we in Europe can replicate some of that welcome and facilitate growing networks for our members locally as part of the value of our organisation.


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