A New Adventure: The SLA Annual Meeting

Last year, we noticed that more and more of our CSD orders from academia were coming from university libraries, rather than from the end user in the chemistry department. This shift in purchasing behaviour meant that we wanted to find a platform to get out and meet the librarians who were purchasing and using the CSD and WebCSD. After much internet searching and recommendations from our users, we settled on the SLA (Special Libraries Association) meeting, which was held at the McCormick Place in Chicago from the 15th – 18th July.

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Although we are regular exhibitors at chemistry meetings such as the ACS and the ACA, the SLA was an entirely new venture for us. Our aim was to be able to allow current and potential library subscribers to learn more about the Cambridge Structural Database, and to highlight how it is a vital information resource for chemical education. Over the course of the meeting, Dr Gary Battle gave in depth 30-minute tutorials to librarians from the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Michigan. We also talked about what improvements we could make to the licensing and functionality of the software, and we discussed whether or not we should host a workshop at next year’s SLA meeting! During the entire meeting we were joined by Dr Greg Ferrence from Illinios State University, who has helped us to develop our teaching database, and is a seasoned user of the CSD and WebCSD!

 

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Although the meeting was a bit on the quiet side (unusually so, according to one seasoned exhibitor!), we found it to be an incredibly useful way to connect with some of our existing users, helping them to understand the full functionality available to them, which they can then take back to the students at their organisation. Making sure that the CSD is used to its full potential by librarians and students alike is extremely important to us. Hopefully we’ll make it to next year’s SLA so that we can continue to build on these new relationships.