It has been almost a month since my trip to Philly for the 2011 annual SLA conference and INFO-EXPO. Over the course of the month, I have been thinking about what lessons I learned, and what I took away from the conference, and after letting it all stew, I am ready to share my thoughts. First off, I am not a librarian. I feel like I say that a lot, and I definitely had to say that and explain it a great deal at SLA – but I digress. Despite my being a member of the non-librarian, non-library technician crowd at SLA, I still find the conference one of the most satisfying events to attend. SLA 2011 is an important conference for professionals like me who are entrusted to have the right information, insights and trends to make good decisions and gain competitive advantage. SLA is many things to many people. It allows me to be targeted and specific in the type of sessions I attend, but it is also far reaching in its scope and divisions. I can take advantage of sessions in CI, KM, portal development, information management, as well as those hosted by the Legal Division and Business and Finance Division. So what did I learn in all of this goodness? Here are my top five musings:

  1. The jury is still out and will likely be out for a long time in determining if CI is a set of competencies, or if it is in fact a profession. The discussion of this topic never seems to get boring and for good reason.
  2. The Pecha Kucha presentation tournament hosted by AuroraWDC at the CI Dvision open house was a very fun event that introduced some great topics in a creative and quick format, which I believe has been discussed on 3 Geeks in the past.
  3. CI is all about framing and context. This is likely my favourite.
  4. I learned that many law firms still think they are the only ones doing CI. Since the conference, a new LinkedIn Group has been started to address this faction of the population and hopefully stimulate some good online networking and sharing of best practices.
  5. Social media, ethics in primary source collection, trend forecasting and evolving information needs continue to be the cornerstones of what the CI community is currently discussing.

Addressing these issues from a law firm perspective continues to be a challenge. Some food for thought for the 3 Geeks and subscribers.