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Save the Date: Military Libraries Training Workshop (MLTW) December 5th through 7th, 2017

Save the Date: Military Libraries Training Workshop (MLTW) December 5th through 7th, 2017

All LIS professionals with an interest in military or government librarianship are welcome to join us for the next Military Libraries Training Workshop (MLTW) in 2017.

MLTW is the major training opportunity provided by the Military Libraries Division (DMIL) of SLA. You may remember it under its former name, the Military Libraries Workshop (MLW).

We will be at the DoubleTree Hotel in Arlington, Virginia from Tuesday, December 5th through Thursday, December 7th, 2017. The Workshop Dinner will be at 6:00pm, Wednesday, December 6th, 2017.

FYI: MLTW is now biennial. We will meet in 2017, 2019, et cetera. What hasn’t changed is that we will work very hard to provide you with

  • great sessions,
  • the opportunity to meet and share ideas with professional colleagues from all military branches,
  • and useful information and insights you can take back to your libraries.

We hope that you can join us.

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DMIL Member Interview with Michael F. Moore

DMIL Member Interview with Michael F. Moore

How did you get involved in military librarianship and in DMIL?

When I earned my MLIS degree, my first professional job was as a music cataloger at the Northwest University Music Library.  My team lead was chair of the local chapter of the Military Libraries Association, and my department head was past president of MLA, so I joined MLA and started participating in committees to make connections and learn about the profession.

When my wife got a promotion and relocation to build a lab in the I-95 Tech Corridor outside Boston, the first job I found was a contract cataloging job at a place called the MITRE Corporation.  A year later, I was hired on full time.  Within a few years, my team lead was chair of the local chapter of the Special Libraries Association, and my department head was president of SLA, so again I followed them, joining SLA, and looking for a place where I could learn more about the profession.

The MITRE Corporation fulfills federally funded research and development contracts for many U.S. Government agencies, including the DoD. My key customers were focused on systems engineering across the corporation, so I needed to know about all of MITRE’s sponsors. I wanted to learn more about the military and about library work for the military, so I joined the Military Libraries Division of SLA.

What positions in DMIL have you held?

I started as a member of the Bylaws Committee, and became its chair after a few years, helping to update the Governing Documents and Division Practices.  I became Strategic Planning committee chair and Chair-Elect in 2012, then served as Chair in 2013 and Past chair for 2014 and 2015.

What has been your best experience working for the military?

My best experience was helping to create the MITRE Systems Engineering Guide, a set of over 100 articles written by MITRE systems engineers, sharing their experience about how MITRE does systems engineering.  This Guide became popular enough within MITRE and MITRE’s sponsors that the company got it released to the public, so I have been able to share it with my DMIL colleagues.

What has been your best experience being involved in DMIL?

Attending conferences and workshops, meeting my DMIL colleagues, and learning about the incredible variety of military library work – from research libraries to base libraries to academic libraries, to law, tech, and medical libraries, the military community has a wide spectrum of opportunities for librarians. Meeting people and hearing their stories, and hearing how they handle the challenges they face, is an enjoyable benefit of being active in this Division.

If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see?

Living in the Boston area means access to a wide variety of sights to see.  Before I had children, my favorite was the Isabella Stuart Gardiner Museum, with its indoor garden and jam-packed rooms of exquisite artworks.  Now, I prefer the Museum of Science’s hands-on activities, and the New England Aquarium’s giant cylinder with turtles and sharks, and their cuttlefish tank.

If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be?

Not one book, but three.  I love films by Hiyao Miyazaki, including Howl’s Moving Castle, so when I saw that book in an Audible promotion, I knew I wanted to listen to it.  What I didn’t know was that Diana Wynne Jones wrote two more books in the series: Castle in the Air, and House of Many Ways.  These books provide complex positive characters, well-structured magical worlds, and entertaining idiosyncrasies of dealing with daily life in magic-infused living quarters.  I enjoyed listening to them on my commute, and now I am listening to them with my sons.

If you were to recommend one article, just for fun, what would it be?

The “200 Happiest Words in Literature” in the July 2016 issue of The Atlantic.  Researchers crowdsourced the 10,000 most used words in a set of literature, to ask if the words were happy or not, and ranked all 10,000 words.  The article includes the 200 happiest words, including words on family, friends, love, accomplishment, nature, celebration, and humor.  Two days after reading the article, I was already giving a speech to my local Toastmasters club about the list.  Just reading through the words brings good thoughts to my mind and a smile to my lips.


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Reflections on IFLA 2016, by Travis Wagner, SLA Member, IFLA Presenter

Reflections on IFLA 2016, by Travis Wagner, SLA Member, IFLA Presenter

Arriving in Ohio through the John Glenn Columbus International Airport, I was immediately greeted by the welcoming faces of volunteers for the International Federation of Libraries Associations and Institutions annual conference. It was telling in this facilitation of welcoming comfort that I was at a slightly different conference. This realization was doubled when I walked toward the shuttle bus to the city of Columbus and was met with a cacophony of different languages: Arabic, Chinese, German and many heavily accented variations of English. Amazingly, the universal complexities of figuring out public transit maps were made easier as groups aided each other in guiding each person through the process of ordering a ticket through a stand-alone kiosk. While this all occurred before I even stepped foot into the Greater Columbus Convention Center, I tell it because I think it sets the stage for how truly exciting and innovative a space like IFLA can be. If it is not clear by now, IFLA serves the function of providing a meeting space for librarians globally. In the past the conference has been to cities like: Cape Town, South Africa; Milan, Italy; and Bangkok, Thailand. Obviously, travel to these places is not feasible for a lowly doctoral student, so when I heard it was in Columbus, Ohio I could not pass up on the chance.

As a moving image archivist who studies the relationship between gender and information organization, I was hesitant that my work would not fit within the sometimes narrow umbrella of librarianship. Yet, being bold I applied to present a paper on this topic as it relates to linked open data and was accepted! Still hesitant about my place a conference like this, my attendance immediately shifted such dread. While it falls under the name of librarianship, IFLA takes a broad understanding of what that constitutes. Though I only attended the conference proper for a single day, the types of persons present were as varied as the field of library and information science itself. I walked through poster presentations and listened to panels that included the work of health informatics specialists in Asian and Oceanic countries and information organizers working at agriculture libraries in Uganda. I even listened (admittedly a bit lost) to a presentation on engaging in the social web in the Chilean National Archive, which was delivered entirely in Spanish. IFLA’s annual conference served as a space for an international discussion to happen on some of the most pressing issues facing information management and distribution as things like the internet makes such connections appear seamless. While, it is never a safe practice to make universalizing statements about individual practices, it was still amazing to see how cultural institutions engage with aiding those in need similarly around the world. For example, the recent natural disasters hindering folks in Louisiana have made libraries emerge as a place of comfort and safety in a time of need. In a similar vein, while exploring the poster presentations at IFLA I was able to engage with two librarians at a Swedish institution, who were taking it upon themselves to use their library to aid and help the high surge of Syrian refugees to their country. This project included the librarians teaching classes about learning Swedish and practicing skills like sewing. Similarly, any initiative discussed or explored in posters and presentations were met with both global suggestions as well as unique examples to institutions within nations. Take for example my presentation. While I was talking about the dangers of moving too quickly to embrace linked open data without talking about gender inequity in the language, the questions I received explored the larger issues of moving image accessibility within institutions. An individual inquired as to how I thought visual accessibility mattered in terms of providing subtitles and descriptions for those with auditory and visual answers. Responding with uncertainty, the person provided me with suggestions both to their institution in Spain as well as larger projects undertaken by the United Nations regarding such accessibility. While, I have had such nuanced conversations with colleagues, hearing such topics breached within a conference space was new and wholly welcomed. IFLA’s annual conference is not simply a meeting of information professionals from around the world, it is a chance to take the field forward and move with much needed expediency.

I find it fitting that this IFLA conference occurred simultaneously with the Summer Olympics, because each time I watch the games, I am amazed at the camaraderie between countries and the chance to learn about places I would shamefully be unable to identify on a map. When walking the rooms of the convention center, I was able to encounter pop-up meetings between African information professionals and engage with Indonesian archivists. I am not sure where else I could expect such a thing to occur. IFLA 2017 is slated to be held in Wroclaw, Poland. Though I am not sure about my ability to attend at the moment, the thought of how to make it happen is certainly front and center in my mind.

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