Research and Markets' Guide to SLA 2017

Research and Markets' Guide to SLA 2017

The Special Libraries Association’s (SLA) annual conference takes place this weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s the largest meeting of special librarians and information professionals in North America, with over 2,500 people expected to attend.

The conference will run from the 18 - 20 June, with the opening session scheduled for 10.30 am on Sunday morning. However, there are courses, meetings and special events taking place from Friday 16th June.

With so many events to choose from and so little time, we’ve put together a brief overview to help you make the most of your conference experience.


The INFO-EXPO hall will open its doors at 12.00 pm on Sunday. This is the conference’s main attraction, a place for industry professionals to network with their peers, share ideas and discuss the latest products and services.

And it’s not too late to exhibit! You can view the floor plan for SLA 2017 and see which locations are available here. There is also an option to reserve a room in the convention center or exhibit hall for a meeting or demonstration.



  • Mobile App & Interactive Schedule: Plan your conference schedule using the SLA’s dedicated mobile app. Browse conference events and activities using the mobile app and its web-based version, the Interactive Program Schedule.
  • Revised Conference Schedule: The schedule includes dedicated no-conflict time for education sessions, which are offered in  60-, 75- and 90-minute formats.
  • Three General Sessions: In addition to the customary opening and closing general sessions, Monday will also feature its own general session open to all conference attendees.
  • Streams: All educational sessions are categorised under one of the following thematic streams: Leadership; Data Management; Career Development; or Metrics, Analytics, and Assessment.
  • Main Street SLA: This will serve as a conference hub for attendees - a place for building connections and learning more about SLA and its community. There is also a recreation area, named ‘The Park’, where you can relax and chat to other attendees.



Opening Keynote - Lulu Miller

Sunday, June 18, 10:30 a.m.

Lulu Miller is a Peabody Award-winning science reporter for National Public Radio (NPR) and the co-founder of hit radio show Invisibilia. Launched in January 2015, Invisibilia focuses on "the unseen forces that control human behavior.” She is currently at work on a book about taxonomy and when collecting becomes madness.


Closing Keynote - Moriba Jah

Tuesday, June 20, 2:45 p.m.

Moriba Jah is an associate professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. According to his bio on the college website, his research interests are in “non-gravitational astrodynamics and advanced/non-linear multi-sensor/object tracking, prediction, and information fusion. His expertise is in space object detection, tracking, identification, and characterization, as well as spacecraft navigation.”



In addition to the customary Opening General Session and Closing General Session, SLA 2017 will also feature an additional general session—a “Dream Jobs” panel.

At this session, attendees will hear from SLA members who work for some of the biggest organizations in the world. Brandy King, chair of the SLA 2017 Annual Conference Advisory Council, will interview Robin Dodge, Rosanna Lindquist, and Brendan Thompson.

  • Rosanna Lindquist is an information research scientist for The Hershey Company, where she is part of the technical intelligence team, specializing in competitive monitoring, patent landscaping, and IP asset management.
  • Brendan Thompson is the knowledge manager for Uber Technologies, where he focuses on capturing institutional knowledge from around the globe.
  • Robin Dodge is the head librarian at the Los Angeles campus of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, a job which requires her to know more about statistics, library system administration, and California labor law than runway trends. She is also a past president of the SLA Southern California Chapter.


You can follow @SLAhq on Twitter for conference updates, and use #SLA2017 to join the conversation.

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Published by Research and Markets