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Special Libraries: Countdown to SLA 2013

June 4, 2013

Now that I’ve mostly caught my breath after the Book Expo, fair warning.

Things are going to take an even more library-tastic turn here on this blog. Getting to spend time with librarians at BEA merely whetted my appetite. In a few days, I’m off across the country to the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference in San Diego!

Some of you might be wondering what a special library is:

  • It offers depth of knowledge in a specific subject field, like medicine, business, law, publishing, or a specific subject area.
  • It’s more of a reference resource, or a place to dig into research than a place where a casual reader might check out books.
  • Special librarians focus intensively on the databases and books covering a specific subset of topics, rather than general information resources.
  • Several newspapers and magazines have special libraries in-house, to assist reporters and writers with stories.
  • Some places that might surprise you have special libraries affiliated with them: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has a special library that’s open to researchers, and so does the Baseball Hall of FameThe United Nations has a number of library facilities to assist in research and keep records of proceedings, including one here in New York.

I’ll be sampling panels on systems librarianship and social media tips for information professionals, checking out research posters, getting job search pointers, learning about taxonomies, and most importantly, trying to learn as much as I can about what it’s like to work in a whole array of special libraries. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, and trying to cram my brain full of as much knowledge as I can.

Oh, and exploring San Diego, as well. I hear they have a zoo. And a few rather large boats.

Edited, the night before: I’m all packed… well, who are we kidding, the bags are overstuffed with “just in case” nonsense, though it feels mighty weird not to take actual books.  Printed stuff, hate all my shoes, kind of excited/nervous about heading to an unfamiliar city. Realizing that at least 5 of the things I want to attend are happening at once on opposite ends of the center, and I haven’t built in time for lunch or dinner on at least 2 of the relevant days. Also, I swear I already have jet lag and I haven’t left yet.

In a word: whee!!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. DonaldPeebles permalink
    June 12, 2013 5:46 pm

    I am so proud of you taking your trip to San Diego to the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference. I would love to see pictures of your trip.

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