Archive | Volunteering

San Diego Law Library Launches New Volunteer Program

From the 9/26/2012 San Diego Law Library newsletter:

The Law Library has launched its first ever formal volunteer program. We know people in the community WANT to help – many libraries have these groups and depend on them to survive. Volunteer opportunities are available in all departments and at all branches. Potential volunteers can get a Volunteer Application form from any staff member or by emailing

Qualified applicants will be invited to a volunteer orientation. The orientation will consist of filling out required paperwork, meeting staff, tour of the downtown library, an introduction to the different departments, and the different types of volunteer opportunities available.

Posted in Jobs & Opportunities, News, VolunteeringComments Off on San Diego Law Library Launches New Volunteer Program

Stepping up…

New SLA-SD Archivist – Kate Vigderson

I am happy to announce that Kate Vigderson has volunteered to take on the role of Chapter Archivist.  Kate will replace Marisela LaPlante, who has very capably filled this role since May of 2010.  Thank you for your service, Marisela and thank you, Kate!  Kate graduated from the San Jose State University – School of Library Science with an emphasis in archival studies. Please contact Kate if you have any chapter-related documents that she can place in the archives, including officer correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, program handouts, etc. or if you have specific questions about what types of materials should be archived. Kate will continue to serve in her role as Membership Committee Co-Chair until the end of the year.

Ali Hennessy has volunteered to be co-chair of the Membership Committee and will work with Kate on our membership drive initiative and support member relations activities.  Ali was profiled in our Spring edition of the SLA San Diego Newsletter.  Thank you for stepping up and welcome, Ali!

Employment Chair  – Vacant

Katie Frey, has recently accepted a position in the Boston area and has resigned as Employment Chair.   We wish Katie all the best and thank her for serving our Chapter the last 15 months or so.   If you or anyone you know would be interested in filling this role, please contact me.  This is a great way to network with other librarians and information specialists and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  The role requires no previous experience ;).  Interested?  Email me to find out more….

Wanted!  Chapter Treasurer

The Nominating Committee is looking to fill several key Executive Board Member positions: Treasurer, and President-Elect (among others) with term start of January 2013.  Adele Barsh – our current Treasurer – shared her insights about this position in our Spring Newsletter.  Please contact Britt Mueller, SLA-SD Past President, to find out more or to nominate yourself or to recommend a colleague.

Posted by Carla Hernandez

Posted in Announcements, From the President, Membership News, VolunteeringComments Off on Stepping up…

Information Specialist Opportunity – Irvine, CA

Sr. Information Specialist (Information Retrieval)

Supports the corporation’s goals by providing accurate and relevant scientific and technical information taking into consideration research data, marketing strategies, and federal regulations. Researches and evaluates worldwide literature using computer technology for information retrieval in scientific and medical areas essential to company and its subsidiaries. Jointly responsible for retrieval of proprietary information to support the high-priority requests, e.g. audit or litigation support. Responsible for the working with the business to maintain the integrity of proprietary databases (including Company Product Literature). Responsible for periodic updates to the FDA on marketed products and the production of the electronic WATCHES.


1. Researches and evaluates worldwide literature using computer technology for information retrieval in scientific, technical, and medical subject areas. Special emphasis is placed on information retrieval and data analysis for Regulatory submissions and Pharmacovigilance reporting. This includes highly complex information retrieval in support of R&D and Sales/Marketing objectives. Coordinates product bibliographies with Company Product database for constant upkeep. Appraises and organizes resulting information to ensure a relevant and complete research report. Judgment is exercised to determine final analysis, interpretation and presentation of information retrieval package.

2. Executes searches of internal databases for partner document requests using company databases and systems.

3. Publishes in appropriate media (electronic mail, company Portal) Current Awareness alerts (such as 1stScience) in select subject areas. Schedules and produces the bulletins regularly and on time. Solely responsible for content accuracy, format, and relevancy of selections. Expected to supervise related workflow to ensure timeliness of publication. Expected to use own judgment when changes are warranted, either in format or volume/content. Provides periodic updates to the FDA on marketed products. Provides professional liaison to Regulatory Affairs.

4. Performs value-added indexing of articles by selecting appropriate subject keywords to describe article content, assuring accuracy of indexing terms for easy retrieval. Responsible for the working with the Business Services group to maintain the integrity of the in-house databases for published literature and company products by verifying input and providing timely and accurate updates to reference databases. Keeps informed of systems and procedural upgrades and changes and writes systems documentation and SOPs. Schedules assignments in an organized and effective manner and reliably meets major project deadlines.

5. Keeps informed of developments in the pharmaceutical industry and information/computer science through printed source material, workshops and seminars and by participation in activities of professional organizations with a view to improving the services and operations of the department. Cooperates as a team member with GLIS staff in performing any duty essential to the achievement of efficient department operations.


Education and Experience:

Experience equivalent to a four-year college education with an emphasis in Life or Physical Sciences.

Computerized literature search experience and knowledge of biomedical information resources is required, as is a working knowledge of information systems and/or computer programming. This level of knowledge would normally be gained through a graduate degree in one of the above areas and two years of experience in a pharmaceutical or other complex information intensive environment, or a bachelor’s degree and four years’ relevant experience.

Familiarity of information systems, including database design principles, and experience in management and implementation of text information systems are helpful. Demonstrable knowledge of current information technology including library automation systems, online databases, web interfaces, collaboration networks, LANs, CD-ROM systems, imaging technology, and PC proficiency are expected.

Excellent analytical and communication skills are necessary in order to articulate concepts and interpret ideas both verbally and in writing.

The ability to work effectively and productively as a member of a team contributing to the establishment of joint task objectives under minimal supervision is essential. Expected to exhibit a strong personal commitment to the objectives defined.

Essential Skills and Abilities:

Demonstrable expertise in literature searching using commercial database vendors and web search engines. Ability to analyze retrieval for relevance and communicate both verbally and written results of findings.

Ability to determine quickly and accurately relevancy of scientific literature content to marketed products. Target precisely controlled vocabulary thesaurus to literature content for relevant information retrieval.

Skillful negotiating and diplomatic communication style are necessary when balancing corporate guidelines with scientists’ deadlines.

Excellent keyboard skills are required.

*Katie Cyboron*
Senior Business Development Director | TRAK Records and Library
Direct: 619-230-7692 | Cell: 202-491-8537
Fax: 619-230-7685

*National Records Management and Library Placement Firm*
Washington, DC: 202-261-7200 | San Diego, CA: 619-230-7692
New York City:  646-557-6772 | National:  888-399-8725

Posted in Employment, Jobs & Opportunities, VolunteeringComments Off on Information Specialist Opportunity – Irvine, CA

Thank You from Words Alive!

A big “Thank You” to everyone who helped collect books for our 3rd Annual Words Alive Book Drive!  We were able to collect 45 new and gently used books for the Words Alive community literacy programs.  Amanda Bonds, the Community Literacy Programs Manager, informed me that SLA-SD is the “longest habitual book drive partner” of Words Alive!

Some of the books you generously donated have already been distributed to children and youth from underserved communities across San Diego County.  Every book will be in the hands of young readers by the end of May.

The majority of the books donated for children 2-5 years of age will be used to create or grow collections of Lending Libraries at Child Development Centers where Words Alive volunteers read aloud each week.  These libraries provide access to books for children and their families allowing them to explore books together at their homes.

To learn more about Words Alive, their mission and how you can help, go to

Click on the link below to view the “Thank You” letter from Words Alive:

Thank You from Words Alive!

Posted in Outreach, VolunteeringComments Off on Thank You from Words Alive!

3rd Annual SLA-SD Book Drive!

SLA-SD members have a wonderful opportunity to support the Words A!ive children’s literacy programs with the 3rd Annual SLA-SD Book Drive! Please consider bringing new or gently used books in English or Spanish for ages 0-18 with you to our April Social Event (Date, time and place TBA). If you can’t join us for the social, you’re very welcome to contact Jessica Olson (SLA-SD Student Liaison and book drive coordinator, to arrange a pick-up or you can drop them off Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm at the Words A!ive offices:

5111 Santa Fe Street, Suite 219
San Diego CA 92109.  

Let’s give as many people as possible an opportunity to share the gift of reading with children!  To learn more about Words A!ive, their mission and how you can help, go to


Posted in Events, Outreach, VolunteeringComments Off on 3rd Annual SLA-SD Book Drive!

Thank you for making our book drive a success!

A big, big thank you to everyone who helped make our book drive in partnership with Words Alive a huge success!  Thanks to all of you, we were able to collect a whopping total of…drumroll please…645 books!!  (With a few more still rolling in!)  In fact, Words Alive has informed us that this was one of their most successful book drives of the year!

Our happy hour on April 29 offered a fun way to bring all of the books together and wrap up the project.

We would especially like to thank our collection box hosts:  Grace Viola, Peggy Makie, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Michele Wyngard, Robin Dodds Lang, Ali Herndon Ortega, and Jessica Cubeta.  And congratulations to Peggy Makie for collecting the most books!  For this, she earned a $25 Better World Books gift certificate!

The new and gently used children's books gathered through all of your hard work and generosity will be used to build a lending library
at a local Childhood Development Center and to help spread the
love of reading to many of Words Alive's other program sites.

If you still have books to donate, it's
not too late!  You can drop them off M-F, 8:30 am-5 pm, at the Words
Alive offices:

5111 Santa Fe
Street, Suite 219, San Diego, CA 92109

For more info. about Words Alive and how you can help, please
visit their

(l-r: Bobbi Weaver, Robin Dodds Lang, Michele Wyngard,

Amanda Quist, and Amanda Bonds, Words Alive Program Coordinator)


Just a few of the books we collected

Words Alive programs and events 006-1

Peggy Makie receiving her gift certificate

Posted in Volunteering2 Comments

Book Drive Collection Boxes


  • Geisel Library, in front of Human Resources
  • Division of Global Health bldg.

Alliant International University
Walter Library
10455 Pomerado Rd
San Diego, CA 92131

St. Mark’s City Heights
4227 Fairmount Ave San Diego

Point Loma Nazarene University – Ryan Library
3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego, 92106

Posted in VolunteeringComments Off on Book Drive Collection Boxes

SLA SD Fall Seminar Planning Committee: A Volunteer Opportunity

Your 2010 Directors Geeth Vijay-Rao and Jill Blaemers are looking for up to three committee members to help with planning and organizing the 2010 Fall Seminar.
Committee members will help brainstorm and survey potential seminar topics, and with organizing seminar logistics, recruiting speakers, and obtaining sponsorships.
The many benefits of committee participation include:

  • working with other chapter members
  • networking with potential speakers and sponsors
  • earning event planning experience
  • honing project management skills

Please consider this opportunity and contact Geeth and Jill for more information: ( and
THANKS and we look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Seminars, VolunteeringComments Off on SLA SD Fall Seminar Planning Committee: A Volunteer Opportunity

Talking with Martha McPhail about the value of SLA

Since the late 1970s, Martha McPhail has not just been an SLA member, she’s gotten the most out of her membership by seizing leadership opportunities and staying engaged with the association’s decision making and strategy. Here Martha shares a few thoughts regarding the value of her long-term involvement with SLA.

Currently, Martha works for San Diego State University as a catalog librarian and women’s studies librarian.

If you’d like to contact Martha, please write to her at

2009MarthaMcPhailHeadshotDD Talking with Martha McPhail about the value of SLA

As an academic librarian, how do you benefit from SLA?

SLA’s broad scope allows many academic librarians to identify and network with compatible colleagues. I certainly have, through the three divisions I belong to: Museums, Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences; and Education. All of these are relevant to my daily work as a bibliographer for women’s studies.

I do belong to more specialized associations, such as SALALM for Latin American subject librarians and ACRL to keep up with academic trends. I belong to ALA to read American Libraries and to support our public and school libraries through ALA’s lobbying efforts. ALA conferences are too large and overwhelming.

SLA’s annual conference is right-sized, the exhibits showcase new technologies and services, the programs are educational, and I enjoy being in a different city each year. So I find SLA suits me professionally and personally.

What do you remember the most, or the most fondly, from your years of SLA membership?

I first joined SLA in the late 1970s while serving as a sci/tech librarian in Sorrento Valley, back when there were horses on the hillside. I conducted all the online searching for our scientists on topics such as astrophysics, geothermal energy and nuclear testing. I also had to acquire, catalog and reshelve the books and journals: the whole gamut of operating a small special library.

Networking with other one-person library colleagues was greatly helpful to me, and I met them through our San Diego SLA meetings.

But then I decided to retool and pursue my personal interests, so I attended night classes at SDSU to get my second master’s in Latin American Studies. I was very fortunate that SDSU Library needed a librarian to catalog all the Spanish-language materials, and they hired me in May 1988. I’ve been able to merge my personal interests with my professional responsibilities, to serve twice as a Fulbright Scholar in Honduras and El Salvador, and to be professionally active internationally.

I’ve had a great career, and SLA has played a big role in my success.

What do you feel has been your biggest contribution to SLA?

That’s a hard question. For SLA-SD, I’ve served as the archivist, a director of the chapter’s annual seminar, and the president during 1996/97. For SLA international, I’ve served as Chair of the Division of Museums, Arts and Humanities; on the Committee on Cataloging several times; on the Denver Conference Planning Committee; and on various task forces.

Chapters are the core of SLA, and as the SLA-SD Chapter president, I initiated the President’s Award which acknowledges outstanding service by a chapter member. I appointed our chapter’s first liaison to LIS students, beginning our support of scholarships for emerging young leaders. I am pleased both have continued. Serving since 1991 as one of SLA’s representatives to IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations, I’ve been a big booster of internationalizing SLA. Locally, I organized a bus tour of special libraries in Baja California and arranged for our chapter to pay two Mexican librarians’ SLA dues for two years. Some of our members still talk about that great bus tour.

If you had it to do all over again, would you still contribute so much time and energy to SLA?

Yes, indeed! SLA has advanced my professional development and enriched my personal life. I owe SLA a great deal; it is why I have accepted various posts when offered. SLA is run by volunteers and is only effective when members contribute their abilities.

When you look in the crystal ball, what do you see in coming years for SLA and SLA-SD?

It’s pleasing to meet new colleagues at chapter meetings and events; SLA-SD has a bright future in our beautiful corner of the world. SLA will provide outstanding opportunities for learning, networking and service for us librarians and information professionals, and hence for our patrons. “Putting knowledge to work”: that’s SLA!

What’s next for you?

I am retiring in June 2010! I’ll continue working the spring semester at SDSU for a couple of years, but will live in North Carolina during summer and fall. I expect to volunteer at an art museum library, assist Latinos with learning English, attend folk music festivals, read novels and travel.

I wish continued success for SLA-SD. Ya’ll come visit me in my beautiful Blue Ridge mountain home!


Interview conducted and written by Daria DeCooman

Posted in Employment, Membership News, Volunteering1 Comment

We came, we saw, we sorted: Volunteer work party at Central Library brought out the best

2009SLASDWorkPartyjpg On Saturday, November 14, two dozen SLA-SD members and friends descended on the San Diego Public Library's Central Library. There, we helped with two projects owned by the library's California Room, whose collection pertains to California history.

Info pros Bee Bornheimer, Robin Dodds, Melinda Hansen, Vani Inampudi (pushing the cart in the photo here), Marita Johnson, Peggy Makie, Sabrina Nespeca, Camerin Poulson, Melanie Quinn, Jennifer Snapp-Cook and Kate Vigderson all pitched in and gave the effort their all.

2009SLASDWorkPartyPostcardTeam These intrepid volunteers helped sort and sleeve several boxes of historic photographs and helped box and sleeve several drawers of San Diego postcards. SLA-SD President Cindy Shamel also participated.

2009SLASDWorkPartyPhotoTeam Prior to getting started on our work, we all enjoyed a tour of the California Room and the library's Wangenheim Room, which contains a collection of rare books, manuscripts and artifacts illustrating the development of the book through the ages.

Special Collections Supervisor Rick Crawford, a member of the California Room staff, provided an orientation to the California Room. Also he kindly made the volunteer opportunity possible and guided participants through the work needing doing.

The volunteer work party was staged as a way to give back to the California Room, whose staff help provide access to the SLA-SD chapter archives which are housed in the Central Library.

At the end of day, when the working and networking came to a close, all agreed that the event had been productive and lots of fun. Most importantly, Rick expressed appreciation for the group having put in place the first steps toward making the postcard and photo collections accessible to the public.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the California Room can contact Rick at rcrawford[AT]

Anyone interested in participating in future SLA-SD volunteer work parties just needs to stay tuned to this blog. Given the good results from this year's work party at the downtown San Diego Public Library, another work party on behalf of the California Room may be in the works for 2010.

See photos taken by SLA-SD President Cindy Shamel.

See photos taken by SLA-SD Archivist Daria DeCooman.


Article written by Daria DeCooman

Posted in Membership News, Outreach, Volunteering1 Comment

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