The voting for the SLA Board of Directors 2015 runs from the 3rd-24th of September 2014, so don’t forget to keep an eye on your email on the 3rd of September for the online voting details and read up on the candidates at the Board of Director’s candidate page. There are also Bylaw proposals on the ballot.

We’re very pleased that the President-Elect Candidates were able to take some time out of their busy schedules to answer a few lighthearted questions for us.

Tom Rink (of Northeastern State University) and Jim DelRosso (of Cornell University) are this year’s Presidental-Elect candidates and here’s their thoughts on an unlimited budget for European travel, what their alternate universe selves are up too (or have been up too!), what tools/apps they love and what technology they’d tell their 15 year old self about if they could.

Where would you go in Europe if given the chance and an unlimited budget?

Jim DelRosso:

Tough question! I’ve been lucky enough to visit Europe a few times already, with stops in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. With an unlimited budget, I’d likely be crisscrossing the continent via the enviable rail system, revisiting places I’ve enjoyed and seeing new ones.

As far as places I haven’t yet visited, I’d very much like to see Spain — my wife’s been there, and loved it — and the UK. And if I were looking to return to someplace I’ve already been, I’d love to be able to go back to Florence: I spent a few days there many years ago, and would love to be able to take my time in the region.

Tom Rink:

Well, if I had an unlimited budget (as well as an unlimited amount of time), I would want to hit as many places as possible. I really enjoy traveling and I love to explore new places. But when you consider that Europe is comprised of more than fifty countries, states, and territories, hitting them all seems a bit unrealistic.

However, being an art enthusiast (and collector), I would probably focus my travels on some of the great museums and galleries of Europe . . . specifically Musee du Louvre (Paris, France) , the Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia), Musei Vaticani (Vatican City, Rome, Italy), Museo del Prado (Madrid, Spain), the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Galleria degli Uffizi (Firenze, Italy), the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery (London, United Kingdom), and the Alte Pinakothek (Munich, Germany). I think this would be a great start. I’m also a wine and food enthusiast and could easily envision myself eating and drinking my way across Europe between museums and galleries. So, when do we leave?

You run into yourself in the street one day and it turns out you’re not an information professional! (Oh no!) What does your alternate universe self do?

Jim DelRosso:

Well, before I found my calling as a librarian, the two paths that seemed likeliest were lawyer and actor: I went into college planning to do the former, but ended up spending a good amount of my free time practicing to be the latter.

Truth be told, though, the most likely place I’d have ended up is in the public policy field: my undergraduate studies focused strongly on policy issues, and I received my MPA long before I got my MSLIS. So there’s a good chance that the street where I met this alternate universe self would be in Washington, DC, and he’d be a very busy policy wonk. Of course, the call of academia may have ended up being too strong, so perhaps he’d just be teaching public policy at some college or another.

Thinking about this actually reminds me why I enjoy being a librarian so much: it allows me to partake of the aspects of all those other possible occupations that I found most interesting. (Yes, even acting.)

Tom Rink:

I have already experienced a couple of “alternative universes” and know that predicting the future is always risky at best. But when considering my past, several years ago I would have run into a police officer (my previous career) and I quite possibly would have answered this question with “information professional” as my alternative universe self. Prior to that I would have run into a viticulturalist (grape grower) and oenologist (wine maker) for the family winery and vineyard who would have answered this question with “police officer.”

But if we look at a future alternative universe as opposed to my past alternative universes, then I would have to say that the next time I run into myself on the street, I will probably be a baker (the sole proprietor of “Thom E.’s Cheesecakes” perhaps?) or someone involved in the culinary arts. I’ve been baking cheesecakes for friends and family for a very long time now and have even considered starting my own business. Hmm, maybe one of these days I will take the necessary steps (i.e., do the research, complete a business plan, and move the idea to the next level) to make this new dream a reality. Bon appetit!

What are your go-to five apps or tools?

Tom Rink:

Ah, so many apps or tools from which to choose . . . I would have to go with WordPress, Twitter, Google Maps, Calendar, and the Weather Channel, I have been blogging every day for a little more than six years now, so having access to WordPress is essential. I like and use Twitter on a daily basis just to keep up-to-date and up-to-speed with this social media account. I find Google Maps very handy when I’m traveling; it sure simplifies navigating in unfamiliar locations. My Calendar app allows me to keep track of all of my appointments and schedule for the day. The ability to set alerts and reminders is invaluable. And last but not least, the Weather Channel. Living in Oklahoma, having access to the most up-to-date weather forecasts and radar is a must, especially during severe weather patterns (which are quite frequent in Oklahoma).

Jim DelRosso:

This list can be interpreted as having more than five items or fewer than five items, but it averages out to around five:
1. Gmail: Fully searchable archives, usable from every device I own, and in this line of work our most powerful resources are our colleagues and peers.
2. Google Drive: Allows me to work on documents from multiple devices, and collaborate with others. There are a lot of options for this sort of thing, and I’ve tried several, but right now Drive is working best for me.
3. Dropbox: Google Drive may end up taking over my cloud storage soon, but for now Dropbox is still my app of choice for moving files between devices and among collaborators.
4. A whole mess of social media: The ones I check with regularity right now are Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. That’s a huge part of the landscape of personal and professional communication for me right now. I have accounts for several others, but they see far less use.

There are many more apps on my devices, but they either see niche use (or none). The ones listed here seem to have staying power.

What technical advancement would you tell your 15 year old self about if you had the chance?

Tom Rink:

Given the chance I would definitely tell my 15-year-old self about Smartphones. These technology powerhouses continue to amaze me with the extent of their capabilities (especially when in the hands of someone who really knows how to use them to their full potential). And while I have never considered myself an “early adopter,” I do embrace and use new technology fairly well in my humble opinion. Of course my 15-year-old self would have probably laughed at me and told me “you sure have a great imagination.”

There is one futuristic technology that I am still waiting for though that I would have loved to have been able to tell my 15-year-old self had become a reality — the “transporter” system used in the Star Trek television show and movies. Unfortunately, we may have to wait for that one a little longer. Beam me up, Scotty!

Jim DelRosso:

First off, thank you for being the only folks during my candidacy to ask me questions regarding both alternate universes and time travel. This warms the cockles of my geeky heart.

If I were feeling purely mercenary, I’d let my fifteen-year-old self know about the coming ubiquity of the internet, specifically the dot-com boom and crash. But I rarely feel purely mercenary, so I’d probably give him the heads up on the coming of mobile: that someday he and millions of others would not only have the equivalent of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in their pockets, but also the ability to catalog and share the sights and sounds and thoughts of their lives with people all over the world.

And I’d tell him that the most important thing about those devices is their great potential for spurring social change. Which would probably mean he’d end up becoming the aforementioned policy wonk. Or a librarian.

To learn more about Jim and Tom and their answers to the more serious SLA related questions, you can visit their individual candidate pages and watch a recording of their Candidate Webinar

1 comment on “Q&A with the 2015 SLA President-Elect Candidates”

  1. Allan Foster

    Deserving and no doubt excellent professionals the various candidates are in the current SLA Board of Directors elections, does anyone feel my sense of unease that eight of the ten candidates are from the university sector, and another from an academic research establishment? Where are the representatives from the corporate world – manufacturing, financial services, consulting and so on? It would be very sad if the traditional areas of the SLA grass roots are not present on the Board. Are potential professional leaders from the private sector just too busy with running their services? Or does the electoral slate reflect a shift in the SLA’s business and interests?

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