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SLA Speaking Engagement

Friday, May 25, 2007 2:58 pm

The Special Libraries Associationís annual conference is being held here in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center from June 2-7, and I have been invited to speak about the Greenprint Denver initiative and Web site at the Environment and Resource Management Divisionís breakfast meeting on June 5.

The SLA is a professional organization that promotes leadership, learning and collaborative opportunities for its members, who include information analysts, library science practitioners, content managers, researchers, Web developers, knowledge managers, educators and others who “collect, analyze, evaluate, package, and disseminate information to facilitate accurate decision-making in corporate, academic, and government settings.”

The association advocates widespread access to information in the public domain, and its members are champions of government openness and transparency, public participation in civic and government institutions, freedom of information legislation, consumer privacy acts, and limitations on intellectual property rights.

These are innovative individuals who are shaping information policy within their organizations, often by being involved in strategic planning initiatives at the enterprise level. I’m honored and excited to share with them some of the unique opportunities and challenges I’ve encountered while helping develop the Web strategy and content for Greenprint Denver.

One of the things I’m particularly pleased with on this project is the launch of the city’s first official blog.

Blogging at the municipal level is still mostly uncharted territory: there are a couple dozen elected officials across the nation who maintain blogs, but those are mostly geared toward their own political endeavors. To date, only a few cities have experimented with public blogs, which I think can be a very effective citizen engagement tool when deployed under the right circumstances.

The City of Portland is doing a great job on their water bureau blog (including a fun haiku contest) and lively mayor blog. The State of Rhode Island has a blog mashup, and San Francisco has a multiple author policy-related blog.

But the first-ever federal blog, the Federal Trade Commission’s Tech-Ade blog, lasted only about a month and there haven’t been any posts since last November. So far, there hasn’t been any blogging activity from big cities like NYC, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Houston, or from progressive Canadian cities like Vancouver and Calgary.

Iím excited to see what happens on Denver’s newest blog and I applaud the Mayor’s Office for being courageous early adopters. Over the last year, there have been many eyes on the site from other cities and states. I hope it has a positive impact and that others follow in their footsteps.

The SLA conference will include a wide variety of interesting educational sessions and workshops, a big industry expo, and Vice President Al Gore will be in town as the keynote speaker for a special evening reception on June 3. Check out the conference Web site and blog.


  1. Great info about the blogging. Thanks.

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