19 June 2006


Attending at least two days of the SLA Annual Conference was required for 22 students from Catholic University of America’s School of Library and Information Science [Washington, DC, USA]. They were enrolled in the class, the Special Library/Information Center, taught by Bruce Rosenstein [USA Today, McLean, Virginia, USA]. He has built the class around the conference. The majority of their grade is composed of a 12-15 page paper based on what they learned and observed at the conference, including sessions, the overall conference experience, and profiles of at least two librarians they met at the conference that they did not know previously.

In addition, Rosenstein invited SLA and special library leaders and CUA alumni now working in special libraries to meet with the students. He told me that this meeting was “to give them the benefit of meeting and hearing about the careers of so many top-notch librarians. I asked them to only interview these librarians as a last resort, to force them to meet more librarians on their own initiative.” The meeting was a wonderful experience, for both the students and invited guests, some of whom were Stephen Abram, SirsiDynix (SLA President-elect, Fellow, and John Cotton Dana Award winner); Judith Field, Wayne State University (past president of SLA, Fellow, and Dana Award winner); Cynthia Hill, Sun Microsystems (also a past president and Fellow); Sage Hulsebus, The Freedom Forum R. James King, Naval Research Laboratory (Innovations in Technology Award winner and CUA alum); Ellen Lytton, OPIC; Michele Masias, US Department of Justice; Donna Scheeder, Law Library of Congress (past president, Fellow, and Dana Award winner); David Shumaker, MITRE Corporation (CUA alumnus); Barbara Semonche, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Dana Award winner), Guy St. Clair, SMR International (past president and Fellow); Angela Titone and Katherine Rutkowski, Consumer Electronics Association; Susan O’Brian, USA Today, and Dr. Martha Hale, Dean of CUA SLIS.

I’m not sure I really belonged there, but I was honored and pleased to be included. I spoke with six or seven of the students. Nearly all were already working in libraries in the DC area and doing some very interesting things. I hope that Rosenstein brings future classes to SLA conferences and that this idea catches hold with other faculty in other universities.


Anonymous said...

As one of the students, who attended the session, I just want to say that your presence was thoroughly appreciated... and you more than deserved to be there. We've read at least one article you've written for the class and I found it to be very interesting and insightful. Thank you so much for coming to the session.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. I am also a student in Bruce Rosenstein's class at Catholic University, and I enjoyed speaking with you and learning more about solo librarianship. To have an audience with you and your colleagues was a highlight of the conference for me. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I am another CUA student who attended the session, and I received valuable advice from you and from all of the special librarians present. It was fascinating to discover all of the possibilities out there for today's librarians. Thanks for taking the time to come and speak with us.