Category Archives: SLA

Let the Search Begin!

By Marisa Dabney

The Special Libraries Association at Buffalo (SLAB) hosted guest speaker Rachel Singer Gordon in an effort to education future librarians of alternative careers in librarianship. Rachel Singer Gordon writes articles for Library Journal and regularly publishes on evolving trends in library and information science.

Her newest book, What’s the Alternative? Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros (ITI 2008) details the exciting various careers that are open to individuals with a library science degree. Gordon is also the webmaster for job posting site, and author of the blog Beyond the Job. This was Gordon’s first trip to Western New York.

If you were unable to make it to this guest speaker event do not panic, a podcast version of the event is available for University at Buffalo students. The podcast is hosted on the SLAB website at

You can also check out Rachel Singer Gordon’s blog ( which gives job search tips and links to various fellowship applications.

Even if you are a first year student it would behoove you to start looking into various library career possibilities now. How can you start? It is simple. Sign up for the LIS JOB listserv ( Take a look at the postings of jobs that interest you to find out what experience and qualities they are looking for in applicants. You can use your time here at UB to gain those skills and get the experience you need to get the job you want.

Also look into fellowships. Many of which are posted on the LIS website ( You can also find an extensive list of fellowships and scholarships at Rachel Singer Gordon’s blog mentioned above.

Most importantly join the various library student associations. SLAB for example is a student organization here at UB that helps put you in contact with local special librarians, arranges visits to different libraries such as news libraries, and gives you information on how to join the Special Library Association and take part in conferences at discounted rates. Participating in student groups expands your classroom based education with hands on real world guidance and experience that will make you the best candidate for any library job.
Good Luck!

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SLAB Holds Elections and Plans End of Year Fundraiser

by Marisa Dabney

UB SLA has officially changed its name to SLAB (Special Libraries Association at Buffalo). This month SLAB held elections for next semester’s president and vice president. Nick Brodnicki will be the new president and Patricia Powers will be the new vice president.

Current SLAB President Ellie Jones spoke with Dr. Judith Robinson and other faculty regarding what courses students concentrating in special libraries should take. The following courses were recommended: Digital Information Retrieval; Collection Development; and Archives. Dr. Robinson also suggested getting involved in a corporate library practicum or special project.

If you still have not joined SLA, it is not too late. Students can join for a special $35 membership fee. Applications are available online at

SLAB would like to join its fellow student organizations in wishing all fall graduates good luck in their future careers. And to everyone else (including graduates!), have a happy, healthy and safe winter break.

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SLAB Visits Toronto Libraries, Lunches with a President

By Marisa Dabney

On Friday, October 24th, Special Libraries Association at Buffalo (formerly known as UB SLA, now known as SLAB) visited the CBC Broadcast Library and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto, Ontario. The group also had lunch with current SLA president, Stephen Abram.

At the CBC, SLAB was shown the reference library used by CBC news producers as well as the extensive visual library. The librarians leading the tour stressed that technology is ever changing and librarians should be constantly prepared to learn and create new databases systems. They should also have a strong foundation in cataloging theory.

The group also had lunch with Stephen Abram. He advised the group again of the importance of having a strong knowledge base in library and information science theory. He spoke about his current projects and trends in information science before leading the students through an underground labyrinth of tunnels and subways that ended at the University of Toronto campus.

Finally, at the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Room, the group was able to see and touch cuneiform, a Gutenberg dictionary, a first edition copy of Alice in Wonderland, and one of the first printed folios of the complete works of William Shakespeare. Students remarked that it was an amazing experience to look at these rare books and to learn how they are created and how they are maintained today.

Overall, the trip was a great experience for library school students to learn how to preserve the past and to tackle the future issues of library and information management.

In other SLAB news, we will be hosting a 23 Things type event on Saturday, November 8th from 1pm to 5pm in the Lab. 23 Things is an initiative started by Abram to educate librarians about web 2.0 technologies. We will be creating wikis, blogspaces and podcasts together.

SLAB will also be holding a meeting November 13th at 5pm, at an as yet undetermined location. Presidential and vice presidential nominations will be held and possibly voted upon.

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SLA Will Partner With Toronto

By Ellie Jones

This semester was a rewarding one for UB SLA. After being defunct for several semesters, UB SLA has reformed with great acclaim. Clare Rauch will be a shadow at this month’s conference on copyright and digital rights management in Ithaca, NY. Clare will introduce Tracy Mitrano, the speaker on the socio-political side of copyright. Look for her article about the experience in the Upstate New York SLA newsletter.

UB SLA is also working on two great experiences in May/June 2008. SLA will run a workshop on careers in special libraries, including finding and applying for jobs. We will have speakers from corporate, medical, and possibly law libraries. Stay tuned to the listserv for more information.

We are also working with the SLA chapter at the University of Toronto to create a day-long event about special libraries in Toronto. Both chapters will be visiting special libraries. This event is especially great as SLA is an international organization and students from both campuses will be able to network with one another and share library school experiences. Watch for an email about this fantastic upcoming trip!

SLA Conference Travel Award

Every year, the News Division of the Special Libraries Association presents the Vormelker-Thomas Student Award to a student or recent graduate interested in a career in news librarianship. The award includes a $1,500 stipend to allow the recipient to attend his/her first SLA conference.

Please help to publicize the award to any interested students. Information is below and on the News Division’s Web site,

Continue reading

SLA Plans Albright Knox Trip

UB chapter of the Special Libraries Association is planning an upcoming field trip! We will be visiting the library at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. The G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library is the primary research and information center at the Albright Knox Art Gallery. This specialized library collects, preserves, and provides access to a number of resources related to the arts, with a specific focus on modern and contemporary art. With over 45,000 titles (and a pretty cool Gallery Archive), it is one of Buffalo’s premier research institutions for information regarding the visual arts and artistic culture!

This library is so special that visitation is typically reserved just for gallery affiliates and members. We hope that many of you will take advantage of this unique opportunity and join us for the tour! We will be meeting at 3: 00 pm on April 4th (Friday) in front of the main entrance to the Gallery (Elmwood side). Parking in the Albright Knox lot will be free because of Gusto at the Gallery on Friday evenings. You do not have to be an official member of SLA to join us—anyone is welcome! If you would like to learn more about the Albright Knox Art Gallery you can visit: for more information.

~ Kristen Kelly

SLA Re-Forms in Spring 2008

Have you every thought about pursuing employment in an archive? What about a hospital? A law firm? These are just a few of the library settings that are considered to be “specialized”. There are many different types of specialized libraries and this branch of library and information science is actually the fastest growing division within the field, in terms of job creation and growth.

The Special Libraries Association is similar in function to the American Library Association. SLA organizes national and regional conferences and provides professional development courses and materials to its members. Becoming a member will also grant you access to SLA’s unique networking tools, career development tools, information resources, and advocacy information.

If you think you might be interested in learning more about specialized libraries, consider joining the student chapter of SLA here at UB. This semester we are planning on organizing library tours at local corporate, archival, law, and medical libraries. We are also working on recruiting a panel of special librarians to come in for a panel discussion about unique opportunities within these types of institutions.

Want to get involved? Check out our UB SLA Facebook page for more information about the chapter and our upcoming events!

~~Kristen Kelly

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