I found some time at the end of the Military Libraries Division Networking Breakfast to sit and listen to the flow of a dozen conversations,
watching people greet old friends and make new connections. The energy of the room was wonderful – friendly, focused, and full of hope for new opportunities.
People started arriving at the room by 7:15 for a 7:30 announced start, and the room was nearly full by 7:45! Some folks came, ate, chatted a bit, and left, while others drifted from table to table, joining the ongoing stories or listening in.
What makes these networking breakfasts work so well for casual conversations that go beyond “where are you from” and “what do you do”? Having attended these for nearly ten years, and watched the planning for a few, I see that there are several ingredients that make these successful:
Arrange for a sponsor, and invite their representatives to join us
Provide a good, hot breakfast
Invite students and first-timers, who have great questions and experiences to share
Invite candidates for the SLA Board, who want to listen to what SLA members have to say
Invite all attendees, as people have great stories to tell and thoughts to share
Add a sprinkling of Military Libraries Division members, to welcome people in and to encourage conversations
By 9:30, most people are done eating, and the conversations keep flowing long past our announced end time. I often stand at the door to thank people for coming, and many of our guests thank us for hosting these, and for giving them the opportunity to sit down and talk to their colleagues. I’m looking forward to seeing people again at the next DMIL Networking Breakfasts, in Boston in June 2015.
Michael Moore, Past DMIL Chair
Note: Special thanks to IEEE and ProQuest for sponsoring the breakfasts.
Greetings from the shores of Coal Harbor, where I can see the pine forests of Stanley Park and some snowy caps on the majestic mountains just across the harbor.
I’m here in Vancouver for the SLA Annual Conference. Saturday’s schedule was filled with continuing education courses, meetings, and greeting people I haven’t seen for six months to a year. I attended “Preparing Information in Visual Formats,” a hands-on workshop where we were given datasets and insights on how to make them into charts, maps, and diagrams, and then we were let loose with the tools we had to practice. You can see more at www.PhelpsResearch.com.
Our Military Libraries Division Member ribbons joined the ranks of other ribbons available at the information desk. Right now I have ribbons for Division Cabinet, “Next Year’s Annual Conference Host” (go Boston!), the Engineering Division, and the Military Libraries Division, and I helped hand out the First Timer ribbons at the First Timers and Fellows reception. The ribbons make for good conversation starters as I meet new people.
As usual when I visit the West Coast, my sleep schedule is still shifted, so I’m still turning in early. This means I’ll be up early and ready to go for Monday and Tuesday’s MLD Breakfasts, as well as for the great sessions that start today.
You can find out more about what’s happening at the conference by following @slaconf and #sla2014 on Twitter, or going to the SLA 2014 Website to see other social media connections. I suspect the Twitter feed will be full of wonderful ideas and links, as well as lots of quips that inspire the attendees to share.