This year we are excited to announce that we will have a regular column by the SLA Europe President Stephen Phillips, with the first of Stephen’s letters reflecting on the opening months of 2013 and the activities of SLA Europe.

Dear Everyone,

As we approach the end of February, it dawns on me that I am already 2 months into the presidency of SLA Europe. Where has the time gone?

January and February are busy months in the aftermath of the holiday season. At work, business plans are being compiled, budgets finalised and workload picks up as things return to business as usual. At home, thoughts turn to new years resolutions, booking the family holiday and paying for the excesses of previous weeks!  SLA Europe is no exception. The new board met in early January, this year we have had an injection of new talent!  Sam Wiggins has stepped up to Chair of the Events Committee, Marie Grace Cannon and Meghan Jones have taken on Digital Communications, and Simon Barron has joined Lyndsay Rees-Jones as Joint Chair of the Awards Committee. I am delighted to say they are all proving to be valuable additions and we have seen renewed momentum across all their areas of responsibility.

SLA Winter Warmer QuizSam and the Events Committee has already planned a full programme for 2013. The year got off to a flying start with our Winter Warmer quiz sponsored by Acquire Media. Almost 100 of us convened on Balls Brothers at Minster Court to have our mildly inebriated grey matter tested by AskTony. What resulted was a competitive but entertaining evening for everyone involved, with “Dewey and the Decimals” prevailing to take first prize.

In February, Alacra kindly sponsored a social reception to welcome Janice Lachance (CEO of SLA), who was in town for IFLA meetings.  Janice socialised with attendees and gave us a full update on developments at HQ, the new website (launching in the coming weeks), as well as her perspective on some of the current issues facing our industry.

Janice Lachance and SLA Europe members

Janice Lachance and SLA Europe members

Our virtual AGM was held earlier this week. Outgoing president Darron Chapman gave a retrospective on his year and SLA Europe’s 40th anniversary. John Latham our treasurer was able to report a solid financial performance which sets us up nicely for 2013.

Our March meeting will see Simon Barron and Anneli Sarkanen give us an overview of 60 sites/apps in 60 minutes, kindly sponsored by Springer. I look forward to seeing you there.

Meghan, Marie and their team have been working on our website and social media presence. As a result, SLA Europe has scored another first with our YouTube channel.  This contains coverage of our social media meeting from September and Horizon scanning from December. We aim to add more footage throughout 2013 to share meeting proceedings with those of you unable to attend to person.

Our website has a new events calendar where we will list both our own events as well as divisional and chapter webinars that European members can join. The site includes links to our other social media platforms including LinkedInFacebook and Twitter. Keep visiting the website to see the latest updates and please let us know if you have any comments or ideas to improve these resources.

Simon and Lyndsay have collated the entries for our 2013 Early Career Awards. This year we are offering 4 awards, thanks to partnerships with the SLA Business & Finance, Leadership & Management, Legal (supported by Jones & McClure) and Pharma & Health Tech Divisions. Each winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the 2013 SLA Conference in San Diego. By the time you read this, the judging will be well underway and we will announce the winners in March/April time frame.

As for me? I was lucky enough to travel to SLA Leadership in early February.  This year’s summit was in Dallas, offering a welcome break from the Winter weather in London and New York, where I had stopped off in transit to meet colleagues.  The summit provides an opportunity for all the Chapter and Divisional leaders to understand and discuss the strategic priorities for SLA in 2013.  Deb Hunt, current President, outlined her priorities for the year and gave us a taster of the 2013 conference. I have also been invited to attend a number of events. I will be at the Perfect Information conference from 22-24 May, this is the 10th anniversary of this class leading event and I have worked with the PI team to source a number of the speakers. I hope it will be another great success in 2013. I have also been invited to speak at the 44th BIALL conference from 13-15 June in Glasgow.  This is a first for me, but it is in the same week as SLA conference in San Diego, so I will be jetting back from California to sunny Strathclyde to speak on the Saturday morning!

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that Jackie Marfleet has had to step down from her role as president elect.  This is due to unforeseen circumstances.  As a result Darron Chapman will be heading a Nominating Committee to put our succession plans in place for the year ahead. If you are interested in becoming more involved with SLA Europe please be sure to look out for a forthcoming announcement or contact Darron directly.

Before closing, I would like to extend my congratulations to Kate Arnold, who has been voted 2014 President of SLA.  Kate is a well known industry personality, a long standing member and SLA Fellow who has been president of SLA Europe, twice!  Kate has resigned her place on our board to focus on her new role at HQ but I am quite sure she will continue to be a fixture at our events.  On behalf of everyone associated with SLA Europe, I would like to thank her for all her support and wish her every success with her forthcoming presidency.


All the best,


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1 comment on “From the President’s chair – January and February 2013”

  1. Deb Hunt

    Hello, Stephen.
    SLA Europe is busy indeed with many wonderful opportunities for fun, education and networking for its members. It was great to see you in Dallas and I look forward to seeing you and many of our SLA Europe Colleagues in San Diego.
    Thanks for your work and that of the chapter officers on behalf of SLA.

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