Volume 13 Number 3
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"You have chosen a challenging and demanding theme for this conference. We do have a great need going forward to think beyond our own libraries and look to working together for the advancement of SUNY." SUNY Plattsburgh Dean of Library and Information Services, Cerise Oberman welcomed 140+ to the 43rd annual SUNY Librarians Asssociation conference (June 15-17, 2011).
The "Shared Borders: Collaborating for Success" theme fit the Plattsburgh location -- a SUNY that has scored well on a survey of international students. "While the international border nearby is fixed, the borders in and around our academic libraries are in flux and fluid." Dean Oberman emphasized the need for collaborations across our institutions and the SUNY system.
The conference keynote speech was by Curtis Kendrick, University Dean for Libraries and Information Resources at the City University of New York. "Collaboration Hurts: Past the Point of No Return" provided a far ranging view of the topic interspersed with a refreshing number of musical references. Kendrick stressed the absolute need to collaborate as a matter of survival while acknowledging the real costs of doing so. The talk highlighted the need for engaged leadership that at the same time allows for distributed empowerment. This "radical collaboration" requires disciplined choices and an institutionalization of efforts to provide for continuity.
One collaboration discussed during conference sessions was SUNYConnect. Members of the Office of Library and Information Services presented a timeline related to future initiatives during "SUNYConnect. What's Next? Who Gets to Decide?" Participants shared their views during a discussion that focused on the following questions:
1) What should we work on collectively?
2) Suggestions and/or comments related to SUNYConnect electronic resources?
3) If financially feasible, do you consider a SUNYConnect-wide discovery system a priority?
4) Could we/should we move to a single bibliographic database for SUNYConnect?
5) Comments, suggestions, etc. related to the CPD Certificate Program idea?
6) Other topics?
While the discussion continues, the session's participants did include the current SUNY Council of Library Directors Chair, Mary Donohue (FMCC).
The 2011 Friend of SUNYLA is Nancy Williamson, Library Department Chair at Nassau Community College. "I'm shocked, but not speechless about this award. SUNYLA is a great organization, and I've gotten more from it then I've contributed over the years...We're all better librarians when we share."
A highlight of the stay in Plattsburgh was the dinner and reception at the Valcour Educational Conference Center. The North Country shown in the best light during a beautiful evening overlooking Lake Champlain.
And, this author's favorite session? "The Accidental Copyright Officer" by Matt Smith (Sullivan). Many thanks to conference planners, presenters and exhibitors for an excellent conference. Where to next year?