President’s Message

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Greetings, WAML Information Bulletin readers!

I hope you all are enjoying the summer.Much of my attention as WAML Powell_Susan_hrPresident right now is focused on planning the upcoming 2019 conference in Reno, Nevada on September 18-21 with Chrissy Klenke, our host at the University of Nevada, Reno. (Spoiler alert: It’s going to be awesome!). We’ve got two amazing pre-conference workshops to choose from (“Basic Python for Map & GIS Librarians” and “Best Practices for Map & GIS Librarianship”), followed by two full days of what is shaping up to be some excellent programming related to our conference themes of Spatial Humanities and STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics). In addition to our tried-and-true formats of twenty-minute presentations and lightning talk sessions, I’m excited to try out birds-of-a-feather discussion sessions, informal meetings where participants group together based on a shared interest to carry out a discussion.

We also hope that conference attendees will be able to take advantage of opportunities to explore some of Nevada’s natural and cultural history. Reno itself is a lively place which lives up to its nickname “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Our banquet venue, Louis’ Basque Corner, showcases the distinctive cuisine of the Basque shepherds who arrived in Nevada in the 1800s (grazing remains a distinctive feature of the Nevadan landscape). On Saturday following the conference, the organized field trip to historic Virginia City will offer a view outside urban Nevada. Famous as the site of the Comstock Lode, the once-booming mining town is now a rich destination for learning about Nevada’s mining history. And of course, Lake Tahoe and the Sierras are just a quick trip away!

Beyond the conference, over the year ahead I am looking forward to working with the executive board and the WAML membership on projects that help us develop as an organization so that we are serving as a useful resource for our members and continue to welcome new perspectives in geospatial and map libraries. One aspect of this is to complete the mission and vision crafting that the WAML Mission Statement Task Force has been working on. Another is the work that the newly formed Website Review Ad-Hoc committee will be doing to help align our website content with our member needs. Additionally, I will be working with the executive board and Scholarship Committee to develop a plan to sustainably fund our scholarship program, now in its third year.

I would like to thank Phil White and Julie Sweetkind-Singer who just stepped off the executive board after serving for three years in the President sequence and two years as Secretary, respectively. They set a high standard to follow. I am at the same time very excited to welcome our newest members to the executive board: Louise Ratliff who is joining as Secretary and Matthew Toro who has just begun his term as President-Elect in the three year President sequence.

I look forward to seeing those of you who can make it in Reno this September!

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