Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hudson Valley Special Libraries Association

When Librarians Have Fun

Being relatively new to the area of New York city and Westchester County, I figured that it would be a good idea to start to meet some more people in the library world, to extend that network of colleagues in information science. So when I received an email from a colleague about an upcoming meeting and dinner of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), I jumped on the opportunity and signed up. The event was held at the Casaletto Ristorante in Elmsford, NY, not far from Tarrytown, on November 29th. It was a cold evening and I drove down from the north into the seemingly crowded township, replete with strip malls and multiple classy-named diners. I was somewhat early, so there weren't too many attendees there yet. But it was a good opportunity to begin to meet some of the folks already there.

The theme of the event was that well-weathered and oft surprisingly consistent theme: "the future of the library." Of course, it is necessary for our or any other profession to embrace these dynamic questions, because otherwise we might be out of business--or without jobs! But a delightful, anecdotal, episodic speech was given after the sumptuous meal by Dr. Norman Jacknis (here at left), who spoke of the tasks at hand for both him and those sitting around the table. It was pleasant to get fresh insight from non-theological librarians, as well as those who are in the corporate sector, rather than strict academicians.

The evening was punctuated by various productive and entertaining interactions with other librarians. Since the SLA had an entire room of the restaurant to itself, everyone mingled and talked with one another from the we entered, as we were waiting for dinner, as we had dinner, and after the speech, during dessert. I made a lot of new acquaintances and partners in the info biz that evening. And just as I was heading out the door, thinking it was all over, they had a raffle, where my name was called out: I'd won a bottle of champaign! Now this is what librarianship is really about! As I'd offered in my introduction to the others as we went around the table: "I came tonight, because I wanted to be with other 'special people.'" Indeed, I think I'd found something I liked.

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