2008 SLA Conference

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Held in the beautiful Emerald City, the 2008 SLA Conference was one of the best I’ve attended.  There were 5000 attendees and 283 exhibitors of which 50 attended for the first time demonstrating huge interest among both librarians and vendors.  The sessions and learning opportunities were outstanding, not to mention world-class speakers and presenters. I was particularly energized by the SLA vision for the library profession in the 21st century.  I thought that closing remarks delivered by Janice Lachance, SLA’s CEO,  were the conference’s highest point, showing deep understanding of our challenges as a profession and at the same time inspiring us with the vision of opportunities and possibilities.  I am thrilled about the Alignment Projectthat involves Outsell and Fleishman-Hillard, as well as futurists from Social Technologies, to improve our ability to better communicate our values to the world.  I love the concept of Innovation Lab,  and all the tools and resources we can use to become “cutting edge”.   A few distinguished people, including Vint Serf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, made a point that the notion that knowledge is power is myth, it is sharing knowledge that matters.  To share what I’ve learned during the conference with my colleagues, I put together this idea map.

Using Idea Maps for Presentations

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This year, my paper “Doing Library Business in India: A Success Story” won the Best Conference Paper Award at the Special Libraries Association’s annual conference held in Seattle June 16th through 19th.  This year’s conference theme was “Breaking Rules, Building Bridges”, and my paper was honored for innovative ideas and contribution to the scholarship of the SLA organization.  In line with the theme,  the paper describes how Franklin Templeton Library turned challenges of globalization into opportunities while breaking some rules and building bridges between the U.S. and Indian information professionals. 

To present the paper at the conference, I decided to “break another rule”: instead of PowerPoint I used idea maps.   And it worked!  Using MindManager, I put together two simple maps: a cover map and a presentation map.  Instead of a dozen or so PPP slides, I had two slides with a single click in between (helped me to stay focused).  I also think that more holistic and visual representation of key points helped my audience to see a big picture and details at the same time.




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