SLIS Students Attend SLA-Iowa Meeting

SLIS Students Attend SLA-Iowa Meeting

On September 28, 2012, the Special Library Association of Iowa (SLA-Iowa) met in Des Moines at Kemin Industries for their annual meeting. Kemin Industries is a large, Iowa-based research and development company specializing in molecular technology and plant extracts. It is also home to Jennifer Hermsen, SLA-Iowa member and treasurer, where she works as the Global Library Services Manager. At Kemin, Hermsen works to make sure that the company’s researchers get all the latest in scientific journals and are able to collaborate with colleagues in different labs. The meeting was largely populated by corporate librarians, though more than half a dozen SLIS students went, almost doubling the meeting’s attendance.

First year SLIS student Anessa Olson enjoyed the atmosphere at the meeting. “The professional librarians were courteous and welcoming, and made a point of making sure that we knew what their jobs entailed. They even at times hijacked the meeting to bring up points that they felt we really needed to know, such as the important role a librarian can play in copyright issues.”

The meeting included a presentation from vendor Elsevier, provider of databases of technical journals; an informative lesson in workplace behavior and management techniques; and a tour of Kemin’s facilities. The overall message of the meeting was an optimistic one.

Olson noted, “These librarians obviously do not feel displaced by technology, indeed, most have embraced it and some are actively engaged in pushing it towards the future. They see their jobs as essential to the work and success of the companies they worked for, and they wanted to make sure we students understood that as well.”

Micah Bateman added, “As a new SLIS student, I was interested to hear the discussion about copyright and license issues in industry libraries prompted by the Elsevier presentation. I also enjoyed the DISC presentation and the tour of Kemin. It was nice as well to meet a very recent SLIS grad who had a good job.”

You can find out more information about SLA-Iowa at their website, http://iowa.sla.org/.